Tuesday, February 9, 2010
Chocolate Espresso Flourless Torte
3 sticks (3/4 pound) unsalted butter
1 cup sugar
1 cup plus 2 tbs. espresso or very strong coffee
12 oz. (1 bag) semi sweet chocolate (in pieces)
1/4 lb (4- 1" squares) unsweetened chocolate (in pieces)
6 large eggs (room temp.)
6 egg yolks (room temp.)
1) Over low heat, melt in a sauce pan the butter, sugar, and coffee. [I have used instant coffee in a pinch and just made it extremely strong-- about 3 tbs of instant coffee for the amount of water required.] Once butter has melted, add in both kinds of chocolate, making sure not to bring it to a boil. Remove from the heat, and whisk until smooth and silky. Set it aside and let it cool. [The recipe calls for it to sit at room temp for at least 12 hours, but I've let it cool all of half an hour and haven't had any problems.]
2) Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Cut a piece of round parchment paper to fit inside of a 9" cake pan. [I use the nonstick aluminum foil. LOVE that stuff!] Grease sides and bottom with butter or baking spray. This cake WILL stick to even a non stick pan, so grease liberally. [As an alternative, I have used a muffin tin, but haven't had great success with keeping the cakes from sticking, though you could also bake and serve it in a ramekin and just skip the parchment/foil in the bottom.]
3) Beat the eggs and egg yolks until just mixed-- not foamy. Stir in the chocolate mixture. Pour the batter into your baking dish/pan of choice. Place in a large roasting pan, and pour enough water into the roasting pan so that the water comes almost half way up your baking dish. Carefully slide into the oven.
4) Bake approximately 50-60 minutes for the 9" cake pan, and approximately 18-20 for a muffin tin or custard cup size-- you may have to play with the time depending on the size of your baking container. The batter should be set, but still have a slightly wiggly center. Remove from roasting pan and let cool for at least an hour. If possible, let it rest overnight, if possible, in the fridge. When ready to serve, invert onto a serving platter. Sift with a little cocoa powder for presentation [optional].
This is a very rich cake so a little goes a long way. You may want to serve with some vanilla or coffee ice cream.
Regarding the chocolate mixture, make sure you do cook it long enough that all the chocolate does melt. Also do NOT put the mixture in the fridge to cool, if you choose to let it sit.
I'll post updates if I find a way to keep the cakes from sticking in the muffin tin. I did try cutting out little mini circles of non stick foil and putting them in the bottom of each tin, but in some cases the foil floated away from the bottom, leaving me with a slightly uneven bottom. I'll try it again, and perhaps just push down the foil to see if that ends up working out.
I'm awfully tempted to switch out the coffee for milk or cream to lighten up the flavor as an alternative. I'm also curious to see what a little bit of flour might do to the mix (only about 1/2 cup or so). I'll let you know how any experiments turn out.