Thursday, February 7, 2013

Flourless Chocolate Cake

My boss who normally works in Chicago came to Pierre to visit us in our office this week, and she brought one of our other co-workers with her. We had started talking about food and we found out that our co-worker can't eat gluten or milk. After talking about what kind of food she had to avoid, she mentioned that he hadn't had a flourless cake in a long time. So, I told her that I'd make her one.

This was my only my second time venturing into the world of flourless baking (the first was the Flourless Peanut Butter Cookies), so needless to say, it was an adventure. I actually ended up making two cakes with different recipes. The first one wasn't appealing at all. I ended up needing to cook it for way to long to get the center done (the first couple of toothpicks I stuck in the middle came out looking like they were covered in chocolate pudding). By the time the toothpick came out clean, the sides and bottom of the cake were burnt to a crisp. So, I threw that one away and started hunting for a different recipe.

This cake (as with most flourless cakes I'm told) turned out to have a consistency more like brownies than cake and slightly rich. I liked that the strawberries added a nice tartness to the rich flavor of the chocolate. All in all, I feel it turned out great. If I meet anyone else who has a gluten allergy, I'd be more than willing to make this again.

Here's how to make it:

- 6 oz semisweet chocolate, chopped
- 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 3 large eggs
- 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1 tsp vanilla

- 2 oz semisweet chocolate, chopped
- 1 1/2 Tbsp unsalted butter
- 1 1/2 tsp milk (I used Coffee Mate original creamer because my co-worker can't have milk)
- 1 1/2 tsp agave syrup (You could substitute honey)
- 1/8 tsp vanilla

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
2. Grease a 7-inch spring-form pan and line the bottom with parchment paper and grease the paper.
3. To make the cake, melt the chocolate and butter in a double boiler over medium heat. (If you don't have a double boiler, use a metal or glass bowl on top of another pot with some water in it. Make sure the bowl doesn't touch the water.)
4. Add in the vanilla, salt, and sugar and reduce the heat to low.
5. When the sugar starts to dissolve, remove it from the heat.
6. Add the eggs one at a time, whisking thoroughly after each one.
7. Add the cocoa powder and whisk until the batter is smooth.
8. Pour the batter into the pan and bake in the oven until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out mostly clean. About 30 minutes.
9. Cool the pan on a wire rack for 20 minutes then invert the cake on a plate.
10. To make the glaze, melt the chocolate and butter in a double boiler.
11. When melted, remove the pan from the heat and add the milk, agave syrup, and vanilla. whisk until smooth and glossy.
12. Pour the glaze onto the center of the cake and spread it around with a rubber spatula.
13. (Optional) Top the cake with your favorite fruit or maybe some whipped cream.