Chocolate Truffle Cake – aka Flourless Chocolate Cake
This versatile flourless chocolate cake, covered with a dark chocolate glaze, has many things going for it besides its intense chocolate flavor. Once baked, it can be refrigerated for a few days or frozen for several weeks. No gold powder? No problem; this dessert is dramatic enough without it. You do, however, have to start making the cake a day ahead of serving it. A little lightly sweetened whipped cream on the side cuts the richness of the cake. The gold powder can be ordered from Beryl’s or other well-stocked cake decorating stores. While this cake sounds extra fancy – and it looks it – it is surprisingly easy to make.
Makes 1, 8-inch cake
8-inch cardboard round
Half batch of Dark Chocolate Ganache
6 large eggs, at room temperature
1 pound semisweet chocolate, finely chopped
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature, cut into pieces
Edible gold powder
Small artist’s brush
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Coat the inside of one 8-inch by 2-inch round cake pan with nonstick spray, line bottom with parchment heart, then spray parchment.
Place the whole eggs, in their shells, in a bowl filled with hot tap water for 5 minutes. Warming the eggs ensures maximum volume when they are whipped.
Melt the chocolate and butter in double boiler or microwave. Stir until smooth, then cool slightly.
Meanwhile, crack whole eggs into bowl and beat with mixer on high speed until tripled in volume, pale yellow and thick enough to form a ribbon.
Add about 1/4 of the egg mixture to the cooled chocolate. Gently combine by hand, using a whisk. It’s OK if streaks of egg remain. Add remaining eggs and fold in, first using the whisk, then finishing with a large rubber spatula. The batter will deflate a bit, but try to retain as much volume as possible. The mixture will look like chocolate mousse. Scrape batter into pan and level with a small offset spatula.
Place the pan in a larger pan filled with 1” hot water. Bake for about 16 to 18 minutes. The surface will look dull. If you tilt the heart shaped pan slightly, the edges will come away from the sides of the pan. Both of those visuals are important and the only way to really tell that it is done. It will still be very soft, like a pudding. Don’t fret. Cool pan completely on rack. Wrap with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight. (Cake may be frozen at this point up to 1 week; if made without berries it may be frozen for 1 month. Defrost in refrigerator overnight).
For unmolding: unwrap pan, flip it over (the cake will not fall out) and allow hot tap water to run all over the bottom of the pan. The warmth from the water should loosen the cake from the sides and bottom of the pan. Warm a spatula under hot water and blot dry. Run the spatula around the sides of the cake. Apply pressure out towards the pan, not in towards the cake, or you might accidentally shave off some of the cake’s side. Place the cardboard on top of the cake. Flip the cake over so that you looping your fingers down around the cardboard, holding it into place. Very firmly shake the pan back and forth; you are trying to get the cake to release its surface tension with the pan. You should feel the cake begin to slip out. If it doesn’t, repeat the warm water and jiggling steps. When it starts to slide down and out of the pan, lower the cake to the table and gently lift off the pan completely. Peel off the parchment. Cake is ready to glaze.
Place cake on rack set over a clean pan. Pour glaze on top and gently spread it evenly and towards edges and allow to drip down sides. Use a small icing spatula to spread it over edges. Any excess that drips onto pan can be re-used. Place cake on display plate and refrigerate at least 1 hour or until glaze is set.
Place about 1/2 teaspoon gold powder in a small bowl. Add vodka a drop at a time and stir with brush until it is of paint consistency. “Paint” greetings or free-form shapes on top of chilled glaze. Cake may be served immediately or refrigerated up to 3 days in covered container. Serve slices of cake cold; it is best sliced with a thin bladed knife dipped in hot water between cuts.