flourless chocolate espresso cake …

Mum is hosting her quilting class tomorrow morning so tonight I made a cake for their morning tea. Oh how I have missed making sweet dishes! Too bad I couldn’t lick the spoon or taste the cake courtesy of my self-imposed ‘giving up all food that is sweet during Lent’. [So far so good. 24 days to go!]

This recipe is from Martha Stewart.

Ingredients
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, plus extra for cake pan
6 ounces bittersweet chocolate, preferably 70 percent cacao, chopped
6 large eggs, separated, room temperature
1 cup sugar, divided
3 tablespoons instant espresso powder
1/4 teaspoon coarse salt
1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
Chocolate Glaze

Method
1) Preheat oven to 180C (350F). Invert bottom of a 9-inch spring-form pan (so cake will slide easily onto serving plate) and line with a parchment round; butter parchment.
2) Melt butter and chocolate, stirring until smooth, in a bowl set over a saucepan of simmering water.

chocolate_butter_melting

At this point I was drooling. Remember, I’ve gone 22 days without chocolate …

3) Beat together egg yolks and 1/2 cup sugar with a mixer on medium-high speed until thick and pale, about 3 minutes.

I could not believe how thick the mixture became.

4) Add espresso powder and salt; beat until combined, about 1 minute.

(By the way, the chocolate + coffee combination is almost as good as the chocolate + peanut butter combination.)

5) Add vanilla and melted-chocolate mixture; beat about 1 minute more.

6) In another bowl, beat egg whites on medium-high speed until foamy. Increase speed to high; gradually add remaining 1/2 cup sugar, beating until stiff peaks form, about 5 minutes.

7) Fold into chocolate mixture in 3 batches.

8) Transfer batter to pan and bake until set, 40 to 45 minutes.

9) Let cake cool completely in pan on a wire rack. Remove side of pan; transfer cake to a serving plate. Serve glaze alongside cake.

I couldn’t taste test this cake so I took it over to mum’s and had her sample a tiny piece. The top of the cake cracked when I cut the first slice. I discovered later that it’s supposed to crack. A crunchy top and smooth underneath. Textures galore.

Mum liked it :) It’s very rich and moist. It’s like a fudgy brownie. However due to the bitterness of the chocolate the cake needs to be served with something sweet. I didn’t make the chocolate glaze so mum will serve the cake with cream.

(I went home to a house filled with the aroma of chocolate and coffee. Sigh.)

Don’t worry if the middle of the cake sinks a bit – it’s supposed to do that. It’s also supposed to be crumbly and dense. And your arm will get a good workout with all the beating and the folding.

This is an easy recipe to follow. I think this is one of the best gluten free chocolate cake recipes. I will have to make it again so that I can have a piece! Counting down the days until April 20 …

“Making an espresso is a performance that lasts ninety seconds and then you’re done. You go on to the next performance. You may get applause or you may get boos, and then you move on.” ~ James Freeman, The Blue Bottle Craft of Coffee: Growing, Roasting and Drinking, with Recipes.

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