Chocolate. A French gateau. Gateau au Chocolat. Yum!
When it comes to cake, I rarely partake, but when a flourless chocolate cake presents itself, I usually dive in. Oh yes!
There are a couple of keys to baking such a cake to create the decadence and flavor-richness, and the first is simple – don’t bake the cake all the way through. You want a bit of fudgie-consistency in the middle because that is where the decadence tickles the taste-buds. The multi-layers of flavor begin with the most simple and standard of ingredients – fleur de sel (purchase high quality), and require you not be stingy with it. Then adding liqueur, a flavor profile of your choice, seals the deal for a decadent chocolate dessert you can have in the oven in 10 minutes baking while you enjoy an aperitif, out of the oven and resting while you savor dinner, and ready for the final course of the evening to conclude a most memorable and delicious meal.
I first baked this recipe while attending a cooking class with Susan Herrmann Loomis in Portland in which we cooked one lovely meal, full of courses, and dined at beautiful house belonging to one of Susan’s friends. Her recipe for a grilled chocolate cake is found in her French Grill cookbook, and I have adapted it to my tastes – adding liqueur – and baking in the oven as I don’t grill all that often. Simple changes, just as we all should do with recipes that speak to us, and then we customize with what we love and what we have in our kitchen.
Garnish with edible flowers. Seen here – nasturtium flowers from the garden.
Dust with powdered sugar.
Cozy and comfort includes savoring luscious chocolate, and this cake satisfies on all counts. I do hope you enjoy. Now to the episode!
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A Flavorful Rich Flourless Chocolate Cake
- 3 1/2 ounces dark chocolate 70% cacao
- 3 ounces bittersweet or semisweet chocolate high quality
- 3 1/2 ounces unsalted butter (105 g)
- 1/2-1 tsp fleur de sel
- 1/2 cup sugar, granulated
- 4 large eggs, room temperature
- 3 Tbsp liqueur (your choice – port, brandy, tequila, red wine, Chambor, etc.)
- 1-2 Tbsp powdered sugar
- edible flowers or fresh fruit to garnish
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
- Prepare your cake pan or pans. Butter the sides of the cake pan, and then dust with flour. Then place a piece of round parchment in the bottom of the pan. Set aside. You have enough batter for a 9" cake pan, but use any smaller size if preferred. This cake freezes well also, so you may make multiple small cakes.
- Over low heat in a medium or small sauce pan, melt the chocolate and butter. Mix while it melts. Add the salt while mixing to incorporate all three ingredients. Once the ingredients are one lovely chocolate color, remove from the heat to cool to warm.
- In a mixing bowl, mix the eggs (the fresher the eggs, the shorter the time needed to whisk into a lovely frothy, airy mixture). Add the sugar and then whisk for about 2-4 minutes to reach a lovely frothy, foamy consistency. Use a hand mixer.
- Making sure the chocolate mixture has cooled down to warm from hot, add about 1/3 of the egg mixture to the chocolate and fold in gently with a spatula to keep as much of the air as possible. Then add another third, fold, and then add another fold until completely combined, but don't over-mix.
- Pour the batter into the cake pan and bake for 30-40 minutes (30 for a 6" pan, 40 for a 8 or 9" pan). Check at 25 minutes by placing a toothpick or knife in the middle. You don't want the cake to be entirely baked through as you want a bit of fudgie consistency in the middle. If the the latter third or half of the toothpick is still a bit gooey, the cake is done. Once you remove the cake from the oven, prepare to remove from the pan. Make sure all of the sides are not sticking (use a knife and run it along the inside of the pan all the way around). Place a plate on top of the cake and flip (use hot pads as the pan will be hot).Let the cake rest for 15-30 minutes. The longer it rests, the firmer the cake will become. Enjoy with a hot cuppa or coffee or dessert wine.
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