Friday, March 31, 2017

Flourless Chocolate Torte

I almost didn’t get this recipe out to these pages. I just couldn’t schedule a photo shoot. Okay, so I don’t really do “photo shoots.” I slap something delicious on a plate and try to snap a few halfway decent pictures of it to gussy up my blogging. Whatever. I didn’t get it done until there were just two slim wedges of this decadent fudgy confection left.

This is really a simple way to produce a really great chocolate cake-type dessert. There are only 5 ingredients, and that includes the smidge of salt. Since there’s no flour in this (and so it’s gluten free, for those who need that!) or leaveners you have to beat a lot of eggs to a very thick and airy state, so they will hold up a rich chocolate-butter flavor base. I used my Kitchen Aid stand mixer and the balloon whisk attachment, but you could also use a hand mixer.

This torte bakes up dense and fudge-like, but not so dense that you feel like it has collapsed into a greasy mess. It’s more like a particularly fudgy brownie that still has some cake-like airiness. Kind of a wonderful chocolaty thing of its own. It’s sort of humble in appearance, but you can dress it up a bit with a dollop of whipped cream or ice cream (such as this one or this one or this one), or by simply dusting the top with cocoa or powdered sugar.

Since it’s made with bittersweet chocolate and not a lot of sugar, this dessert isn’t very sweet. The better the quality of the chocolate you use, the better this will be. I used good quality bittersweet chocolate chips and the results were wonderful. I think that if you take the time to chop some premium chocolate it could be even better.

Much of this recipe’s appeal is its simplicity, since you get so much dessert goodness with so few ingredients and without having to do anything especially tricky. That being said, I think it could be a starting point to which other flavors and textures could be added: perhaps some liqueur or instant espresso, or a swirl of raspberry jam, or walnuts, pecans or almonds. Bittersweet chocolaty goodness forever!

Flourless Bittersweet Chocolate Torte
Adapted from Food Network magazine

12 tablespoons (1 ½ sticks) unsalted butter, cut into pieces
12 ounces chopped bittersweet chocolate, or chocolate chips
6 large eggs
½ cup granulated sugar
1/8 teaspoon salt

1. Preheat oven to 350 F. Spray a 9-inch springform pan with cooking spray or grease it with butter.

2. In a double boiler, or in a heat-proof bowl set over a pot of simmering water, combine the chocolate and butter pieces. Heat, stirring frequently, until the chocolate and butter are melted and the mixture is very smooth. Remove from the heat and set aside to cool slightly while you work on the next step.

3. In the bowl of a heavy-duty stand mixer, combine the eggs, sugar and salt. Using the whisk attachment, beat at medium-high speed until the mixture is thick and pale yellow in color, about 8-10 minutes. (You could also use a hand mixer and a large bowl if you prefer.)

4. Using a rubber spatula or wooden spoon, stir about half of the chocolate mixture into the egg mixture until just combined, being careful not to deflate the mixture. Gently fold in the remaining chocolate. Again, avoid deflating the mixture.

5. Pour into the prepared springform pan, spreading evenly. Bake at 350 F for about 45-55 minutes, or until a wooden pick inserted in the center comes out with just a few crumbs attached, and no wet batter.

6. Cool completely on a wire rack before removing the outer ring of the pan. Cut into wedges to serve.

Makes about 10 servings.

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