One of my absolute favorite cake cookbooks of all times has got to be Rose Levy Beranbaum’s The Cake Bible. I wish I was related to Rose so that I could cook with her,plus I love the last name Beranbaum! I made The Cake Bible’s Chocolate Oblivion Truffle Torte recipe for my husband’s first birthday celebration together (back then he was my boyfriend…wow how time flies!) I have played around with it a bit since then,added a bunch of different things like liquor (Sabra orange chocolate liquor),raspberry preserves,and this time crushed peppermint as a garnish for the holidays. Every time it is delicious. This is my go to chocolate flourless cake (perfect for Pesach / Passover,for people with gluten or wheat allergies,or simply anyone who loves chocolate which is the category I fall under!).
This flourless chocolate cake needs to be baked in a water bath,so locate a pan that fits inside of another oven safe container. I am usually creative in this area. When you live in Manhattan and don’t have loads of kitchen cabinets and space,you have to improvise! My spring form pan (which would be ideal) is a 10″round pan and won’t fit in any of my other pans. So I used an 8″round pan and a large disposable aluminum roasting pan (which can be bent and shaped a bit to fit my 8″round pan) for the water bath. Cut a piece of parchment paper or wax paper to the fit into the bottom of your pan and grease it well. Also,grease the sides of the pan well. This is very important,especially if you aren’t using a spring form pan,because you will need to unmold it from the pan.
Melt 1 cup of unsalted butter with 1 pound of bittersweet chocolate in a double boiler. I used Trader Joe’s big block of dark chocolate this time. Berenbaum loves Lindt Courante and Tobler extra bittersweet. Sharffen Berger also makes a great dark chocolate. But the Trader Joe’s chocolate is definitely not bad! I did not have a double boiler this time…remember,small Manhattan kitchen syndrome! So I melted the butter and the chopped up chocolate chunks in a bowl that I held over a pot of hot water (stirring every minute or so). You could also attempt to melt the chocolate and butter in the microwave (stirring every 15 seconds so it won’t burn),but this tends to scare me.
Here the chocolate is beginning to melt. Once there are just a couple little chunks of chocolate,you can remove it from the heat and continue to stir,the little pieces will melt.
And here is a delicious bowl of melted chocolate. You can add liquor or raspberry preserves at this point. I added a few drops of peppermint extract for the Christmas / holiday season.
Break 6 large eggs into a separate bowl. Hold the bowl over simmering water,constantly stirring until the eggs are slightly warm.
Whip the eggs with a wire whisk until soft peaks form and the volume triples. You can use a hand mixer if you prefer,but then you should beat them over the warm water for about 5 minutes,and then continue to beat the eggs while they cool.
Fold the eggs into the chocolate bowl until just incorporated. Do not overmix. Make sure you fold the eggs into the chocolate and not vice-versa,or the texture will not be as nice.
Pour the flourless chocolate batter into your greased round pan. Place your round pan into a water bath and bake for 5 minutes at 425 degrees.
Remove the cake and water bath from the oven,and cover the pan with a greased piece of aluminum foil. Bake for 10 more minutes.
The cake will look a bit soft and shiny on top still (like this),but do not worry,it will set as it cools over the next 45 minutes. After it has cooled off,you should put it into the fridge for a few hours so that it becomes firm and is easier to remove from the pan. If you have trouble removing it from the pan after it has been in the fridge,then hold the pan over hot water for a minute or so,so that the sides will soften a bit.
The top of the cake can be decorated as little (just a light dusting of powdered sugar) or as elaborately (with raspberries,chocolate curls,or crushed peppermint sticks) as you like. To go with the holiday theme and peppermint flavor,I decided to crush some peppermints and sprinkle them on top. I took a few peppermints and put them in a bag:
Then,my fabulous sister smashed them with a hammer over a piece of cardboard (to protect the floor)!
The peppermint pieces were then sprinkled on top and voila…the most delicious peppermint chocolate flourless cake!:
I brought this on dessert platter with my Butter Bars to a Christmas party,and even people who do not like desserts or sweets went crazy for them! They were the first desserts to go 🙂