Monday, April 14, 2008

Light as good air

Family dinner is an unbreakable commitment in our home. But Sunday supper is a celebration of having the day together and the time to make a meal among ourselves really special. For this reason, I labor over the Sunday dishes a bit more than any other and I am willing to tolerate many more steps and a good deal more difficulty to get to a great thing than I might be inclined to on other days.

I have a recipe for a torte that is more a cloud-like one layer cake than a torte. I believe if a recipe is going to own real estate in my life, it will have to earn it's keep and be versatile, we are, after all, a Navy family, and everything that has to move, has to be scrutinized. This one came through, providing a secondary star and maybe a universe more if only I have the time in this short life to get it there. One day I will tell you about the walnut torte which preceded this no-fuss wonder of a cake.

But today, as my husband and I sit quietly after lunch contemplating subsistence planting and we are each eating our respective third pieces in two days, there is only space to share one of these painless spectacular cakes with you. Now you will have in your arsenal a cake with so little to offend (no butter, no flour) and so much rich chocolately-ness to lend, you will never be sorry for eating cake again (mostly). And I am pleased to have been an agent of chocolate-cake advancement: Truly bad for your waist line no more.

Butterless and Flourless Airy Chocolate Cake
Jacksonville, 2008
Serves 8-12 depending on portion size

This cake will rise to twice it's finished size while baking. It will implode as it cools which is perfect, because it allows you to top it, filling the cavern, with the espresso cream provided below.

You may find it easiest to use a hand mixer, simply washing the beaters between beating the yolk mixture and the egg white mixture. I used the stand mixture simply transferring the yolk mixture to a mixing bowl, washing and drying completely the beater and bowl, and then beating the whites.

4 ounces semi-sweet chocolate, chips or squares
2 ounces unsweetened chocolate
3 tablespoons water
6 eggs, separated and at room temperature
2/3 cup sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon cocoa powder

Espresso Cream:
1 cup whipping or heavy cream
2 tablespoons confectioners sugar
1 teaspoon instant espresso powder
Preheat the oven to 350. Butter a 10" springform pan generously.

In a small saucepan over medium heat, melt the chocolates with the water, stir until smooth and chocolate is completely melted. Set aside to cool to room temperature.

In a large bowl, beat egg yolks, sugar, and salt. until very thick and pale in color (see intro photo and attached), 6-8 minutes. Folded in the chocolate mixture until completely combined.

In another bowl, or as mentioned in my comments above, beat whites until they hold soft peaks.Fold 1/3 of the whites into the chocolate mixture then fold in the remaining whites very gently until completely and evenly combined.

Pour batter into the buttered pan, bake 30-35 minutes until still set but still moist in the middle (looks down but does not bounce all the way back to your touch). Allow to cool 1 hour before lifting away the spring form from the base.


Beat whipping cream until it begins to hold very soft shapes, add espresso powder (sifting in if clumped at all) and confectioners sugar. Fill the center of the cooled cake with the cream and dust with cocoa powder if you wish.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

just superb. keep it up. JJM Napa valley, CA