Thursday, April 28, 2011

An Easy Chocolate Cake

 (one 8" cake)

A number of years ago a friend gave me this recipe. She referred to it as a "flourless" chocolate cake, which it isn't, as it does contain one tablespoon of the stuff. She couldn't remember exactly where she had gotten the recipe, but seemed to think it might have come from the New York Times.

In any case it's a very easy cake to make, so easy, I have never written down the ingredients until now. One pound of chocolate, 1 stick of butter, 4 large eggs, 1 tablespoon each of sugar and flour.

You can use semisweet chocolate if you prefer. I used bittersweet chocolate for both cake and frosting this time because I served it with a caramel sauce which was a tad on the sweet side.

It's dense, rich  and very chocolatey; an 8" cake is plenty  for 10 - 12 people.

Chocolate Cake
4 large eggs, room temperature
1 tablespoon sugar
1 lb bittersweet chocolate chips
1/2 cup unsalted butter (1 stick)
1 tablespoon flour

Prepare q springform pan by buttering the sides and bottom. Cut out a piece of parchment paper to fit in the bottom of the pan. Smooth it into place over the buttered bottom and then butter the top surface of the parchment as well. Sift a small amount of flour into the pan and tap it around, shaking out the excess when you are done. Set aside.

Preheat oven to 425°F.

Place the eggs into a bowl and add the sugar. Beat them on high speed for about 10 minutes or until they have tripled in volume and are light and fluffy. Add the flour and mix until well combined.

In the meantime place the chocolate and butter into a glass bowl. Melt them in the microwave by heating them for 20 sec at a time and checking on them. As soon as they begin to melt, stir them. When it looks like the chips won't melt any further, pop the bowl back into the microwave and zap for 10 seconds. Then remove the bowl and again stir until it looks like the chocolate won't melt any further. Continue doing this until the chocolate is completely melted.

If this is done carefully, the chocolate won't burn or overheat, and it will be finished well before the eggs are ready.

Fold about 1/3 of the egg mixture into the chocolate until it's well combined. Then carefully fold in the remaining egg mixture,  taking care to deflate the batter as little as possible.

Pour the chocolate batter into the prepard springform pan. Smooth out the top and bake in the centre of the oven for 15 minutes. Do not open the oven for a peek at anytime while the cake is baking.

Remove the cake after 15 minutes and set onto a cake rack. Leave it there for a couple hours until it's reached room temperature.

The cake will have pulled away from the sides of the pan. If it didn't, use a knife around the edges. Remove the rim of the pan and carefully invert the cake onto a plate. Pull away the parchment paper, and invert the cake again onto the serving platter, so that cake is upright again.

Decorate it with the chocolate frosting if desired.

Chocolate Frosting For Piping (Optional)
5 oz bittersweet chocolate chips
2/3 - 3/4 cup sour cream
chocolates for decorating (optional)

Melt the chocolate the same way as for the chocolate cake. Whisk in the sour cream (starting with 2/3 cup) making sure it's well combined, otherwise it might not behave when you try to decorate the cake. You might have to add a bit more sour cream for the right consistency.

Place the frosting into a piping bag fitted with a star tip. Decorate the cake as desired.

Caramel Sauce (Optional)
1 14 oz can sweetened condensed milk
1 1/2 cups heavy cream
2 tsp vanilla extract

Place the condensed milk and 1 cup of the cream into a saucepan. Bring the mixture to a boil over medium-low heat. Reduce the heat to low and simmer, stirring from time to time for about 25-35 minutes or until the mixture changes to a medium brown.

Whisk in the remaining 1/2 cup of cream and cook for another minute or two. Stir in the vanilla, remove from heat and allow to cool. I stirred it down a few times as it was cooling. If it's too thick after it cools whisk in a tablespoon or two of heavy cream or milk.

To Serve
whipped cream sweetened with a small amount of sugar and flavoured with a touch of vanilla.

All said and done this is a very rich dessert. Keep the cake slices on the thin side and serve with a bit of caramel sauce and a small dollop of whipped cream.

I usually make this cake the day it's served and don't refrigerate it as it seems to have an intense chocolate flavour at room temperature. It's still very tasty the next day, so if you are pressed for time on the day you need it, then make it the day before, but be sure to bring it back to room temperature before serving it.


Recipe Contests said...

I had to stop reading for a moment when i say "1 pound of chocolate"! This looks absolutely amazing! I'm not great with baking, but this looks like something I could definitely do. And the chocolates on top... it looks heavenly! Have you tried adding anything to this recipe? Strawberries could make this even more heavenly!
~Nancy Lewis~

Gerlinde in Washington said...

I have served this with both a pureed strawberry sauce as well as a raspberry sauce instead of the caramel sauce.

The fruit sauces make a wonderful contrast to the dark chocolate.

Carole said...

Genius idea to put the choccies on top. Cheers

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