It recently came to my attention that this blog is seriously lacking in recipes that highlight one of the best, most beloved ingredients on the planet: chocolate.
A few weeks ago I was asked to contribute my best chocolate recipes for a recipe roundup, and when I went to look for them, I realized there really weren’t all that many. I had this recipe for nutella and bananas wrapped and phyllo, this one for chocolate hazelnut panna cotta, and of course, this obnoxiously decadent salted chocolate and caramel ice cream cake, but none of these are really all about the chocolate. And with Valentines Day right around the corner, I figured there was no time like the present to post a recipe that most definitely is all about the chocolate.
I’m one of those cynical people who thinks Valentines Day is a stupid Hallmark holiday created just to get people to spend money on stuff the don’t need. But over the years, Valentines Day has become synonymous with chocolate, so for that reason I let it slide. Whether you’re single, taken or have the “it’s complicated” box checked on Facebook, you can use this holiday as one big excuse to eat all the chocolate you can cat your hands on.
Now, lets talk about this cake! It’s a riff on a recipe I used to serve all the time at dinner parties when I worked as a personal chef. It’s seriously rich, fudgy and over-the-top chocolatey. Plus, it’s naturally gluten free, so it’s always going to be a crowd pleaser.
I discovered this flourless chocolate cake recipe several years back in an issue of Parade magazine, and with only 4 ingredients, I couldn’t believe how simple it was. It’s such an impressive dessert for requiring such little effort. All you have to do is melt some butter and chocolate, separate a few eggs and whip the whites with sugar, then mix it all together and bake. Boom! Forty minutes later, you have one of the most decadent desserts you’ve ever made.
With just those four ingredients, this cake is out of this world. But of course, I had to take it a step further and give it a little twist. This cake gets a boost in flavor from aromatic Turkish coffee and little extra help from our friends salt and vanilla.
Turkish coffee is often characterized by being brewed with one of my favorite warm, floral spices, cardamom. It gives the coffee a really unique, but complimentary flavor. I added a bit of cardamom and espresso powder to this flourless chocolate cake on a whim, and woosaaahhhh! It came out really, really good. The coffee helps to enhance the overall chocolateness, a trick I learned back in the day from my homegirl, Ina Garten. The flavor of the cardamom is subtle; you don’t really know it’s there. It just makes you scratch your head and say, “Hmm.. what is that?”
The cool thing about this cake is that you don’t have to add the coffee or the cardamom if you don’t want – it’s still going to be fantastic. Make it for someone you love this Valentines, or Galentines, Day, or just make it for yourself. I won’t tell.
One Year Ago: Coley Cooks and the Big Kitchen Reveal!
- 3/4 cup butter (12 tablespoons or 1 1/2 sticks)
- 7 oz good semisweet or bittersweet chocolate
- 4 eggs separated
- 1 cup sugar, divided
- 1 1/4 teaspoons instant espresso powder, or *very* finely ground coffee
- 1 teaspoon ground cardamom
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and butter the bottom of a 9-inch springform pan.
- Melt the butter and chocolate over a double boiler, then remove from the heat. Whisk together the egg yolks and 1/2 cup sugar until light and frothy. Add the melted butter and chocolate, espresso powder, cardamom, vanilla and salt, then whisk to combine.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer, whisk the egg whites and the remaining 1/2 cup sugar until they form stiff peaks. Use a rubber spatula to gently fold the egg whites into the chocolate mixture, being careful not to let it deflate.
- Bake for about 40 minutes, or until puffed and no longer jiggly in the middle. Allow to cool completely before cutting. Dust with powdered sugar if desired and serve at room temperature or ice cold.