Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Giddy with Glee: Flourless Chocolate Cake

Glee was not very good last night.  But you know what?  I'm okay with that, because I had lots of fun with my friends.  We talked, we laughed, we made fun of commercials, we squirmed at Will Schuester's attempt to be sexy, we watched a very entertaining demon sheep ad, AND we ate this flourless chocolate cake.  It was a good night.

I've noticed a lot of flourless chocolate cake backlash lately among the online food community.  The consensus seems to be that the ubiquitousness of flourless chocolate cake on restaurant dessert menus has rendered it passé.  However, there's a reason that so many restaurants sell flourless chocolate cakes: they are good.  Plus, they're quick and easy to make, and next to impossible to mess up.

This flourless chocolate cake takes less than 45 minutes to make from start to glorious finish.  It's dense, chocolatey, rich, and silky smooth.  It would be great with a dusting of powdered sugar, topped with unsweetened whipped cream, or drizzled with raspberry coulis.

Some notes about the recipe: The original recipe was for an 8-inch round pan.  I only had a 9-inch pan, so I  increased all the ingredients by half.  While the recipe says to add the eggs directly into the batter, I was afraid the eggs would scramble and chose to temper them first by adding a little of the warm chocolate mixture to the eggs.  I also added a little bit of instant coffee to give the chocolate flavor some depth - you can't taste the coffee at all, and it's completely optional.  When you take the cake out of the oven, it will still be a little gooey on top - don't put it back in or else it will overcook.  Once the cake cools and firms up, it will be perfect.  Of course, my friends and I were too impatient to let it cool and dug into the gooey goodness right away.  (In the pictures, the gooeyness is on the bottom because I flipped the cake onto a plate.)

Flourless Chocolate Cake
Adapted from Gourmet via Epicurious

6 ounces of semisweet or bittersweet chocolate
3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) butter
1/2 teaspoon instant coffee
1 cup sugar
5 eggs
3/4 cup cocoa powder

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  Grease a 9-inch cake pan.  Line the bottom with wax paper and grease the wax paper. 

Melt chocolate with butter in a double boiler (or in a bowl sitting above a pot of simmering water).  When smooth, remove from heat.  Whisk in instant coffee and sugar. 

In a small bowl, beat the eggs together.  Slowly add some chocolate mixture, whisking vigorously while pouring.  When the egg mixture has warmed, pour it into the chocolate mixture, whisking continuously.  Sift in cocoa and whisk until just combined.

Pour the batter into the cake pan and bake for 25 minutes.  Let cool for 15 minutes before inverting it onto a plate.

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