I think the first time I mentioned making a flourless chocolate cake on this blog was back in November of 2008 after making a pumpkin cheesecake. I'd recently tried a flourless chocolate at a restaurant in Chelsea and had completely fallen in love.
For some reason, I never actually got around to making it until now. I needed a dessert for a party recently and decided that yes, I'd finally make what I consider the Holy Grail of chocolate cakes. Mine didn't come out exactly as I was hoping, but I think it was a good first effort and a first step toward future greatness.
Flourless Chocolate CakeThe cake can be eaten right away but it may fall slightly when it is cut- for best results, it should be refrigerated for at least 6 hours before serving.
Adapted from this recipe at food.com
12 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 (12 ounce) bittersweet chocolate
3 teaspoons vanilla extract
8 large eggs (separated)
3/4 cup brown sugar (packed)
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
Preheat oven to 325°F. Oil and flour a 9-inch springform cake round. Cut a piece of wax paper or parchment to fit inside the bottom of the pan, place the paper in the bottom of the pan.
In a double-boiler on gentle heat (I used a makeshift double boiler out of a small pot and a metal bowl), melt the butter and chocolate together until smooth. Set aside to cool slightly.
In a clean mixing bowl (make sure there is no oil residue on the bowl or mixer attachments) beat the egg whites until they become cloudy and frothy; about 30 seconds. Continue beating while adding the brown sugar and cream of tartar.
Beat until stiff peaks form–be careful not to over-beat–this is most important! If the eggs curdle, throw them away and start over with new egg whites, seriously. (I think I may have over-beat the eggs slightly).
Whisk the egg yolks and vanilla into the melted chocolate mixture in a large mixing bowl. Gently fold the egg whites into the chocolate (start by folding in about 1/3rd of the whites, then gently fold in the remaining whites), the mixture should end up fluffy and light.
Pour into the prepared pan.
Place a casserole dish filled with 1-2 inches of water on the bottom rack of your oven. Place the cake on the middle rack to cook. Bake the cake for about 60-70 minutes or until it passes the toothpick test. (I baked mine a little too long - start looking closely at around 45-50 minutes)
Remove cake from oven and allow to cool for about an hour. Gently run a knife around the edge of the pan, and then carefully invert the cake onto a flat plate or other surface.
Remove the paper from the bottom (now the top) of the cake.
So my version came out a little...irregular. It was still very good, but it basically exploded out of the pan rather than making a nice, dense tort. I think I cooked it too long along with over-beaten the eggs. Was it good? Yes, it was. Was it what I was hoping for? No, and I'm looking forward to trying again and getting it right.