On a bi-monthly basis, we get a copy of the Urban St. Shore West magazine which features articles about local shops and happenings in West Michigan, particularly, our own city, Holland, MI. I always look forward to the magazine which can be found all over the shops in Holland. Every publication features a couple of really wonderful recipes from chefs, bakers or just wonderful cooks from the area. The magazine, thankfully, is also free and that's why I always get a copy! I also use it to keep track of the goings-on in our little town so that I am aware of any parades, shows, sales, announcements, etc. since I am always on the look-out for activities to bring my kids to.
For the Dec/Jan 2013 publication I chanced upon this lovely recipe for Flourless Cake from Chef Howard Norris. I have been on the look out for a good flourless recipes for awhile now since Mark began a gluten-free diet so that he can still enjoy some yummy treats without worrying if there's any gluten in it. So when I saw this and read that it was not difficult at all to do (and assumed that it must be good - it came from a local chef!) I thought, why not try it? I am so glad I did and there's no turning back from this recipe at all!
The first time I made it, I must admit I used baking chocolate albeit a very good quality one - Ghirardelli (60% cocoa). After I baked it and tasted it, I thought it just tasted like a very decadent and fudgy brownie (which is not at all an insult to the recipe for it tasted really good...just not what I expected) but when I left it overnight - something must have happened - the taste and texture improved dramatically and before I even got the chance to take some photos of the cake - it was gone - all gone! Can't really blame them or myself for eating it all too quick - it was so good!
So, I decided I need to do it again but this time with a proper chocolate bar - again using Ghirardelli (60 % cocoa) and oh I tell you - it was the probably the best flourless chocolate I ever had! This time I guarded the cake well and made sure I take some photos as proof of how yummylicious it looks - we eat with our eyes first, don't we? This time, I also made some Rasberry Coulis to go with it and of course to make the presentation complete - covered it with chocolate ganache and then placed a few raspberries on top! Wow, over the top delish! The cake is not very sweet - never really liked very sweet cakes anyway! - but it's pure chocolate goodness! Most of all, what a very easy recipe this truly is...anyone can do this, if I can, you sure can!
So here's the recipe - as is...the only adjustment I made is with regard to the Raspberry Coulis - I added a little more sugar since the cake wasn't very sweet. My only other contribution is the chocolate ganache - it's my own but feel free to make your own version. I only made it with two ingredients - chocolate and cream - didn't want to add any more flavoring and I think it really worked well with the cake - chocolate heaven, indeed!
4 oz fine quality bitter-sweet chocolate (not unsweetened)
1 stick (1/2 cup) unsalted butter
3/4 cup sugar (I used fine white baking sugar)
3 large eggs
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder; plus additional for sprinkling (if not frosting)
Preheat oven to 375F and spray an 8-inch round baking pan with Pam. Line bottom with a round of wax paper or parchment paper and coat with cooking spray. (I didn't do this but it probably helps in removing the cake, 'cause mine nearly broke but thankfully I frosted them so it didn't matter).
Chop chocolate into small pieces. In a double boiler or metal bowl set over a saucepan of barely simmering waterm melt chocolate with butter, stirring until smooth. Remove top of double boilers or bowl from the heat, and whisk sugar into chocolate mixture. Add eggs and whisk well. Sift 1/2 cocoa powder over chocolate mixture and whisk until combined.
Pour batter into the prepared pan and bake in the middle of the over for 25 minutes, or until top has formed a thin crust. Cool cake in a pan on a rack 5 minutes and invert onto a serving plate. Dust the cake with additional cocoa powder and serve or frost with ganache. (Cake keeps in an airtight container for one week - if you can manage to stay from it that long....I doubt it!) :-)
4 oz heavy whipping cream
4 oz bittersweet chocolate pieces (I used Ghirardelli again)
Place the heavy cream and chocolate in a small pan together. Melt the chocolate using low heat and by stirring until it becomes very smooth and shiny. Remove from the heat and spread it on the cake.
Begin by pouring the ganache onto the center of the cake. Slowly, tip the cake from side to side to allow the ganache to flow off the sides. Stop when you have covered the entire cake. Do not touch the ganache with any utensil or tool or even your finger, or it will not have a smooth finish.
Allow the ganache to fully set before serving.
In the meantime you can make a Rasberry Coulis to go with it.
1 pint fresh raspberries
1/3 cup sugar
1 Tbsp arrowroot (dissolve with 1 Tbsp water)
Puree the raspberries with sugar. Strain juice (to ensure there are no seeds getting into the sauce) into a sauce pan and bring into simmer. Thicken with the dissolved arrowroot. Allow to cool before use. See photo on how you can use the coulis.