IHistory of the Flourless Chocolate Cake
This rich chocolate cake traces its roots to France, but a version of it has also been popular in South America for quite some time. The French use more eggs and the South Americans use cinnamon and chilies to spice things up a bit. In any case, flourless chocolate cake is always high calorie, high fat and high on everybody's list of favorite desserts.
How to Make a Flourless Chocolate Cake
Flourless chocolate cake is the king of chocolate cakes, but is very easy to make. You will need a double boiler to properly melt the baking chocolate, but besides that, you only need the items you'd have on hand to make a traditional chocolate cake: cake pans, mixing bowls and a hot oven ready to bake.
Flourless Chocolate Cake Recipe
Ingredients You Will Need:
4 squares (4 ounces total) of semisweet baking chocolate
½ cup butter
¾ cup granulated white sugar
½ cup cocoa powder
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Preheat the oven to 300 degrees and move oven rack to the center rung. Grease and flour an eight-inch round cake pan. Use cocoa powder instead of flour to dust the pan.
In a separate bowl, beat the eggs slightly.
Chop the baking chocolate into small pieces.
Fill the bottom pan of your double boiler with water and heat the bottom pan until the water is simmering, not boiling. Place the second pan on top and melt the butter and baking chocolate together in the top pan. Do not let the water in the bottom pan boil.
When the chocolate and butter have melted together, remove the pan from the heat and stir gently. Add in the sugar and stir until the sugar has melted and combined with the butter/chocolate mixture.
Stir in the eggs and vanilla. Add in the cocoa powder and mix carefully, taking care to break up any lumps of dry cocoa powder that may remain. Trap any stubborn cocoa powder lumps between the wooden spoon and the side of the pan and make sure they are incorporated into the mixture.
Pour the batter into the cake pan and place in oven on center rack. Bake the cake at 300 degrees for 30 minutes. When you remove the pan from the oven, allow it to cool for ten minutes. Run a knife along the edge of the pan before turning it out on a cooling rack to finish cooling.
This cake is great served warm with fresh raspberries or sliced fresh strawberries. You can also make a lovely raspberry sauce to drizzle on top. If you want to make this dessert incredibly rich, top the cake with a chocolate ganache. A sprig of mint leaves is another charming garnish you may wish to consider.
Variations on Recipes for Flourless Chocolate Cake
Grand Marnier Flourless Chocolate Cake
Add a teaspoon of orange liqueur (Cointreau, Grand Marnier or Triple Sec all work wonderfully) to the recipe above for a marvelous orange and chocolate delicacy.
Mexican Flourless Chocolate Cake
Add ½ teaspoon of cinnamon, ½ teaspoon of finely minced chilies and a dash of cayenne pepper and you've got a delectable Mexican chocolate cake. Serve with a chocolate glaze and cinnamon-spiced homemade whipped cream.
French Flourless Chocolate Cake
The French make a flourless chocolate cake that uses whipped egg whites to add levity to the cake. The French do not use any cocoa powder, but instead use all baking chocolate, which can lend a stickier but less grainy texture to the end result.
Using the same methods listed above, try making this dark chocolate cake by melting seven ounces of baking chocolate (try bittersweet for extra potency) with ¾ cup butter in the double boiler. Combine one cup of sugar and four egg yolks much like the recipe listed above. Then whip the four egg whites until they form stiff peaks and fold in the egg whites. Pour into a pan and bake for 40 minutes at 350 degrees.
Scandinavian Flourless Chocolate Cake
Scandinavians make a version of flourless chocolate cake that looks and feels a little more like traditional cake because it is made with finely ground almonds and baking powder. Follow the directions for the French flourless cake, but add in a half cup of ground almonds and a teaspoon of baking powder just before you fold in the egg whites. Serve this cake with homemade whipped cream or with a scoop of vanilla ice cream.
Unusual Variations of Flourless Chocolate Cake
There are many variations of recipes available for flourless chocolate cake, so you may need to experiment with several recipes until you find the one that works for you. Some recipes use many eggs (up to ten in one recipe) or cups of heavy cream.
For those who are looking for gluten-free cake recipes but don't want a recipe as dense as the ones listed here, there are many cake recipes that involve using ground chickpeas or gluten-free grains (ground into flour) in place of flour in traditional chocolate cake recipes.
Like anything you bake, learning how to make a cake is part art and part science. The first step is choosing what kind of cake you want to make and then using the best quality ingredients you can find and measuring them carefully. Be sure to follow the recipe's instructions for mixing and soon you may find that when you make a cake, you're not only creating something tasty, but expressing your own creativity through baking.
You'd be hard-pressed to find a dessert that isn't made better by the addition of strawberries, and your family is sure to love either of these quick and easy cake recipes.