With Valentine's Day right around the corner - or any special occasion for that matter - we decided to whip up something really special but easy! This cake comes together so quickly and easily add in the toppings and you have a tasty dessert ready to wow!
Flourless Chocolate Cake has always been one of my favorites as it is extremely dense and oh so chocolatey. I use to make it more often but was turned off by how finicky it could be wether the top would crack, or it wouldn't cook right it was exasperating. This time around I found a few tricks that work. First - no baking powder! I do understand why some recipes include it as it produces a more airy and cake like consistency rather than the fudge brownie texture of a normal flourless chocolate cake. For me, however, it just increased the risk of cracking and overflowing and it takes away from the yummy dense cake the recipe is suppose to produce.
Another trick is and perhaps the MOST important baking tip out there is make sure all your ingredients are at the same temperature, unless the recipe specifies otherwise. When all the ingredients are at the same temperature they combine with one another more easily and quickly which reduces the risk of over mixing. I suggest measuring out all your ingredients 2-3 hours before you intend to start baking! Having everything pre measured is also a great way to organize your recipe. In addition to the temperature of your ingredients your oven temperature is important. Dry heat can make a more dry cake, however adding in a waterbacth to this recipe helps cook this egg forward cake in a more moist environment and produces a fudgey cake! Water baths are very simple, just boil some water and pour it into an oven safe pan, pop it in the oven right before you start ladling your batter into your pans and you're set!
Lastly, use quality chocolate for this recipe. As much as I love a good hershey bar every now and again, it won't do for this recipe. I prefer ghirardelli for my baking needs or any artisan chocolate! Add some espresso powder into the mix of well temped ingredients and good quality chocolate and you have an overly decadent chocolate cake.
The mascarpone cream is inspired by tiramisu, because who doesn't love tiramisu? Its simply mascarpone whipped with cream and sugar - easy peasy. As for the wonderful coulis it whips up in a blender (yes you read that right) within seconds. You can drip the coulis over the cakes or stack them up with the cream and coulis in between layers.
For something really special try combining the two just barely so there are still streaks, placing the cream into a pipping bag fitted with a star tip and then frost the cake the same way you would add whip cream from a can onto hot cocoa. Start from the center and make a circle, looping and extending to the edge to make a swirl or a rose (oooh! so romantic!)
So, those are all my tips and trick-that's enough out of me for now! Go try this out and let us know how it is!!
6 oz (170g) high quality bittersweet chocolate
1/2 cup (115 g) unsalted butter
2/3 cup (135) granulated sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons instant espresso powder
1 ½teaspoon hazelnut extract, or vanilla is fine!
3 large eggs, at room temp and slightly beaten
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
½ cup (4 oz.) mascarpone cheese, cold (112.5 grams)
½ cup powdered sugar (75 grams)
½ tsp vanilla extract
1 ¼ cups heavy cream, cold
¼ cup sugar
1 ½ tablespoons orange juice
6 ounces’ frozen raspberries thawed
½ tablespoon Grand Marnier liqueur (optional)
1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit with a rack in the middle and one below it, with enough space to fit your water bath on the bottom rack
2. Grease your cake pan with nonstick cooking spray. Cut a piece of parchment to fit the bottom of the pan. Place it in the bottom of the pan and spray it with nonstick cooking spray.
3. Roughly chop chocolate (unless your using chocolate chips!)
4. Add chocolate and butter in a large microwave-safe bowl, and microwave for 15 second intervals, stirring thoroughly between each one until melted. This should take 1 to 1 ½ minutes in total.
5. Allow the chocolate mixture to cool for 5 minutes. While Chocolate cools bring 1 quart of water to boil and pour into an oven safe pan. This is your water bath
6. Meanwhile, whisk sugar, salt and extract until completely combined with one another
7. Add chocolate and butter mixture, whisking until smooth
8. Add eggs and stir until smooth and there are no more steaks
9. Add cocoa powder and mix JUST until combined, do not over mix
10.Place water bath in the oven on lower rack
11.Pour batter into prepared pans and bake for about 25 min
12. The cake is done when they reach an internal temperature 200°F. I believe this is the most foolproof way to check their doneness for this cake
13.Let the cake cool on a wire cooling rack for 10 minutes.
14.Loosen the edges of the pan with a butter knife and carefully turn it upside down onto a cake plate or serving plate.
15.Let the cake cool completely while you make the cream and coulis
1. Place mascarpone cheese into the stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment and whisk at medium speed until smooth
2. Reduce the speed to low and add the powdered sugar. Stir to combine and scape down the edges with a spatula
3. Once completely incorporate increase the speed to high and beat for 1 min, stopping once halfway through to again scrape down the sides of the bowl
4. Add vanilla extract and allow it to combine with the mixer still on high.
5. Gradually add in cream, doing this in 3 additions would be best. Avoid pour cream on moving whisk as it will splatter, instead aim for the side of the bowl
6. Once cream is all added keep an eye on the mixture, once it thickens and holds it shape like a whipped cream, whisk for an additional 30 second then stop! Overmixing will break your cream!
1. Combine sugar and orange juice in a small sauce pot. Stir to combine. The mixture will be very thick.
2. Cook over medium heat stirring constantly until sugar is dissolved and the mixture is clear – not cloudy
3. Combine frozen raspberries and hot syrup in a blender container. Blend until the mixture is smooth and pureed.
4. Move puree through a fine mesh strainer to get rid of the seeds. You will need to push against the strainer with a spoon or spatula to get all the liquid out as the mixture will be thick
5. Discard the seeds. Add liquor to the coulis and stir until combined