As a chef I am constantly confronted with food fads, allergies, diet plans and dietary restrictions. And I do my best to accommodate my guests whenever possible.
But for the home cook, especially during the holiday season, this can turn into a difficult task.
While there is usually enough variety in most appetizers and main courses to keep everyone happy and healthy, when it comes to dessert there is usually only one or two choices.
In recent years more and more people have been removing gluten from their diet and this can make deciding a dessert very difficult because of the use of flour in many of the most popular dessert recipes.
I am pretty sure this delicious, flourless chocolate cake is the answer!
Before getting started you will need to gather the following ingredients and one nine-inch springform pan:
- 1/4 cup of sugar
- 2 sticks unsalted butter, diced
- 1/2 pound semisweet chocolate chips
- 1/2 pound bittersweet chocolate chips
- 1/4 cup cognac
- 8 eggs
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
First you need to preheat your oven to 325 degrees.
Then coat the inside of the springform pan with nonstick spray and line the bottom with a parchment paper round.
Cover the pan underneath and along the sides with foil and set it in a roasting pan.
Next combine the chocolate, butter and cognac in a metal bowl set over simmering water or in the top of a double boiler. Melt the mixture, stirring constantly for about five minutes, until combined and then set aside.
Meanwhile combine the eggs, sugar, vanilla and beat with an electric mixer until frothy and almost doubled in volume. Fold 1/3 of the egg mixture into the chocolate mixture using a spatula. Repeat this two more times until all of the egg mixture has been incorporated into the chocolate.
Pour the batter into the springform pan and place it in the roasting pan. Pour enough boiling water into the roasting pan to come about halfway up the sides. Bake for about 40 to 45 minutes until the cake has risen slightly and the edges are just beginning to set.
Remove the cake from the roasting pan and cool on a wire rack to room temperature. Remove the foil, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight. Remove the cake from the refrigerator about 30 minutes before serving.
Remove the sides of the springform pan, invert onto a large plate and peel away the parchment paper from the bottom.
Reinvert cake on to another large plate or serving platter.
Cut into 12 to 16 equal slices and garnish with some fresh berries and a scoop of vanilla ice cream.
Joshua Auerhammer is the chef/owner at the Culinary Design Studio in Bigfork.
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