Lucky me to have a friend who gives tours of Mexico and always brings me back criollo (criollo is the rarest and most expensive chocolate in the world) chocolate, from Tabasco and kilos of Mayordomo 100% pure cacao from Oaxaca. Thank you, Alejandra! You will all get a chance to meet Alejandra in the near future, because Alejandra and I are teaming up to offer you luxurious and adventurous chocolate tours later this year.
So, what have I been doing with these kilos of chocolate you wonder? This time I decided to use some of it to make a bittersweet flourless chocolate cake and serve it with a chai whipped cream to my dear friends, Sarah and Rafa, along with my family. Sarah and Rafa are both astute chocophiles and I promised them they wouldn’t be disappointed. When they arrived, I wasn’t quite finished taking the photographs of the cake, so they had to sit by and patiently wait. To my surprise, this ended up being fun for them. Sarah later expressed how much she enjoyed watching the hustle and bustle as I tried to keep my two year old from reaching for a handful of the cake, and get a nice photograph of it at the same time. The cake isn’t the prettiest looking cake. It is an 8-inch round, only about 1 1/2 inches tall, but dense and chocolatey. Sarah’s reaction as she took her first bite – “This is ridiculously yummy,” she exclaimed. We enjoyed our cake sitting in the garden next to the blooming white azalea bush I captured in the featured photo. I received no less than 3 thank you emails from her that evening. That made my day.
Flourless Chocolate Cake With Chai Whipped Cream
Yields 8 servings
8 oz. semisweet chocolate OR 8 oz. bittersweet chocolate OR 8 oz. unsweetened chocolate plus 8 T sugar
8 T (1 stick) unsalted butter
4 cold organic eggs, separated, careful not to get any of the yolk in the whites
1 t instant coffee, dissolved in 2 t water
1 t pure vanilla extract
¼ t cream of tartar or 1 T lemon juice
¼ cup granulated sugar
1 T butter
1 T flour
Chai Whipped Cream Ingredients:
1-½ cups whipping cream
2 T powdered sugar, sifted
1-1/2 T Original Oregon Chai mix
1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Place an 8-inch springform pan on a sheet of parchment paper and draw a circle around the circumference of the pan. Cut the circle out. Place the parchment circle in the springform pan and butter the pan. Add 1 T flour and tap out any excess.
2. Melt the chocolate and butter in a heatproof glass bowl, as well as the 8 T of sugar, if using unsweetened sugar as I did in a double boiler. Reserve the 1/3 cup of sugar until later. Set aside chocolate and butter mixture to cool slightly, about 5 minutes.
3. In a separate small bowl, combine the 4 egg yolks, dissolved coffee and vanilla extract and whisk until just blended. Combine this yolk mixture with the chocolate mixture whisk until well blended.
4. In a very clean, large glass bowl beat the 4 egg whites on medium-high and add the cream of tartar or lemon juice and beat until soft peaks form. This should take about 3 minutes. Beat another minute while slowly adding the 1/3 cup of granulated sugar. Then beat 1 more minute. The whites should be stiff. Using a rubber spatula, gently fold the egg whites into the chocolate mixture in 3 different batches until no white streaks remain.
5. Pour the cake batter into the prepared springform pan and smooth the top. Bake in the oven on a center rack for about 20 minutes. The cake is done when a knife inserted comes out clean. Transfer to a wire rack and let cool for at least 1 hour. Run a knife along the edge of the pan to loosen the cake and then release the sides of the springform pan and lift off. Use a spatula to separate the cake from the bottom and lift off the parchment paper.
6. In a clean glass bowl, whip the whipping cream until it starts to form peaks and add the chai and powdered sugar. Continue to whip until soft peaks form. Do not over whip or it will turn into butter.
7. Serve with a dollop of chai-spiced whipped cream.
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