Thursday, February 14, 2008

Chocolate Valentine

Ever celebrated Valentine's Day without chocolate? Not in this household. I started the day right with a lovely cup of hot coffee and chocolates bed. It was 5.30 in the morning but I do not complain when Brad brings me coffee. It is the best part of my day, everyday and I always look forward to it. That's right - coffee in bed every morning. I know, I know, I am very fortunate.

I made this lovely flourless chocolate cake with meringue topping especially for Brad. Brad is a true chocolate connoisseuer and this recipe looked like it would fit the bill. This recipe is from Desserts By The Yard by Sherry Yard. It is a lovely book and more on that later. Lets get back to the chocolate cake. This cake is very decadent and the fluffy meringue topping makes this cake extra special.

The list of ingredients are not lengthy but it is a two part recipe. The cake has to be completely cooled on a rack before the meringue goes on top. I made the cake a day ahead and topped it with the meringue the next day. It is unbelievably delicious. This cake does not release perfectly from the pan. It was recommended that it be served straight from the pan but I had used a springform pan and did not think that it would make an attractive presentation.I had to at least remove the side of the pan. So I ran my knife gently around the pan before the cake would release. It will be very soft, and could get a little messy when cutting. I ran some very hot water over my knife and that made it easier to cut the cake. I will definately make this again. Maybe next time I will make it in little ramekins instead. But the large cake does make a dramatic presentation.

Flourless Chocolate Cake With Meringue Topping

When melting chocolate, I find it works better if the pieces are chopped finely and are of the same size. When melting chocolate, make sure the bottom of the heatproof bowl does not touch the water, as it could scorch the chocolate. Once the water comes to a boil, I reduce the heat to low to bring the boil down to a gentle simmer before melting the chocolate.

8 1/2 oz bittersweet chocolate - finely chopped
4 oz unsalted butter - room temperature
5 large eggs
1 cup plus 2 tb granulated sugar
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder - sifted
1 tsp instant coffee
pinch of salt

8 large egg whites - room temperature
1/4 tsp cream of tartar
1 1/2 cup sugar

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
You could use either a 9 inch springform pan like I did or a 10 fluted tart pan one inch deep (otherwise the batter would overflow). Butter whatever pan you are using and set aside.

Melt chopped chocolate pieces and butter on a double boiler. Stir until mixture is smooth, take off the heat and set aside.

Use the whisk attachment of your mixer to whip eggs and sugar till mixture is pale and thick. Use medium speed and whisk it for about 5 - 7 minutes. The mixture should form ribbons when lifted from the bowl. Reduce speed to low and and add in sifted cocoa, instant coffee, salt and the melted chocolate. Mix till well combine and pour into the prepared pan. Try to resist licking the whisk attachment. I failed in this department and once I started, I could not stop. What - you never did that before?

Bake it for 15 minutes and rotate pan from back to front and bake for another 15 minutes. The cake till be slightly firm to touch. This would still jiggle somewhat. It will not firm up like cake. It will set once it cools down. Cool on a rack completely.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees and place rack in the middle of the oven.

Whisk the egg whites until foamy and then add the cream of tartar. Whisk on medium speed and add sugar a tablespoon at a time. Beat the mixture until it is smooth, satiny and forms stiff peaks. Spoon the meringue over the cake ( cake should still be in the pan) and bake for 15 minutes. I was enamoured with my cake when it come out of the oven with its beautiful golden brown meringue.

You could also feast with:
Mini Cardamom Pavlovas
Chocolate Raspberry Pavlova
Dorie Greenspan's French Chocolate Brownie
Red Velvet Cupcakes


Ginny said...

I don't know if I am more jealous of the coffee in bed or the chocolate cake! It looks amazing...Valentine's Day means chocolate in my book too!

this single spark said...

I'm trying to train O. to bring me coffee in bed on the weekends. :] So far, it's going pretty well. Couple more months and it will be our weekend ritual, and I won't have to think about it any more, it will just happen. Every day... whew... that's heaven.

No wonder your husband is getting the extra special chocolate cake on Valentine's!

Patricia Scarpin said...

Yes, you are lucky but he's lucky to have you too - and this delicious dessert if proof of that, Maya! :)

Maya said...

It is a tough choice but I would have to go with coffee!

Single Spark:
Good luck with the training!

You are too sweet!