Indulgent, moist and rich but in the same time soft, airy and melt-in-your-mouth.
Here is our version of flourless chocolate cake. Few extra ingredients and firm meringue transform this simple cake into a real feast for chocolate lovers. Thanks to combination of crème fraîche, olive oil and butter the crumb stays moist, light and soft. Forget heavy, dense and sticky flourless chocolate cakes. This little number will set into light and airy, soft chocolate heaven.
The cake happens to be gluten free.
For a good bake:
Use good quality chocolate. We are using Lindt in this bake.
Combination of crème fraîche, butter and olive oil brings out richness of chocolate. It also contributes to soft, moist and light crumb. We are not fans of flourless chocolate cakes which set into pasty and sticky mass after 5 minutes of glory straight after baking. So - a mix of these 3 ingredients prevents just that, adding extra moisture and bringing out soft richness of chocolate.
Coffee - used here to intensify chocolate flavour.
Dutch Cocoa - alkalised cocoa - why it’s worth to use it in chocolate bakes? In Dutch Cocoa the beans have been washed in alkaline solution which makes them less acidic, mellow in flavour, darker. Dutch Cocoa will also dissolve easier into liquid. All this makes it a great addition if you like fudgy/dark/rich chocolate cakes.
Baking soda - knocks back some of the acidity but also enhances soft crumb. We are using tiny amount here (1/5 tsp).
Whipped egg whites (meringue) - texture here relies on this step. To get the most out of this bake - beat egg whites until firm and glossy meringue forms. Mix sugar with light brown sugar. Place egg whites in a clean and dry bowl (make sure the bowl is not greasy - even small amount of grease will prevent egg whites from achieving the texture). Beat egg whites on low-medium speed for about 2 minutes, then start adding sugar - 1 Tbsp at a time. It will take you about 10-12 minutes to incorporate the sugar fully. Meringue will be firm, stiff, glossy. You shouldn’t feel any sugar residue in texture. The final mixture should be stiff - you will be placing fully cooled chocolate mixture on it. The chocolate will stay on top, held by firm meringue. If that’s the way it looks - you can give yourself a pat on the back.
Gently fold in cooled chocolate mixture into the meringue, trying to keep as much volume as possible. Then add Dutch Cocoa sifted with baking soda and gently fold in.
Baking at higher temperature forms lovely texture. This cake will bake for about 30 minutes (15 min at higher temperature, then 15 min at slightly lower temperature).
Cooling - cool the cake for 15 minutes in the oven (oven door open ajar). The cake will deflate by some 2-3cm when cooling. When done - remove from the oven and run thin knife around the edges.
Storage - keep your flourless chocolate cake refrigerated and loosely covered for up to 5 days. Bring to room temperature before serving. This cake is enjoyable warm or cooled - it sets into moist, light, melt-in-your-mouth chocolate feast.
Flourless Chocolate Cake Recipe
Yield: 12 servings
Time: 25min prep + 30min baking (+15min cooling)
Tin: 23cm round tin
100g unsalted butter
100g dark chocolate (70% cocoa or more)
100g milk chocolate (at least 30% cocoa)
250g crème fraîche
1 Tbsp instant coffee powder or granules
2/3 tsp coarse sea salt
2 Tbsps (30ml) canola or sunflower oil, or light olive oil
6 (360g) large eggs, room temperature, separated
225g sugar or caster sugar
75g light brown sugar
60g Dutch Cocoa
1/5 tsp baking soda
Preheat the oven to 220C (200C fan forced). Line bottom of the baking tin with parchment paper, brush bottom and sides of the tin with butter.
Prepare chocolate mixture: In a small pot (or over a water bath) melt butter, chocolates, mix in crème fraîche, coffee powder, coarse sea salt and oil/or olive oil. Mix until smooth, set aside to cool down. When lukewarm - add egg yolks and mix until combined, set aside to cool down fully.
Whip up fluffy cake base: Mix light brown sugar with caster sugar. Place egg whites in a bowl of a stand mixer (or use handheld mixer). Beat egg whites for 1-2 minutes until fluffy. Start adding sugar - 1 Tbsp at a time. It will take you 10-12 minutes, mixing on high speed, to incorporate the sugar fully. It should form stiff and glossy meringue.
Combine: Place cooled chocolate mixture on top of glossy meringue (meringue should be so firm that the chocolate mixture will stay on top) and mix only until combined. Try to keep as much volume as possible. Mix Dutch Cocoa with baking soda, add to the rest of ingredients and gently fold in. Pour the cake batter into the baking tin.
Bake: Place the tin in the oven and reduce the temperature to 200C (180C fan forced), bake for 15 minutes then reduce the temperature to 180C (160C fan forced) and bake for another 15 minutes. When done, switch off the oven, open ajar oven door and cool in warm oven for 15 minutes. When ready, remove from the oven, run thin knife around the edges of the tin. Enjoy warm or cooled.
Store your flourless chocolate cake refrigerated, loosely covered, for up to 5 days. Leave at room temperature for 45 minutes before serving. This cake tastes best at room temperature and gets even better on day 2 onwards. It will remain soft, delicate, packed with chocolate flavour and with melt-in-your-mouth crumb.
Jazz it up:
Barley malt extract - if you have it at hand, you may opt to add 1 generous Tablespoon to chocolate mixture, to further bring out rich chocolate flavour.