Flourless Chocolate Cake

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Oh my friends…my dear invisible, internet friends. Have we got a recipe for you! I have made this cake five times in the past two months…seriously, FIVE. Way more than I have made any other cake recipe in my repertoire. I have tested it on Nathan, my family, and several friends and it has the power to stop conversation and focus the mind to one singular thought…chocolate. The first and second times that I made this cake I made a single, plain layer and it was good but it wanted frosting. The second and third times I made it I made two layers and added a fluffy vanilla buttercream and it was even better. For Easter, I took the cake to the next level with a fresh raspberry buttercream. Amazing. The flavors are rich and complex and the cake happens to be gluten free. It is also the easiest cake I have ever made…it can be made, start to finish in around an hour. I just don’t think I can stress how much you, YOU, need to make this. You will gain friends, win over enemies and secure invitations to any dinner party your heart desires…if, of course, you’re willing to bring dessert.

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DSC_1789Katryn’s Wine Paring: Yalumba Shiraz/Viognier 2010, South Australia
Rating: 9.0 out of 10.0

I was intrigued by the Shiraz/Viognier blend and thought the juicy, smooth Shiraz with the sweeter Viognier would work. And this was a spectacular pairing! I took a bite of the cake/raspberry frosting, then a sip of the wine and was totally blown away by how much the flavors of each were deepened and defined. The wine had prominent blueberry and cherry flavors that mingled well with the raspberry flavor and brought out all the complexity of the cake.

DSC_1798Nathan’s Beer Pairing: Gonzo Imperial Porter, Flying Dog Brewery
Rating: 8.5 out of 10.0

For someone who doesn’t particularly care for Stouts or Porters I seem to be drinking a lot of them recently… and enjoying them!  This Imperial Porter from our local Flying Dog Brewery pours an oily black with sweet malty aromas followed up with flavors of chocolate, coffee, and malt.  These flavors are also accompanied with some nice hop bitterness that keeps the flavors from becoming too rich.  This beer paired great with Katryn’s flourless chocolate cake with the sweet malts and chocolate enriching the flavors from the cake while the coffee and hops helped to keep things from getting to heavy.  If you want a dessert match made in beer heaven give this duo a try!

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Flourless Chocolate Cake:

Ingredients:

For the cake:
10 ounces fine-quality bittersweet chocolate (not unsweetened)
2 sticks unsalted butter
1 ½ cups sugar
6 large eggs
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 tsp. instant espresso powder (optional)
1 cup unsweetened cocoa powder

For the rasberry buttercream:
1 cup fresh raspberries
2 sticks (½ pound) butter, softened
1 ½ cups confectioner’s sugar
1 tablespoon milk (If you want the cake to be gluten free and lactose free, use lactose free or soy milk)
2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Directions:

For the cake:
1. Preheat oven to 375°F and butter two 8-inch round baking pans. Line bottoms with rounds of parchment paper or craft paper and butter the paper.

2. Chop chocolate into small pieces. In a double boiler or metal bowl set over a saucepan of barely simmering water melt chocolate with butter, stirring, until smooth. Remove top of double boiler or bowl from heat and whisk sugar into chocolate mixture.

3. Add eggs, vanilla, and espresso powder (if using) and whisk well. Sift cocoa powder over chocolate mixture and whisk until just combined.

4. Pour batter into pans and bake in middle of oven 25 minutes, or until top has formed a thin crust. Cool cake in pan on a rack 5 minutes and invert onto a serving plate.

For the rasberry buttercream:

1. Put the raspberries in a small saucepan and cook over medium heat stirring with a spoon until they break down into a sauce.

2. Pour the sauce through a fine mesh strainer to take out the seeds and then allow the sauce to cool completely.

3. In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat butter and sugar together until combined. Add milk, vanilla extract, and the raspberry sauce and continue beating on high until the frosting is thick and light, about 5 minutes.

4. When the cake layers are cooled completely, spread one third of the frosting on top of one layer, and top with the other layer. Frost top and sides of cake with remaining frosting.

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