My friend was talking about this flourless chocolate cake she had by Awfully Chocolate, and we were suddenly inspired to make our own to try. I’ve had variations of it before and had seen recipes online, but have never analyzed it properly. Flourless chocolate cakes could either be chocolate ganache based, or leavened with whipped egg yolks and meringue, to give it a light texture. The end result would puff-out, then deflate, forming a crust, on top of warm soufflé like chocolate cake, and that was the result I aimed to achieve.
I went with this recipe from Serious Eats. They flavored it with orange zest (I went with Grand Marnier though), and used a good quality 85% dark chocolate. Quality matters a lot for this recipe as there are so few ingredients, we really want the chocolate to shine through. Don’t forget salt as well, and do not overbake the cake.
We really enjoyed the final result – it was surprisingly light that we went for seconds – that’s usually a good sign for chocolate cake in Asia 🙂 My friends here tend not to go for things that are too overly heavy and may stop at one if its too heavy. But for this one, the texture was interesting enough, flavor chocolately and light as it tasted like eating a cloud almost, and was quite addicting to enjoy together.
|Flourless Chocolate Cloud Cake adapted from Food52’s Richard Sax
8 ounces (225g) best-quality bittersweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
|To make Flourless Chocolate Cloud Cake:
To make the cake, heat the oven to 350°F (175°C), with a rack in the center. Line the bottom of a 9-inch (23cm) springform pan with parchment paper
Melt the chocolate in a heatproof bowl over a double boiler. When it’s melted, remove the bowl from the heat and whisk in the butter until smooth.
In two small bowls, separate 4 of the eggs. In a large bowl, whisk 2 whole eggs and the 4 egg yolks with 50 g of the sugar just until combined. Slowly whisk in the warm chocolate mixture. Whisk in the Cognac and the orange zest.
Using a handheld mixer in a separate bowl, beat the 4 egg whites until foamy, about 2 minutes. Gradually add the remaining 70g sugar and beat until beautifully glossy, soft peaks form that hold their shape but aren’t quite stiff, about 5 minutes more. Very gently fold about a quarter of the beaten egg whites into the chocolate mixture to lighten it, then gently fold in the remaining whites. Scrape the batter into the pan and smooth the top.
Set the pan on a rimmed baking sheet and bake until the top is puffed and cracked and the center is no longer wobbly, 35 to 40 minutes. Be careful not to bake the cake beyond this point.
Let the cake cool in the pan on a rack. The center of the cake will sink as it cools, forming a sort of crater—this is good! Let the cake cool completely on a rack. Run the tip of a knife around the edge of the cake, carefully remove the sides of the pan, and cut into wedges to serve.