1.27.2011

A Diet Breaker


OK, so you're going to be mad at me.  First I post two weeks of fattening Super Bowl snacks and then follow it up today with a chocolate cake. Don't remind me, I
 know. We're all watching our diets, trying to eat healthier in 2011. And to top it all off, I don't even like chocolate all that much...one of life's lucky little breaks. I'm not going to say I never eat chocolate, I do. But I don't crave it, unlike a cousin I had who was allergic to it; at Christmas and Easter when we were children, my mother used to hide a box of Sander's chocolate (the only kind to eat back in the old days if you lived in the Detroit area) under the lid of our baby grand piano thinking my cousin wouldn't find it (not the greatest hiding place, Mom), but Marci's nose knew right where to go and she ate it until she got sick, poor thing. Every. Single. Year. Talk about addictions; she was the worst chocolate fanatic I ever knew. Well, maybe one other, my friend Polly.

In the 70's my friend Nancy introduced me to See's. She wouldn't eat any other kind. Even my father used to keep one of those huge Hershey bars in the fridge and every evening he would break off a piece. 
How about you? Do you have some stashed? Do you sneak it? Eat it in bed? Hide it so your family doesn't find it? Fess up, people. Tell me your chocolate secrets!

Anyway, just about everyone I know loves chocolate anything and besides, Valentine's Day is around the corner and everyone knows about the connection between chocolate and romance. Did you know the
 celebrated Italian libertine Casanova took chocolate before bedding his conquests on account of chocolate's reputation as a subtle aphrodisiac? Hmmmmm. And then I found this little gem of information: in the United States, the typical person eats 11.5 pounds of chocolate annually. Somebody is eating my share! Could it be YOU?

So here's the first thing: if you're a chocoholic you probably already have Maida Heatter's Book of Great Chocolate Desserts , but then you should also have  
Lisa Yockleson's book and thirdly, trust me when I say this cake is right up your alley. Dense, dark and divine. We should all have a great recipe for a flourless chocolate cake like this in our repertoire. I took it to a party over the holidays. It was gone in a flash. I should have made two...but I kept telling everyone: you only need a sliver, it's so rich. Nobody paid any attention to me.
(Dare I mention a dollop of whipped cream on each slice wouldn't go amiss?)


Flourless Bittersweet Chocolate Cake

From Chocolate by Lisa Yockelson




Ingredients:
2/3 cup plus 2 tablespoons superfine sugar
1 tablespoon plus 2 teaspoons unsweetened cocoa powder
Pinch of salt
9 ounces bittersweet chocolate, melted and cooled to tepid (I used Callebaut bittersweet chocolate)
8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted and cooled to tepid
5 large eggs, separated
2 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar
cocoa powder and confectioners sugar for garnish

Method:
Preheat oven to 350 F.
Lightly butter the inside of a 9" springform pan
Sift the sugar, cocoa powder and salt onto a piece of wax paper
Whisk the melted butter and melted chocolate together until smooth.
In a large mixing bowl, beat the eggs yolks and sugar mixture for a couple minutes until thickened. Add vanilla and then the chocolate/butter mixture.
Beat the egg whites in a separate bowl until soft peaks form. Add the cream of tartar and beat until firm peaks (not stiff) form.
Stir 2 or 3 spoonfuls of the whites into the chocolate mixture, then fold in  the remaining whites lightly but thoroughly.
Pour the batter into the prepared pan and smooth the top with a spatula. Bake 35 to 40 minutes until set. The baked cake will form puffs and fissures here and there.
Cool the cake in the pan on a rack. It will sink and collapse at the cracks.
Release the cake from the pan, remove the sides and sift cocoa powder and confectioners sugar on top.


73 comments:

  1. As I write this, I am drooling and mentally checking my pantry contents so I can make this asap - chocolate perfection, plain and simple...

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  2. Magnificent! I love flourless chocolate cakes!

    Cheers,

    Rosa

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  3. I used to be a serious chocoholic and had stashes of bars but over the years that sweet tooth has waned, but I do love a good slice of chocolate cake now and then. This looks perfect!

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  4. Wow, Barbara, this looks fantastic. I love chocolate anything, but chocolate cake- that's special!

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  5. Barbara, I am not mad at you. I am so grateful. I love flour less cake way more than the regular cake. I just made a batch earlier and I love the soft texture.
    I really like the way you present the cake as well. :)

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  6. Beautiful Barbara. You know I'm sorry to say I've never tasted a flourless cake. By the looks of this gorgeous picture, that has to be rectified.
    Sam

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  7. Fondants au chocolat are such a treat. I love the cracked top and soft center.

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  8. No sweet icing and bittersweet chocolate amp this up to "diet" food in my books. Everything in moderation.

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  9. Well, since Valentine's Day is coming, I may just HAVE to make this! I love flourless chocolate cakes.

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  10. I love flourless chocolate cakes, so dense and luxurious. I could never guess when I have one that the flour is missing. This cake looks amazing.

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  11. Barbara, I am actually with you on the chocolate thing! I have to have vanilla with my chocolate or it is just too chocolatey for me. This chocolate cake looks divine though - YUM! I would loooove to have piece right now:)

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  12. Barbara ~ i am going to burst your bubble here . . . BUT i am not a chocoholic . . . for realz. i like it fine, but i simply don't crave it and it won't be my first choice on the dessert platter. and it isn't that i dislike chocolate but it's more that i am a salted caramel girl. THAT i will choose every single time! i hope this won't keep you up at night . . .

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  13. Great looking cake! I love a piece of flourless chocolate cake! A little whipped cream on mine. And LOL at your mom's stash, I hide candy, too, in a big soup pot. but don't tell my kids :)

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  14. Luv the phrase, "You only need a sliver because it is so rich..." I can cut everyone else a sliver, but rarely can I discipline myself the same way!!! This looks fantastic! (I used to keep a jar of chocolates on my desk at work, and everyone came by after lunch for some... Now that I'm not working, strangely I don't have the stash of chocolate anymore...)

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  15. I consider chocolate to be a diet food. Works for me! And this cake looks and sounds delicious. I, too, can find chocolate no matter how well hidden.

    Best,
    Bonnie

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  16. Wow, that cake definitely looks too tempting, pure decadence for sure, yum!

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  17. Love that chocolaty indulgence!

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  18. I have tasted this cake made personally by Barbara, it is as delicious as it looks. My whole family was completely satisfied. My husband and mother are chocoaholics where as my daughter, son-in-law ,and myself are not. We finished her cake in one night an I got the last piece. All I can say is I won!
    Terry

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  19. Ohhhhh... So beautiful... I love chocolate in such a pure, intense setting, too... I have a little shelf in the freezer devoted to really dark chocolate (88% cacao, usually, although last night I was happily savoring unsweetened, 100% cacao nibs, but most people think I'm crazy for that :-) This cake looks just like my kind of chocolate cake! :-)

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  20. I simply can't resist in chocolate! I can't help it. My DNA's fault I guess. I love your cake. It looks so decadent!

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  21. I'm allergic to it, but Ben loves it!

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  22. Some things in life are worth a big calorie splurge, my guess is that this is one of them, looks positively decadent!
    Have a wonderful weekend!
    *kisses* HH

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  23. NOPE ,nope , not mad at all , infact loving it all!
    After all we blogger MUST workout no?
    I jus bake a flourless cake for the first time ever , few days back and now i know how good they are.
    That first pic is stunning :-))loving it !
    At what ISo did u shoot ?
    Oh my chocolate secrets , i loveee milk chocolate and ever since i was really tiny to date , u cant hide a chocolate from me,i sniff it out!
    When we recvd or one of us came with large stocks of chocolate from abroad , it was hard to kepp changing the place all the time.
    I didn even spare the liqueur filled ones , i actually opened those chocolate , poured away the tiny amount of lqr and drooled away, lol!!!

    Huggies to ya for a wonderful weekend!

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  24. You are a wicked woman, Barbara! Actually, I'm a lemon-lover, not a chocolate one, but this is perfect for Valentine's Day!

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  25. Barbara! I am TOTALLY in! Chocolate is my guilty pleasure. No doubt about it. There is no food on earth close to the sinfully delicious texture, flavour and "after shock" of eating it!
    I have a favourite chocolate cake for very special occasions only (http://www.acanadianfoodie.com/2009/10/02/la-bete-noire-the-black-beast-a-perfect-flourless-chocolate-cake/)
    But, yours is going to be baked in my oven soon! Diet season or not! YUM!!!!
    Valerie

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  26. What a perfect dessert for Valentine's Day. I'm trying to cut back on sweets but this makes me toss my resolve right out the window. Decadent and I love it!

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  27. I'm not really all that into chocolate, except for chocolate creme brulee and flourless chocolate cake. This one is perfection and I will definitely try it this weekend!

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  28. OK, that's me. I have WF organic chocolate truffles. They are becoming rare around here... gone by VD last year to my horror. I was calling all around NJ to get them. Found 12 last boxes and bought them. They clogged my fridge till September. I eat at least one a day... and love them madly. Chocolate is the best thing for what ails you. Your cake is lovely.. so is that picture with the white glow around the edges... looks positively magical!!! Lucky football audience that gets all this wonderful food you are making!

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  29. ridiculous, my friend; you're like the tsunami of gastronomical delights, one after the other. barbara, this is absolutely the best two weeks of posts leading into superbowl sunday. can't wait to shed my winter weight when this is all said and done!

    and, btw, thanks for your great comments re: books and film and fountain pens!

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  30. Be mad you you??? Never. And yes, I am a closet chocolate eater.

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  31. so yummy! i actually really love bittersweet chocolate in baked goods, it adds so much great flavor!

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  32. yummy cake better share the cake with me and other bloggers he he

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  33. The cake looks lovely! (And that's from someone who, like you, finds chocolate good but not amazing.)

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  34. Oh good grief. You know this one is going in my stomach. And yes, I am eating your share of chocolate. You are welcome.

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  35. I am a chocoholic and cannot shake my addiction. I find chocolate stashed in different drawers and I get my fix, usually one or two or three ounces a day.
    Your cake is a classic, beautiful, rich and light at the same time. Love it!

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  36. Barbara you are so naughty that's why we love your site! Nothing satisfies a chocolate craving betteer than flour less chocolate cake! :)

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  37. I wouldn't want just a small slice of this either. Sounds divine.

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  38. they say rules are made to be broken, but i say that diets are, and this is just how i'd like to say goodbye to self-control! :)

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  39. Well, if I'm going to indulge, I at least want it to be with something worthy of breaking my diet for. This is definitely worthy!

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  40. Well I am just glad that visiting via blogs is not FATTENING! You always serve up the most delightful treats and this is lovely and like you, I am not a fan of chocolate. HOWEVER, I have taken to use COCOA POWDER (unsweetened) in my morning VANILLA GREEK YOGURT with frozen raspberries, raw oats, almonds and raisins....yikes!! HEALTHY and decadent at the same time! Oh Barbara, your kind comments touch me and this is HOW TO LIVE as Doré pointed out!!!! What does it take to be kind, non? And I too love that simple photo of the heart message on the cloths line...I love simplicity!!!

    CIAO BELLA MON AMIE!! Anita

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  41. Dear Barbara this look absolutely georgeous and delicious, I love the picture, xxx gloria

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  42. That is gorgeous!! I have never made a flourless cake... something I would like to try though! :)

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  43. i
    Hi Barbara
    I was lookig for such a recipe !!Many thanks

    pierre

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  44. My mother makes a mean flourless chocolate cake--such an indulgence! I have chocolate at least once a day--I have bars of different kinds of cocoa pretty much all around the kitchen, just in case! I am definitely a chocoholic :)

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  45. I know somewhere I have a recipe for flourless choc cake - will have to compare it to yours. Looks soooo good!

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  46. Barbara, your flourless cake looks wonderful. I know others of this type to be delicious. If you are recommending this one, it must be spectacular. I've bookmarked the recipe for future use. I hope you have a wonderful day. Blessings...Mary

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  47. Barbara,
    You want to know my chocolate secrets? Hmm, I keep a Ritter Dark Chocolate Hazelnut bar in my car during the winter months. I break a piece off every time I get into traffic. I also bought 32 pounds of chocolate a few months ago to make confections. I'm now confessing that I've eaten quite a bit out of the bag. Just munching.
    Love this cake and I can't wait to make it!!!!!!
    Pam

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  48. It is a diet breaker indeed!! Delicious looking chocolate cake.

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  49. I'm much more of a vanilla than a chocolate girl...unless it's really good chocolate. Then I'm an equal opportunist! This cake sounds delicious.

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  50. A spectacular chocolate cake! I would love a large slice with some vanilla ice aside!

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  51. How did you guess Barbara? It's me, I'm eating your share :) Actually, i used to eat any ol kind of chocolate, but now I can only really eat dark choc because milk tastes too sweet. And I always have chocolate on hand. Love the cake, I think I made Nigella's flourless choc cake once, it was divine! Must try this version.

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  52. OK, I'm drooling, and I haven't even had breakfast yet! I guess I sit firmly in the "chocolate addict" category!

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  53. Absolutely beautiful Barbara. Since I don't diet I'm perfectly happy with this post. :-)

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  54. oh this cake looks amazing!

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  55. I'm like you. Someone out there is eating at least 10 pounds of my chocolate every year! Not that I dislike it. Not at all. This cake looks divine! I definitely wouldn't pass this up, I just don't have a chocolate addiction.

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  56. Oh wow, this gorgeously decadent cake is definitely right up my alley and sadly I don't have any of those cookbooks! Adding them to my wishlist though. ;)

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  57. Diet? My "diet" went out the window as soon as the temperature went below zero!

    I don't consider myself addicted to chocolate unless, you consider Reese's Peanut Butter Cups & Hershey's Kisses "chocolate." I have them hidden everywhere. And, when I was traveling back n forth from PA to NY for all those years, my full Hershey Kisses dispenser was my driving companion.

    The Cake looks great. If I recall, flourless chocolate cake is a lot like a brownie. Oh goodness, all this talk has made me crave a Kiss:)

    Thanks for sharing, Barbara...

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  58. Oh I would love this! I am crazy over chocolate Barbara. Once I get started though, I have trouble stopping, so I limit mine. My mom kept a big Hersey bar in the freezer too. I on the other hand am so much more clever than that...I keep mine in the linen closet, tucked away between piles of clean sheets.hehe I have to have a stash, or I feel deprived. The silly thing about it is, that it usually gets too old before I actually eat it, so I throw most of it away and buy fresh chocolate to take it's place. Sorry I know, but true. I just have to know it's there. For instance, I haven't had anything chocolate for about ten days...but it's there aging as we speak.
    But now for some reason, after seeing the cake, I feel I must go have a little bit of it. THANKS A LOT!
    hugs to you...

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  59. Hey, dark chocolate has antioxidants. Therefore, chocolate cake is GOOD for you! That's my story and I'm sticking to it -- right after I have seconds of this cake. ;)

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  60. Barbara...I'm certainly eating your portion of chocolate with discipline of course ;o)

    Just last week I baked a very similar flourless cake we Italians call 'Caprese di cioccolato'. I'll be posting it soon.
    I'll also have to try your recipe to compare it to the one I've been attached to for over a decade ;o)

    I'm for more chocolate recipes...so keep em comin...diet or no diet!

    Ciao for now,
    Claudia

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  61. Hi Barbara,Amazing work. It's gorgeous! BEAUTIFUL Recipe :) Something I would definitely like to try though :)

    Have a great day!

    Cheers,

    Aldy.

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  62. Barbara,
    There is no way we could be mad at you for posting a recipe like this!! I never ever give up my desserts...life is way too short! This looks so delicious I am sure I would eat at least half of it!
    Hope you are enjoying sunny Florida, we are as you know buried in snow...it is beautiful though and a great excuse to stay indoors near the fire and eat and drink. Thankfully we got away to Florida for awhile to get a break from the cold!
    Well you enjoy yourself...I bet you will be very busy this week preparing for the super bowl feast you will most likely be making!
    xx
    Bunny

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  63. Barbara, like you, I have never been a big chocolate fan. I more a fruit cobbler and pudding girl myself.
    Now, I do enjoy cakes that are more bittersweet. This one would be ideal for my tastes. Instead of a good cup of coffee to go along with it, I would opt for a good glass of wine.

    As always, terrific post.

    Velva

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  64. Wow, diet breaker is right! This looks incredible!

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  65. Now this cake could be my forever friend....yum! Hugs to you. xoxo

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  66. I'm also allergic to chocolate, so unfortunately I can only eat minuscule quantities of it...but I do make chocolate cakes and recipes for my family and friends (and I eat a crumbs!...well, a bit more!) and this cake is unbeatable, and as I always say, if we are going to commit a sin and be "punished", let it be for something grand ;D, so for me, dear Barbara, with some crème fraîche to the side, please!!

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  67. Wow, we're passionate about chocolate, eh?

    Luckily, the Knight isn't much of a fan, so I don't have to hide a thing. I ALWAYS have Godiva dark truffle gems in the pantry, but I've found that despite my food binge in NoLa, my sweet tooth has all but dried up.

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  68. How very decadent and delicious! And pretty. I have been craving just this very thing for the past few days!

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  69. Scallops cook to perfection, then having delicious chocolate cake after. Life is good Barbara!

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  70. Hey Barbara, my Dad is allergic to chocolate-that's gotta be hard psychologically for someone that already particularly likes the stuff;)
    I love chocolate, and your cake looks perfect for any time of year. Nothing wrong with a thin piece of homemade chocolate cake with fresh berries. I'm going with that (smile)...!

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  71. I'm repeating Grace's comment Good bye self control. I love this cake. Gorgeous picture.

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