Monday, April 18, 2011

Flourless chocolate cake

1 stick of unsalted butter
6 ounces of dark chocolate, roughly chopped
1 cup of sugar
5 large eggs separated
1 1/2 cup finely ground almonds of hazelnuts**
1/4 tsp. salt

Preheat oven to 350*F and line 9 or 10 inch cake pan with parchment paper. Leave enough parchment paper hanging from the sides so the cooled cake can be lifted from the pan.  Butter the sides and bottom of the pan.

Combine butter, chocolate and sugar in a double broiler or heat proof bowl set over simmering water.  Make sure water doesn't touch the bowl.  Heat about 5 minutes or until the butter is melted and the chocolate is soft.  Remove from heat and stir until mixture is smooth.  Cool to room tempearture.

Beat the egg yolks into the chocolate mixture, one by one, with a wooden spoon.  Stir in the almonds.

Beat the egg whites with the salt in abowl until stiff peaks form.  Fold into the chocolate mixture, one third at a time, just until the white streaks disappear.  Scrape the prepared cake mixture into the pan and bake 40-60 minutes or until the cake is firm in the middle.

Serve with fresh strawberries, cover with chocolate ganache, serve with good vanilla ice cream, a dollop of fresh homemade whipped cream or just eat it plain or sprinkle with powdered sugar.

**Cooks tip.  The almonds will grind easier if they've been blanched.  To blanch just cook them in boiling water for 5-10 minutes then move them to a bowl of ice water.  Grind in the blender until they become very fine.

***If you have allergies to nuts.  You may substitute almonds for oatmeal flour.  Take 3 cups of oatmeal and grind until fine to make 1 1/2 cups of oatmeal flour.

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