Decadent Flourless Chocolate Cake (Made Four Ways)

24 Mar

What can I say? Who doesn’t love a good flourless chocolate cake. Well, me I guess. But I understand that most people really do love chocolate.

It is Hubby’s favorite food this time of year (really anytime of year).  This cake is rich, chocolatey, and dense. And since it’s flourless, it’s perfect for passover and the gluten intolerant. Best of all, it’s super easy to make and only has a few ingredients.

Chocolate

I’ve topped it several ways over the years, but this year I decided to test out several of them at once for a real taste test.  I made a simple dairy free ganache, a (dairy free) salted caramel, and a strawberry coulis.    I also dusted one cake with cocoa (for unadulterated chocolate flavor).  The winner?  It was hard to tell because they all received high praise; though not surprisingly, Hubby voted for the extra chocolate of the ganache.

flourlesschocolatecake

Makes four 4.5″ cakes or one 9″ cake

This year I shook things up a bit by swapping out processed sugar for agave in the cake – and it made no difference in taste or texture. Score!

Ingredients:
6 oz semisweet chocolate
6 oz margarine (2/3 cup – kosher for passover)
4 eggs, separated
273 g agave syrup (3/4 cup + 1 Tbsp)
80 g cocoa powder (1 cup)
2 tsp vanilla
pinch salt

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Spray four 4.5″ springform pans (or one 9″) with cooking spray and line bottom with a parchment paper cut to fit.  Set pans on a baking sheet.

In a small saucepan, whisk chocolate and margarine until melted. Remove from heat and scrape into a large bowl.  Whisk in egg yolks, vanilla, cocoa powder, and salt.  Pour in agave syrup and mix well.

Meanwhile, whip egg whites until thick and foamy.  Fold 1/3 of egg whites into chocolate mixture, until combined.  Repeat with remaining egg whites, making sure to fully incorporate each time.

Divide batter between pans and smooth tops with an offset spatula.  Bake 20-30 mins, until the top forms a crust, the edges start to pull away and a tester comes out mostly clean, with some batter and crumbs stuck to it.

Topping

To finish the cake you have a billion options. I tested out four of them.

Ganache
8 oz semisweet chocolate
8 oz unsweetened vanilla almond milk (or soymilk)

In a small saucepan, stir together ingredients until melted.  Using an offset spatula, spread ganache evenly over the top and sides of cake (or cakes).  Put in the refrigerator to set.

(This recipe makes enough for all four small cakes or one large. For one mini cake, just use 2 oz of each ingredient.)

Ganache

Salted Caramel
4 oz unsalted margarine (kosher for passover)
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup vanilla almond milk (or soy milk)
4 Tbsp light corn syrup
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp vanilla
kosher or sea salt for sprinkling

In a small saucepan fitted with a candy thermometer, whisk, margarine, sugar, soy milk, and corn syrup together until melted.  Then bring to boil and let heat until it reaches about 240 degrees (just over soft ball stage).  Remove from heat and stir.  Using an offset spatula, spread caramel over the top of the cake (s). Sprinkle with salt.

(This recipe makes enough for all four small cakes or one large. For one mini cake, cut the recipe in half – if you divide by four the level will be too low in the saucepan to use the thermometer.)

Strawberry Coulis
8 oz strawberries (if frozen, thawed)
2/3 cup dry white wine (Chenin Blanc is what I used)
6 Tbsp sugar
2 cloves
2 bay leafs
1 tsp arrowroot

Puree berries, wine, and sugar.  Pour into saucepan with spices and bring to a boil. Simmer for 3-4 minutes.  Whisk in arrowroot and stir until it starts to thicken, about 2 minutes.  Discard spices. Let cool a bit and pour over cake(s).

(Again, cut this in half for 1 small cake – use the extra for dipping or serving the cake!)

Cocoa
Dust the top of the cake with cocoa powder. If you are fancy, use a doily to create a pattern.

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