Saturday, September 29, 2007

Flourless Chocolate Cake

Yesterday was my lovely wife's birthday so I decided to bake her a cake. Remembering one of our favorite desserts that we've ever had at a restaurant (Roy's in San Diego), I looked up some recipes for Flourless Chocolate Cake.

Currently when it comes to finding new recipes, I go back and forth between Cook's Illustrated's New Best Recipe cookbook (my overall favorite cookbook) and It can be difficult to choose which go to. In a way it is like deciding between a published encyclopedia and Wikipedia. One is almost always well-researched, proofread and accurate while the other is an consensus of a huge number of contributers which can also lead to some fantastic information. In the end I went with a commentator's modification of a highly-rated recipe on, but it's certainly possible that New Best Recipes' would have been better.

Regardless, the recipe turned out delicious:


- 1/2 cup water
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 3/4 cup white sugar
- 18 oz bittersweet chocolate
- 1 cup unsalted butter
- 6 eggs (3 whole eggs, 3 whites)

1. Preheat oven to 300 degrees F (150 degrees C).
2. In a small saucepan over medium heat combine the water, salt and sugar. Stir until completely dissolved and set aside.
3. Melt the bittersweet chocolate in the microwave in a bowl with a splash of water (mix together every 15-30 seconds until melted). Pour the chocolate into the bowl of an electric mixer.
4. Cut the butter into pieces and beat the butter into the chocolate, 1 piece at a time. Beat in the hot sugar-water. Slowly beat in the eggs, one at a time.
5. Amply grease a 10 inch round cake pan (preferably a springform pan, in which case you need to double-wrap the pan with aluminum foil to avoid water from the water bath seeping in). Pour the batter into the prepared pan. Put this pan into a larger pan (I used our large roasting pan for this) and fill this pan with boiling water halfway up the sides of the cake pan.
6. Bake cake in the water bath at 300 degrees F (150 degrees C) for 45 minutes. The center will still look wet. Chill cake overnight in the pan. To unmold, dip the bottom of the cake pan in hot water for 10 seconds and invert onto a serving plate.

My suggestion is to put pieces in the microwave for about 15 seconds so that its the consistency some refer to flourless chocolate cake as 'molten chocolate', before serving with a dollop of vanilla ice cream or whipped cream. Absolutely delicious, I think next time I might experiment with using milk chocolate, though the contrast in temperature and flavors of bitter hot chocolate and cold sweet ice cream was superb! It's times like this that I dream again of going to culinary school to be a pastry chef.

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