Monday, December 29, 2008

Flourless Chocolate Cake

This recipe is from Ann Hodgman's Beat This! cookbook. I just can't say enough good things about her cookbooks. Or this cake.

1/2 c. water
1 1/3 c. sugar
8 oz. unsweetened chocolate, chopped fine
4 oz. semisweet chocolate, chopped fine
1 c. unsalted butter, cut into small pieces and brought to room temperature
6 large eggs, at room temperature
whipped cream for topping

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Butter a 9" round cake pan and line it with a round of parchment or waxed paper to fit.

In a heavy saucepan, combine the water with 1 c. of the sugar. Bring the mixture to a boil over high heat. Boil it for 4 minutes, or until a candy thermometer reads 220 degrees. Take the pan off the heat and immediately add the chocolate pieces, stirring until they are melted and smooth. If the mixture stiffens, don't worry; it will loosen up again when you add the butter. Add the butter immediately, bit by bit, stirring until all of it is used.

Place the eggs and the remaining 1/3 cup sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer. Beat on high speed for 15 minutes. When the 15 minutes are up, turn the mixer down to low. Add the chocolate mixture, stirring only until it is fully incorporated. Do not overbeat, or air bubbles will form.

Scrape the mixture into the prepared cake pan. Set the pan in a slightly larger baking pan and pour hot water all around it. Do not allow the sides of the pans to touch. Place the cake in the oven and bake it for 25 minutes. Insert the sharp point of a knife into the center of the cake; it if comes out clean, the cake is done. If it does not come out clean, continue to bake for up to 10 minutes. Don't bake the cake for longer than 35 minutes.

Remove the pan from the water bath and immediately unmold it onto a cookie sheet. Remove the parchment or waxed paper. Invert a serving plate over the cake and turn it right side up onto the serving plate. Serve warm, cold, or at room temperature. Whipped cream is mandatory.

{That last step was the tricky part for me. I wasn't careful enough about inverting the cake, and it kind of went splat on the cookie sheet. Max called it Chocolate Splat, but it was still very delicious! The recipe says it serves 6-8, but it is extremely rich, so I would say that is a conservative estimate.}

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