Monday, July 7, 2008

Double DB Challenge - Flourless Chocolate Cake!

I'm getting in a little late on the Double DB challenge for June - but I'm here, baby! It's not that this one was necessarily difficult, it was just that I had so little time (hence, it being over a month since my last post). :P That was due to the fact that I was out of town two different weekends and I started a new job (which pays more but is also more time-consuming), so it cut down on those precious large pieces of free time that I usually get after the weekly grind.

For Chriesi's and my June Double DB challenge, we took on a decadent delight that the Daring Bakers did in Feb. 2007 - flourless chocolate cake. *sigh*

Here is my adaptation of "Chocolate Intensity" from Tish Boyle's The Cake Book. I halved the original recipe and made mine in a little 6" pan. #1, because it would be cute, and #2 because we surely didn't need one of these big things!! Speaking of the original, be sure to check out the creation that resulted from Chriesi's work!


4 ounces bittersweet chocolate (preferably 62% cocoa), finely chopped
6 ounces (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, cut into pieces
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 tsp. espresso powder
1/4 cup Grand Marnier
3 large eggs
1 tsp vanilla powder
Pinch salt
2 tsp. (approx.) freshly grated orange zest

Preheat oven to 350ยบ F. Butter the bottom and sides of a 6-inch round cake pan. Line the bottom with a parchment round and butter the parchment. Place chopped chocolate in a large bowl. In a saucepan over medium-high heat, stir butter, sugar, espresso powder, and Grand Marnier until the butter is melted and mixture is boiling. Pour the hot mixture over your chopped chocolate. Let stand for 1 minute; then gently stir until chocolate is melted and the mixture is smooth.

In a medium bowl, whisk the eggs vigorously until blended. Whisk in the vanilla powder and salt. [Amy's note: I actually used salted butter *gasp* and omitted the salt - it was fine.] Slowly add about 1/3 cup of the hot chocolate mixture to the eggs, whisking constantly. (Tempering the eggs with a little bit of the hot chocolate mixture will prevent "scrambled eggs" when combining the two mixtures.) Add the egg mixture to the hot chocolate mixture and whisk to combine well. Whisk in orange zest. Strain the batter through a sieve (to catch any cooked egg bits and zest) and then pour batter into prepared pan.

Set cake pan in a large roasting pan and fill the pan with enough hot water to come halfway up the sides of the cake pan. [OK, my little pan kind of wanted to float, there!]

Bake for 35-45 minutes, until the center is shiny and set but still a bit jiggly. Transfer cake pan to a cooling rack and cool for 20 minutes.

Run a thin knife around the edge of the pan to loosen the cake. Place a cardboard round on top of the pan and invert the cake onto it. [I anticipated trouble removing the cake from the pan, but mine practically leapt out of the pan.] Remove pan and carefully remove the parchment paper. Refrigerate the cake for at least 2 hours before glazing with chocolate glaze*.

*Bittersweet Ganache
3 ounces bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
1/3 cup heavy whipping cream
1 tsp vanilla powder
1 tsp Grand Marnier

Place chopped chocolate in a medium bowl.In a small saucepan, bring the cream to a boil. Remove pan from heat and add the chopped chocolate.

Cream, chocolate, vanilla powder - and maybe a splash of Grand Marnier

Let stand for 1 minute then gently stir until chocolate is melted and the glaze is smooth.Gently stir in the vanilla and Grand Marnier *hic*. Transfer glaze to a small bowl and cover the surface of the glaze with plastic wrap [whatever, like I really did that...] and let cool for 5 minutes at room temperature before using .

To glaze the cake: Place the chilled cake, still on the cake round, on a wire rack set over a baking sheet. Slowly pour the hot glaze onto the center of the cake.

Oh ma GAH, that looks so luscious, no?

Smooth the glaze over the top and sides, letting the excess drip onto the baking sheet. [As you can see above, I just let it sit over a plate.] Scrape the extra glaze from the baking sheet and put it in a small ziploc bag. Seal the bag and cut a tiny hole in one of the bottom corners. Gently squeeze the bag over the top of the cake to drizzle the glaze in a decorative pattern. Grate a couple of teaspoons of orange zest over the cake. Refrigerate the cake at least one hour before serving.

New plate - not the one that caught the drippings

When I pulled the cake out of the oven, I was like, "Wha!" because it was standing about 1/2" over the top of the cake pan! I was going to take a quick picture of it, just in case it fell (which it did), but I couldn't find the dadgum camera. Hmph! It smelled awesome, but considering that I had made my July Double DB challenge the day BEFORE (more on that later!) it was kind of like, "Eh." Of course, it also could be that from licking the bowl I was satiated with cocoa, sugar, and the like. Nah.....

I took the cake to work with me the next day - naturally, this would also be the day that someone brought a big pan of cinnamon rolls (eh? wiseguy!) but I waited until after lunch and set it out by the microwave. Everyone took small pieces - it was extremely rich - and loved it! One of my coworkers said he wanted the recipe - so here you go, Tom! This was a fun challenge - I enjoyed making it but am equally glad that I halved the recipe, because I had just a little bit that I took home!


Leslie said...

mmmmm.CHOCOLATE! Looks like I could eat that whole cake!!!!
Thanks for the background on the looks like a truly beautiful place!

chriesi said...

Oh how cute! Lovely take on this challenge!

Anna Kline said...

i am yickin' my yips! YUM!!

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