Saturday, February 28, 2009
Flourless Chocolate Cake with Berries, Chocolate Bark and a Balsamic Glaze
It's hard for me to be anything else but pleased at the prospect of trying a new chocolate dessert. Even a little piece of bittersweet, dark, velvety chocolate can do wonders to one's mood and is an easy pick-me up on those days when everything is going wrong.
This month's Daring Bakers challenge was hosted by Wendy of WMPE's blog and Dharm of Dad ~ Baker & Chef. They chose a flourless chocolate Valentino cake by Chef Wan. The cake was very fast to make and gave me the chance to make two accompanying garnishes. I reduced some balsamic vinegar with a little sugar to obtain a thick glaze which works wonders with berries. I also made a paper thin chocolate bark by spreading a thin layer of melted chocolate on a plastic wrapped- baking sheet. I sprinkled the top with some chopped pistachios and let it harden in the freezer. You can then break the pieces into shards and decorate different dessert plates. So chocolate lovers beware, this combo may lead to a little too much indulgence!
Chocolate Valentino Cake, adapted from Chef Wan
16 ounces (1 pound) (454 grams) of semisweet chocolate, roughly chopped
½ cup (1 stick) plus 2 tablespoons (146 grams total) of unsalted butter
5 large eggs separated
Put chocolate and butter in a heatproof bowl and set over a pan of simmering water (the bottom of the bowl should not touch the water) and melt, stirring often.
While your chocolate butter mixture is cooling. Butter your pan and line with a parchment circle then butter the parchment.
Separate the egg yolks from the egg whites and put into two medium/large bowls.
Whip the egg whites in a medium/large grease free bowl until stiff peaks are formed (do not over-whip or the cake will be dry).
With the same beater beat the egg yolks together.
Add the egg yolks to the cooled chocolate.
Fold in 1/3 of the egg whites into the chocolate mixture and follow with remaining 2/3rds. Fold until no white remains without deflating the batter.
Pour batter into prepared pan, the batter should fill the pan 3/4 of the way full, and bake at 375F/190C
Bake for 25 minutes until an instant read thermometer reads 140F/60C.
Note – If you do not have an instant read thermometer, the top of the cake will look similar to a brownie and a cake tester will appear wet.
Cool cake on a rack for 10 minutes then unmold.