Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Too Good To Be True - Flourless Chocolate Cake

On my favorite Saturday mornings, I often lay in bed and browse through recipes.  I try and come up with something new to try or something to experiment with and then head down to the kitchen to make breakfast.  Between the various food blogs I follow, the piles of cookbooks I collect and of course Pinterest, there is no shortage of delicious ideas.  But when I came upon this recipe for a flourless chocolate cake on Gimme Some Oven it stopped me dead in my tracks.  I couldn't wait to try it.  It seemed somehow, too good to be true.  I didn't eat it for breakfast, but this cake is so good, no one would blame you.

Eggs, butter, and chocolate.  How
could we go wrong?
With only 3 ingredients, you won't believe how easy it is to make.  That's right - 3 ingredients.  Eggs.  Butter.  Chocolate.  It's the perfect recipe to make for your Valentine to show him or her how much you love them.  Or honestly, just make the cake for yourself because you deserve it.  2016 is the year of self-admiration and positive thinking!

Be sure the bowl is microwave safe and
large enough to hold the entire batter.
You start by breaking up the chocolate into smaller pieces to help with melting and set it aside. If you're planning on using chips then you are all set.  I had a bag of semi-sweet chips and some Hershey's milk chocolate bars in the pantry so that is what I used.

Next, whisk up the 8 large eggs.  Beat them until they double in size, get pale in color and frothy.  In my stand mixer with the whisk attachment that took about 4 minutes.   While you've got that going, its time to melt the chocolate and the butter together.  This part couldn't be easier.  I just put them both into a microwave safe bowl and heated them for 30 second intervals.  Stir in between each interval until the chocolate and butter are melted and combined.

Nice and fluffy and frothy and
double in size.  Check! 
Take 1/3 of the egg mixture and fold it carefully into the chocolate.  Repeat with another 1/3 of the egg mixture - - being sure to fold it in gently and with love so that all that fluffy air you beat into the eggs doesn't get too deflated.  Add in the final 1/3 of the mixture and stir just until combined.  And that's it!  You just made CHOCOLATE CAKE!

Ok, I'm getting a little ahead of myself since you still have to bake it but seriously, how ridiculously easy is that?  How did I go almost 40 years not knowing that this was something I could have been making?  Live and learn they say, and then eat cake!

The melted chocolate mixture
will be smooth and shiny.  Mmmm!
Now that you have the batter prepared, carefully pour it into a springform pan lined on the bottom with parchment (or waxed paper) and greased on the sides.  If you want to find one for yourself, this Wilton Baker's Supreme Glass Bottom Round Springform Pan would be a great option.  
Don't be afraid to get the sides good and greased.  We don't want that baby to stick!  Smooth out the top of the batter so it is even.  Then carefully wrap the outside of the pan with a double layer of heavy duty aluminum foil.   I know it seems strange, but the main objective of this step is to keep any water from getting into your delicious batter.  Once you have your wrapped pan full of batter, place it inside a larger pan (you want to have a little space all the way around it) and place it into your oven on the lower-middle rack.  I used a roasting pan that had high sides.

You can see the foil around the outside and a
small hole from where I tested the cake for
doneness with a toothpick.
Use a teapot or large measuring cup of boiling water and pour hot water inside the outer pan so it comes about half way up the sides of your springform pan.  Now you get the need for the aluminum foil, right?  I kind of rushed this step and ended up with a bit of water inside the foil.  It didn't ruin the cake but is something I will be more careful about next time. When you're pouring in the hot water be careful not to get water into the batter or to splash yourself.  And that ladies and gentlemen, is a water bath.  Pretty fancy, eh?

Bake the cake at 325 degrees until a thin crust has formed on the top and the edges are just starting to set, about 20 minutes.  Carefully remove the pan from the oven, once again being careful of the hot water and remove the springform pan from the water bath.  Set it aside to cool and then once it has reached room temperature refrigerate it until chilled.   It will be much easier to slice (and not run all over the place) when it is chilled so don't try and skip this step no matter how loudly that chocolatey siren song is calling to you...

Just a touch of powdered sugar. :)
While you are waiting for the cake to chill you can be dreaming up delicious toppings.  I love the simplicity of the powdered sugar and fresh fruit but you could really go crazy if you wanted to.  Whipped cream, drizzled chocolate or raspberry sauce (Why not guild that Lilly, right?) or even candied orange slices would be amazing.  I can't wait to try this recipe with some flavored chocolate in the future.  They make all sorts of delicious bars now that are readily available, so the skies the limit.

When you are ready to serve the cake, remove the sides of the springform pan and invert it onto a piece of wax paper so you can remove the bottom liner from the cake and then flip it back over onto your serving platter.  Sprinkle with powdered sugar and top with fruit or whatever toppings you like.  It's actually best if you let the cake warm up just a bit before serving it so if you get it out while you eat dinner it will be just perfect when you're ready for dessert.

The pure chocolate flavor you get from this cake is simply to die for.  Dense but smooth and fudgy - - really in a class by itself.  It's the perfect sinful way to celebrate this Valentine's Day, and with only 3 ingredients it's a nice reminder sometimes it's the simple things that are most worth celebrating.

Flourless Chocolate Cake
Recipe from Gimme Some Oven

8 large eggs, cold
1 lb. dark, semisweet or bittersweet chocolate, chopped
2 sticks, unsalted butter cut into pieces

You can see I cut this piece before I sprinkled on the
powdered sugar.  My taste tester husband was a bit impatient. 

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