Celebrating International Chocolate Day with Flourless Chocolate Cake
“Don't wreck a sublime chocolate experience by feeling guilty. Chocolate isn't like premarital sex. It will not make you pregnant. And it always feels good.” ― Lora Brody.
September 13th is International Chocolate Day and considering I can chocolates by bars and bars just sitting with a book, it was surely a day on which I had to post something and as luck would have had it some days ago I woke up with this intense desire to bake something (the desire actually started when I saw this Choco-Flan recipe that inverts the batter while baking and I had to had to understand the logic behind it, but more on that in the next post) and I was just sharing the desire with Swati on chat and she suggested lets both bake and somehow the discussion took a path where we decided we will both bake together and I packed my bags, some pans and trotted myself to Swati's house to inaugurate her brand new oven and bake some choco-flan and since Swati so desperately wanted to bake a chocolate flourless cake that too. There is something about baking with friends (infact something about doing anything with friends I would say) that pretty much nothing else can match up too, the excitement on the smallest thing turning out well, the fun of whipping, the joy of melting chocolate these are the things only a fellow baker can understand.
“The measuring and mixing always smoothed out her thinking processes - nothing was as calming as creaming butter - and when the kitchen was warm from the oven overheating and the smell of baking chocolate, she took final stock of where she'd been and where she was going. Everything was fine.”―Jennifer Crusie,_Maybe This Time
When I reached her place, I calmly mentioned that I think if we are baking a chocolate flourless cake we can't be baking it with Selbourne, we atleast need Lindt and if we have an Intense Orange Lindt (which BTW is my favourite a strong contender to Chilli surprise, but I think the orange wins) and guess what she shared the madness and we went out driving 10 kms to find one. YES WE ARE MAD but then madness is what makes life interesting.
We had both recently bought the Bourke Street Bakery - the ultimate baking companion and were wanting to try out some recipe from it and decided that the chocolate flourless cake from Bourke Street Bakery is the one that is gonna be tried. We sat and read the recipe, did Mis En Place, lined the baking tin, I think I was baking so methodically after ages. After baking so much I don't really pay attention to mis en place too much until I am trying something totally new (like I am dying to try my hands on the cronut) but it did feel good.
And the other thing I really enjoyed that day was taking pictures, I mean who else will understand my crazy desire to click step by step pictures but another food blogger.
We started by melting 260 gm of chocolate over a double boiler, the recipe says 55% cocoa but we used 70% cocoa for me darker the chocolate the better it is, I even eat 85% cocoa just like that and the consistency of Lindt was so beautiful that I swear I am never using Selbourne again but then I say that everytime I bake with Lindt.
While the chocolate was cooling, we did something that I hadn't used in baking before, it seemed similar to making buttermilk or rather paneer but not quite that too. So basically one boils milk and yoghurt together on medium heat till it turns into a curdled mixture and you use the whole thing later after it has cooled.
While the above mixture cools take eggs and sugar and whip them at medium speed till they are double in volume. This will take about 5 minutes or so. And did I tell you I fell in love with swati's hand mixer.
Now keep this separately and whip egg whites with a pinch of cream of tartar till you get soft peaks and then slowly add castor sugar and whip till its shiny.
Keep the egg whites in fridge and in the meanwhile whip some whipping cream till you get soft peaks and keep that in fridge too, now comes the time when everything gets folded and mixed together. The sequence is
1\. Curdled milk into chocolate and mix.
2\. Add cocoa.
3\. Fold in the whipped eggs.
4\. Fold in the meringue and whipped cream together.
5\. Fold 4 into the chocolate mixture.
Pour it in the line tin and bake for about 45 minutes till just set, I think we baked ours a tab more but nonetheless it was fabulous.
- Preheat the oven to 150C. Grease a 20 cm cake tin (if you have a springform please use that) and line the base and sides with baking paper - the paper should come about 2.5 cm above the tin.
- Put the chocolate in a large stainless steel bowl and set over a saucepan of simmering water, making sure the base of the bowl does not touch the water - the bowl must be large enough to hold the whole cake mix. Allow chocolate to sit over simmering water without stirring until almost melted. Remove from heat, mix until smooth.
- Put the milk and yoghurt in a saucepan over medium-high heat and bring to the boil.
- Put the eggs and the sugar for the eggs in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a whisk attachment. Whisk the eggs at medium speed for about 5 minutes, or until the mixture is very light and has doubled in volume. Set aside.
- In another very clean and dry bowl of an electric mixer, whisk the egg whites to soft peaks, then slowly add the sugar for the whites, whisking until soft peaks form a shinny meringue. Be careful not to overwhisk. Refrigerate until needed.
- Whisk the cream until soft peaks form.Refrigerate until needed.
- You should now separate bowls of melted chocolate, curdled milk, whipped eggs, meringue, whipped cream and cocoa powder. Pour the curdled milk into the chocolate and use a whisk to mix it in, then add the cocoa and whisk to completely incorporate.
- Fold in the whipped eggs in three batches, making sure you completely incorporate the first batch before adding more.
- Lightly fold the meringue into the whipped cream, taking care not to knock out too much air. Fold this into the chocolate mix in three batches, making sure you incorporate the first batch before adding more.
- Using a spatula, scoop the cake batter into the prepared tin and tap it twice gently on the bench to even out the mix. Bake for 1 hour till done.
- Do not disturb the cake for the first 45 minutes of cooking, after which time you should rotate it to ensure even cooking. You may need to cover the top of the cake with baking paper and lower the oven temperature if the top of the cake is starting to brown, but it didn't come to this for me. Test to see if the cake is baked by gently placing your hand on top of it and wobbling it a little, you should feel that the cake has set through. Remove from the oven the allow to cool for about 30 minutes in the tin before removing the sides. When completely cool, slide the cake onto a serving plate, to serve.
“There is nothing better than a friend, unless it is a friend with chocolate.”―Linda Grayson