Flourless Chocolate Cake
Rachel SimpsonI have a separate folder in my recipe files for chocolate desserts: the chocolate torte with a gingersnap crust, triple chocolate biscotti with walnuts, the "Blue Ribbon" chocolate cookies with chocolate chips. These are recipes that have undergone extensive quality control and testing. By which I mean, we've eaten them and liked them, and eaten them again. I am pleased to add this flourless chocolate cake to my arsenal.
My brother-in-law and his 11-year-old daughter came to visit recently and I made it for his birthday celebration. Greg is a chocolate lover, like his father, and I wanted to make a birthday cake that would cement my place as the best cook in the family. Not that I need much help with that, but whatever.
"Oh my.... It's like mousse. Oh wow," he said.
Seriously. It's moist and rich and super chocolatey. My daughter Michaela called it the perfect combination of cake, pudding, and mousse. Her cousin Niko was pithier: "More please."
I surrounded it with fresh strawberries before bringing it to the table, and whipped a pint of heavy cream with a dash of vanilla and just a touch of sugar, which I put in a separate bowl for people to add themselves. With two giddy 11-year-old girls at the table, I new we'd go through most, if not all of it.
I used nice chocolate (Ghirardelli) for the cake, because I just like to-and because if there is any leftover it goes to the cook. I have now watched enough Top Chef to have picked up on the fact that it is about a million times easier to separate eggs by cracking them directly into your hand and letting the whites slide through your fingers into the bowl, so I did that -- seven times. Such a pro. Now, this cake has brandy in it -- I couldn't taste it when I served the cake, but after the tiny bit that was left had sat overnight, I could totally smell it -- and it didn't smell quite right. I think next time, if there is any question that it won't get eaten, I may leave it out.
For some unknown reason, my husband and his brother found it hilarious that there were seven eggs in the cake -- and I still have no idea why. I made the mistake of telling them that the cake was gluten-free, too (which meant I could eat it) and got to hear a lot of jokes along the lines of, "I like to pay for my gluten." I think they were as giddy as the girls. And I think it was the cake that did it.