Behind the camouflage is this month’s Daring Bakers Challenge – flourless chocolate cake. I needed to put a batch of fondant to some use (I made the fondant earlier for another project that was cancelled). So, I turned the cake into a box full of chocolate. First, I spread the cake with a thin layer of strawberry jam, covered it with sour cream ganache, and then decorated with the fondant. By all means, don’t get me wrong – I’ve never believed that the fondant is a tasty addition. It’s always been considered as a pretty and quite effective storing container (way more air-tight than a cake dome). The fondant was peeled off later and never eaten.
As for the cake, it was good; not great, not the best one I’ve had, but definitely – pretty good. I think, the cake would benefit from more delicate water-bath baking.
The optional part of this challenge was an ice cream to accompany the cake. And I did make a frozen dessert (not exactly the ice cream) to go with the cake. It was roasted strawberry and thyme sherbet. But I have to apologize here, since I’m not posting this recipe now. I’ll do it within a couple of days.
Makes one 8-inch cake, about 16 servings.
For the cake:
- 12 oz semisweet chocolate, roughly chopped
- 1 stick (113 g) unsalted butter
- 4 large room-temperature eggs, separated
Make the cake:
Center an oven rack and preheat the oven to 375F. Generously butter an 8-inch round springform pan with tall sides (2 ½ – 3-inch deep). Line the bottom of the pan with a circle of parchment paper. Dust with flour, knocking out the excess. Butter the parchment. Set aside.
Place the chocolate and butter in a large heatproof bowl. Bring 1 inch of water to a simmer in a wide skillet. Turn the burner, then set the bowl of chocolate in the hot water. Stir constantly until the chocolate and butter are melted and the mixture is smooth.
In a large, grease-free bowl whip the egg whites until stiff peaks form. But don’t overwhip or the cake will be dry.
With the same beaters beat the egg yolks together. Whisk the yolks into the chocolate mixture. Delicately fold 1/3 of the whipped egg whites into the chocolate mixture, then fold in the rest of the whites.
Pour the batter into the prepared springform pan. Smooth the top. Place the pan onto a cookie sheet or large baking pan and slide into the oven. Bake the cake for 20 minutes or until an instant read thermometer reads 140F. At this point the cake will appear quite loose, only about 1-inch border near the side of the pan will look set. Remove the cake from the oven and cool on a rack before unmolding.
The cake can be made a week in advance and kept, covered, in the refrigerator.
Serve at room temperature.