Baking Recipes, David Lebovitz, From the books, Simple cakes

My first ever deeply dark Flourless Chocolate Cake

13889363203 79eac4db5b b - My first ever deeply dark Flourless Chocolate Cake

As the Lenten Season comes to a close once again, I thought I would sneak in one more recipe that I feel can be welcome addition to any Easter spread. Lent is the most important time for us Catholics to recognise the sacrifices made by Jesus on the cross and I think this can be done in the simplest manner by appreciating every little blessing we have, including the food that gets put on our tables.

I’m not making hot cross anything this year because that’s all I seem to make for Easter the past few years, so I thought I’d make something different this time. I’ve been seeing a lot of flourless desserts among the blogs I follow (probably made to coincide with the Jewish passover, which is also around this time) and it has encouraged me to try my hand in making one as well. Plus my family hasn’t eaten homemade flourless anything before and I wanted to see how it would be received.

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This was was my first time making a flourless cake and I had absolutely no idea how it was going to turn out. But I put my full faith in Mr. Lebovitz, aka the man who “taught” me how to make my first ice cream, first macaron, first madeleine… There’s probably another first in there I’m missing but I owe a lot to Mr. Lebovitz’s for introducing the techniques to some of my favourite things to make in the kitchen. It seemed only fitting that I use his recipe for another first.

For the record, this flourless cake would’ve been the bomb had I actually used a combination of dark and semisweet chocolate, or simply a chocolate with a lower cacao content. I used Malagos Chocolate, a local brand I have had the pleasure of trying out before at a food sampling event I was invited to. The baking supplies store I frequent recently started selling the Malagos 65% in bulk for a good deal, and knowing the quality I did not hesitate to buy. (Here’s an interesting article about dark chocolate, by the way.)

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And while I was not wrong about the quality, my cake did not turn out as perfectly as I envisioned. Unfortunately the consensus was that the 65% was waaaaay too strong for the purposes of this cake. It would’ve been perfect had I combined some semisweet chocolate perhaps. My taste-testers and I thought the chocolate too bold and too thick, so I would recommend using chocolate with at most 50% cacao, and combined with a bit of semisweet 30-something percent chocolate for good measure.

Remember this cake relies heavily on the taste of your chocolate so use your favourite, tried and tested brand. I’m not giving up on Malagos of course! I’m still looking forward to trying their chocolate in other pastries– maybe a regular chocolate cake or cupcake in the near future.

Despite the overwhelming darkness of the chocolate, this recipe is in fact quite amazing. The cake bakes so beautifully, and the texture is somewhat mousse-like and somewhat cloud-like (marshmallow-like?) at the same time. I quite liked it, especially cold. Chef Lebovitz recommends eating the cake at room temp, but I thought it tasted better cold with a side of ice cream. Maybe it has something to do with how the very deep chocolate is tamed by the cold?

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An important thing to note as you make this cake is to make sure the springform pan you use has been sealed using foil until watertight. Any water that escapes into the cake will affect its baking and will make it wet instead of creamy. You will also need a roasting pan for this because it’s baked half-submerged in hot water, like a cheesecake.

It’s also important to make sure your eggs are fully whipped before you mix in your chocolate. To check if it’s ready, a thin ribbon-like trail should be left on the surface of the egg mixture when you lift your mixer attachment. (Don’t worry! I’ve got some step-by-step photos below.) And then it will be a matter of simply folding in your egg mixture into the chocolate. The recipe itself only takes a few easy steps!

Screen Shot 2014 04 16 at 5.32.27 PM - My first ever deeply dark Flourless Chocolate Cake
Gâteau Victoire
Screen Shot 2014 04 16 at 5.32.27 PM - My first ever deeply dark Flourless Chocolate Cake
Serves 12
A creamy slice of chocolate heaven, this flourless chocolate cake is so creamy in fact that the recommended tool to cut it is dental floss!

Makes one 9-inch cake
Print
Ingredients
  1. 340 grams (12 ounces) bittersweet or semisweet chocolate, chopped
  2. 3/4 cup (180 mL) heavy cream
  3. 3 Tablespoons (45 mL) dark rum, Cognac, or port
  4. 6 large eggs, at room temperature
  5. 6 Tablespoons (75 grams) granulated sugar
  6. Pinch of salt
  7. Powdered sugar, for dusting the cake
Instructions
  1. 1. Preheat oven to 350°F (180°C). Butter the bottom and sides of a 9-inch springform pan. Wrap a large sheet of aluminum foil around the outside and bottom of the pan, making sure it is completely waterproof. Set the pan in a large roasting tin.
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  3. 2. In a large heatproof bowl, combine the chocolate, cream, and rum. Set the bowl over a pan of simmering water and stir occasionally until the chocolate is melted and the mixture is smooth. Remove the bowl from the heat.
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  5. 3. In a stand mixer fitted with the whip attachment, whisk together the eggs, granulate sugar, and salt on medium speed until the mixture is thick and leaves a well-defined ribbon on the surface when you lift the beater, about 5 minutes.
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  7. 4. Fold 1/3 of the beaten eggs into the chocolate mixture to lighten it. Then, fold in the rest. Scrape the batter into the prepared pan.
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  9. 5. Pour very warm water into the roasting pan until it reaches halfway up the sides of the springform pan.
  10. 6. Bake until the cake feels just set in the center, about 45 minutes. Remove the cake from the water bath and let cool completely.
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  12. 7. Run a knife around the sides of the cake to help loosen it from the pan. Release the sides of the springform pan and dust the cake with powdered sugar.
  13. 8. For clean slices, cut this delicate cake using dental floss pulled taut between the fingers.
Notes
  1. David Lebovitz says this cake is best the day it's made stored at room temperature, but I think it gets better the next day after an overnight stay in the fridge.
Adapted from Ready for Dessert: My Best Recipes by David Lebovitz
The Tummy Train http://thetummytrain.com/
Sometimes the classic elegance of a round chocolate cake like this is enough, especially on a day when people are expected to sacrifice something in keeping with Lenten traditions. I chose to sacrifice extravagance for something a little simpler but no less satisfying. Sometimes good things come in simple packages too! That’s one of the most important things I’ve learned in my 23 years of life.

Our only concession to decoration on this cake? A shower of snowy white powdered sugar.

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Happy Easter to all!

6 Comments on “My first ever deeply dark Flourless Chocolate Cake

  1. Thank you for trying out Malagos 65%. Yup, flavor profile is bold and strong. We’ll come out with 56% soon. Will update you. Thank you for not giving up on Malagos 65% πŸ™‚ Appreciate the effort πŸ™‚ Pls continue to support the local chocolate industry:-)

    1. Hey there! Yes please do update me. I really like to try local ingredients so I’m so glad Filipinos are starting to produce quality products like Malagos. Keep up the good work! πŸ™‚

  2. I really wonder where you buy your baking ingredients. I’m on the lookout for a good flour/bake shop in the south, any leads? πŸ™‚ Btw, I’ve been a David Lebovitz fan for sometime now! πŸ˜€

    1. I travel all the way to Quezon City to stock up on my baking supplies at this store called ALL ABOUT BAKING (http://allaboutbaking.com.ph/). It used to be called Choco Lovers and the supplies were always inconsistent in their availability. I don’t know if it’s now owned by another person but since the name change it has become as close to a baking haven as we’re going to get over here, I think. They have a lot of choices for chocolates and nuts. They even have liquid buttermilk and creams and butters. Oh and they have a huge assortment of packaging materials too! It’s also the only place locally I’ve ever encountered edible marker pens. πŸ˜€

    1. Haha! It can’t be helped! By the way, I agree that David Lebovitz is pretty awesome! I don’t think I have made any recipe of his I did not like. Not yet anyway. πŸ˜›

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