Or more appropriately… How to give new life to an over-baked flourless chocolate cake.
The plan was to make a luscious flourless chocolate cake for one of my colleagues who recently accepted a new job in NY.
I pulled out this baby off the cookbook bookshelf, looked through the index and found the perfect recipe.
As I was reading through the recipe I discovered I would need a pair of 6-inch round cake pans which I didn’t have. (I usually bake my cakes using 9-inch rounds)
I continued reading and was relieved when I got to the “TIPS” section which noted the following: This recipe can be used to make a 17 1/4-by-11 1/2-by-1-inch cake. (Using a standard sheet pan) Perfect!
The recipe called for almond flour, which I didn’t have either. But, I did have ground almond meal and when reading the bag it said it could be interchanged for almond flour.
OK, moving on… I proceeded with the plan and began making the cake.
Flourless Chocolate Cake
adapted from The Fundamental Techniques of Classic Pastry Arts
Two 6-inch round cake pans or a 17 1/4 by 11 1/2 by 1 inch pan.
Heat-proof bowl to fit saucepan
standing electric mixer fitted with whip attachment
Butter and flour for pans
For the Batter
115 gr (4 ounces) unsalted butter, at room temperature
80 g (2 1/4 ounces) semisweet or bittersweet chocolate, chopped into small pieces
15 ml (1 tablespoon) borghetti espresso liquour (My contribution to the recipe)
80 g (2 1/4 ounces) almond flour
4 large egg yolks, at room temperature
For the French meringue
4 large egg whites, at room temperature
150 g (5 1/3 ounces) sugar
Prepare you mise en place.
Fill a saucepan large enough to allow your heat-proof bowl to fit snugly into it without touching the water with about 7.5 centimeters (3 inches) of water. Place over high heat and bring to a boil. Immediately remove the pan from the heat.
Combine the butter and chocolate in the heat-proof bowl and place the bowl into the pan, checking to make sure that the bottom is not resting in the hot water. Using a wooden spoon, stir to blend as the butter melts.
When the butter and chocolate have melted and the mixture is homogeneous, stir in the almond flour.
Remove the bowl. from the heat and set it aside.
Place the egg whites in the bowl of a standing electric mixer fitted with the whip attachment. Beat on low to aerate. Add the sugar, raise the speed to high, and beat for about 5 minutes, or until firm peaks form.
Using a rubber spatula, carefully fold the meringue into the chocolate batter.
Carefully pour the batter into the prepared pans, smoothing it into an even layer.
Bake the cakes for 20-30 minutes, or until a caketester inserted into the center comes out clean. The tester can be moist or shiny but it should have no crumbs attached.
Place the cake pans on wire racks to cool completely before unmolding. The cake will fall as it cools.
Serve as is, with crème chantilly
“The finished cake should be very moist, with a tight, dense crumb and a strong chocolate aroma and flavor.”
Hence, it SHOULD NOT look like the image below:
Coffee Syrup & Chocolate Ganache to the rescue!
1/2 cup water
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup brewed espresso
In a small sauce pan pour the brewed espresso, water and sugar and place over medium heat. Stir to combine, and remove from heat once sugar has dissolved.
Set aside and allow to cool slightly.
4 ounces bittersweet chocolate chips
4 ounces semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 cup heavy cream
Place chocolate chips in a medium heatproof bowl.
Pour heavy cream into a small saucepan and bring to a boil.
Carefully pour cream over chocolate let it rest a few seconds then begin to stir until all the chocolate has melted, and has a glossy finish.
Set aside to cool until it becomes thick enough to spread.
Once the cake has cooled place on a large cutting board, and cut into six equal sized rectangles.
Take your sheet pan and place it upsidedown. Place a sheet of parchment paper over it.
Carefully take your first later of cake and place it on the parchment paper.
With a pastry brush the coffee syrup over the cake and let it absorb for a minute.
Apply a thin layer of the chocolate ganache over the cake with an angled spatula.
Repeat with the remaining cake rectangles.
Top with the remaining ganache.
I should have checked the cake much sooner since the layer was so thin compared to what it would have been in the round cake pans.
You can always “artificially” moisten a dried out cake.
Chocolate Ganache is a lifesaver.