21 January 2008

foodblog: almost-flourless chocolate cake

ok, the recipe. i got it from a wonderful blog, Orangette, which has re-inspired my recently-flagging desire to cook and learn and cook more. so all credit is to her and those she credits, but here is the pared-down just-recipe text:

gateau fondant au chocolat, or almost-flourless chocolate cake


ingredients

7 oz good dark chocolate (i used 3 oz 100% and 4 oz 60% of ghirardelli baking chocolate; it isn't valrhona, but it's not hershey's either)
7 oz. good butter (this means european/high-fat, and unsalted; i used plugra, others in this category are lurpak or i guess president)
1+1/3 cup white sugar
5 large eggs
1 tablespoon flour (can substitute good cocoa powder to make it gluten-free and to add depth to the chocolate flavor)


pre-prep

this is seriously the most complicated part of this recipe, i.e. everything else is a snap. you need an 8-inch round cake pan (usually this kind of pan has a straight vertical edge, not sloped like a pie crust) and parchment paper. the parchment will keep the cake from sticking to the bottom of the pan and allow it to slide out in one piece.

preheat the oven to 375 F. butter the pan. trace a pan-sized circle in the parchment with a knife, and put this circle of parchment in the bottom of the pan. then butter that paper circle, too.


prep-per-se

cut the butter into cubes and chop the chocolate small. melt them together in a bowl -- you can be fancy and do it in a double boiler on low heat, or not and do it in the microwave. either way, just make sure to stir frequently and don't burn it. add in the sugar, then the eggs one by one, then the flour, stirring well after each addition.


cookery

pour into the pan, bake at 375 degrees for 25 minutes or just a little less. take it out when the cake is barely jiggly, if at all, when you give it a shake. sit the whole thing on a rack and cool 10 minutes.


post-prep

this is the second-most complicated part. put a large piece of foil across the top of the pan; then put an upside-down plate on top of that. hold pan and plate snugly together and flip the whole thing, so that the cake plops (gently) out of the pan and is sitting upside-down on the now foil-lined plate. peel off the parchment paper if it's stuck; then take a second plate and do the flipping thing over again, except this time without the foil and be careful not to smush the cake between the two plates (can use a finger between them to make some space).


serve

orangette says to wait til it's cool or preferably til the next day, since age actually improves it; she even made them for her own wedding reception a week in advance, keeping them wrapped in the freezer til the day. anyway i and others have been nibbling at this since it came out of the oven until almost a week later, and it's been great at every stage.

it's good alone with a glass of milk, or with a dollop of heavy cream that's been whipped up with a small amount of sugar. barely sweet, mind. and though you can use a plain old fork for the entire recipe, don't bother trying it for the whipped cream. a whisk might work if you have patience, but since i expect my accompaniments to come together as easily as my main dish did, i would only bother if i had an electric beater.

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