Sunday, June 26, 2011

I'm here!

Having a house guest can sure throw off a blogging schedule. I've been too busy out in the real world to update here on my little ol' blog! Rest assured, I have still been making things (graduation desserts among them ^_^ ) Want proof?  

Rest assured...they were all delicious. This is kind of mean of me isn't it? I'm going to give you my flourless chocolate cake recipe (the last picture here), which I've been meaning to do for months. Resist pressure to eat this beauty right away, cause it'll just turn out as a molten chocolate cake (also good, but not what you're going for here). In college, this was definitely easier said than done, when there were hungry teenagers hovering everywhere, eager at the prospect of cake. 

Stick around, cause next time, I'll hopefully have something really cool to show you. 

Flourless Chocolate Cake 
from Williams Sonoma 
  • Unsweetened cocoa powder for dusting
  • 10 oz bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
  • 3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, cut into 6 pieces, plus extra for greasing
  • 5 large egg yolks
  • 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 tablespoon dark rum or brewed espresso (optional) (I used 1/2 teaspoon instant espresso powder)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • pinch of salt
  • 3 large egg whites, at room temperature
Preheat the oven to 300. Grease the bottom of an 8 inch round cake pan and line it with parchment paper. Grease the paper and the sides of the pan, then dust with cocoa powder.

In the top of a double boiler, combine the chocolate and the 3/4 cup butter. Set over barely simmering water and melt, then whisk until well blended. Set aside to cool slightly.

In large bowl, with a mixer set on medium high speed, beat together the egg yolks, 1/4 cup sugar, dark rum (if using), vanilla, and salt until pale and very thick. Gradually pour in the chocolate mixture and continue beating until well blended.

In deep, clean bowl, using a mixer on medium high speed, beat the egg whites until foamy. Gradually add the remaining sugar and continue to beat until medium-firm peaks form. Scoop half of the egg whites onto the chocolate mixture and fold them in gently. Fold in the remaining whites just until no streaks remain.
(A Note About Egg Whites: Have you ever heard it said that there's something magical about whipping egg whites in a copper bowl? As silly as it may sound, it's true. Copper ions from the bowl bond with proteins in the whites, creating more stability. Investing in a copper bowl would be a good idea if you're going to be doing this sort of thing a lot, but a glass or stainless steel bowl won't hurt the whites. Do not use a plastic bowl. The surface of plastic is kinda oily, and it'll mess up the stability. Carry on.)

Pour the batter into the prepared pan and spread it out evenly. Bake the torte until it puffs slightly and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out very moist but not liquid, about 35 minutes. Do not overcook. Let cool on a rack for 30 minutes.

Run a small knife around the inside of the pan to loosen the cake, then invert the pan onto a flat plate. Lift off the pan and carefully peel off the parchment paper. Let cool completely. Cover and refrigerate until very cold, at least 4 hours or up to overnight.

Glaze the cake with the chocolate glaze (below), then refrigerate again until firm, at least 2 hours. Transfer to a flat serving plate. Using a thin-bladed knife, cut the cake into small slices, dipping the knife into hot water and wiping it dry before each cut.

Chocolate Glaze
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 8 oz chopped bittersweet chocolate
  • 2 tablespoons light corn syrup
To make the glaze, combine butter, cut into 4 pieces, and chocolate in the top of a double boiler. Set over barely simmering water and melt, then whisk until blended. Remove from the heat and whisk in the corn syrup until smooth and glossy. Set the cold cake on a wire rack over a large plate or baking sheet. Slowly pour the warm glaze over the center of the cake. The glaze should cover the surface evenly, spilling over the edges and running down the sides, the excess falling onto the plate below.

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