Sunday, December 1, 2013

Flourless Chocolate Cake

Let's face it, I'm an amateur. I have hopefully never led you to believe otherwise, but I am an amateur baker. You say things like "I'm vegan" or "I don't eat gluten" and you will be met with a shocked look as I have just offered you poison and there is nothing I can do about it. And until recently, I believed there was nothing I could do to prevent this shocking moment, I didn't know how to make flourless or vegan baked goods. If you have these restrictions, you were being fed vegetables at my table.

But we live and learn. I have created a vegan pumpkin bread and realized that simple substitutions can turn the tastiest of treats into vegan-friendly desserts. And when presented with a gluten-free challenge for Thanksgiving dessert, I was sensible and Googled for recipes. 
Butter and I are running away together
Real Simple has a flourless chocolate cake recipe that made flour seem like a thing of the past. There were so many other delicious ingredients like chocolate and butter and more chocolate that it couldn't go wrong (spoiler alert: it went very right). In true amazing fashion, butter and cream are melted together before adding in bittersweet chocolate. While the butter is melting, feel free to pick at the chocolate pieces because they're delicious and you deserve it. 
Chocolate will be joining us as well
As the butter mixture is melting and then cooling, mix together the eggs, cocoa powder and sugar. Use the butter wrappers to butter a 9-inch spring form pan (for those of you who do no know what that is--dad--it's that pan you make cheesecake in with a clamp on the side) and add cocoa powder (not flour, we're keeping this gluten-free) until the pan is thoroughly dusted. Once the butter and chocolate mixture has cooled, we add it to the egg mixture. The whole lot is poured into the prepared pan and the bowl licked--I mean scraped, clean. 
Missed a spot!

After the oven is preheated to 350 degrees, place the cake on the center rack. Bake for 20-30 minutes or until a toothpick comes out of the center clean. Allow the pan to cool outside of the oven for about an hour before attempting to remove the cake. Dust the top with powdered sugar for added finesse. 
Not a drop of batter wasted
This cake is very rich and dense so is best served in small slices with a whipped topping or strawberries (or both). It also pairs extremely well with red wine and a charming fire. 

Although this was not a traditional Thanksgiving dessert like pie, it was a great way to incorporate a new twist into the dessert table. This will definitely be making an appearance at holiday parties in the coming months, if only so I can eat the leftovers while watching holiday movies on the couch.
Grab a fork and dig in!

  • 1 cup (2 sticks) of unsalted butter
  • 1/4 cup of heavy cream
  • 8 ounces of bittersweet chocolate chopped into pieces (or chocolate chips)
  • 5 eggs
  • 1 cup of granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup of unsweetened cocoa powder plus more for dusting pan
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Using the butter wrappers, butter a 9-inch spring-form pan and dust with a sprinkling of the cocoa powder until the bottom and sides of the pan are darkened. Set aside.
  2. In a saucepan, melt the butter and heavy cream together over medium heat. Once the butter is melted, add in the chocolate (don't forget to sneak a few pieces for yourself). Remove from heat once chocolate is completely melted.
  3. In a medium bowl, whisk together eggs, sugar and unsweetened cocoa powder. Once combined, whisk in the butter mixture and stir until combined.
  4. Pour mixture into prepared pan. Place the pan in the oven and bake for 30-40 minutes or until cake puffs up and appears set. 
  5. Allow cake to cool outside of the oven for about an hour before attempting to remove it from the pan. To remove the cake, run a knife along the edge of the pan before un-snapping the spring-form. For best results, use a cake spatula to run along the bottom of the cake to transfer to a dish. Or just leave it on the spring-form bottom and place altogether on a serving dish.
  6. Dust with powdered sugar and serve with whipped topping or ice cream of choice (and red wine, don't forget the wine).

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