Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Decadent Deflated Dessert - Fallen Chocolate Soufflé Cake

I was watching Laura Calder the other day and she made this decadent looking chocolate cake for one of her friends, along with these delicious looking Aubergine Charlottes which I REALLY want to try.  She has become one of my favorite chefs on the Cooking Channel.  I love her no-fuss approach to "French" cooking.  After all, not everyone in France eats "haute cuisine" all the time.   I mean let's get real here.

I was intrigued by her interpretation of "flourless chocolate cake".  I have tried several recipes in the past and attempted to choke them down in multiple restaurants as well.  Each time I have been terribly disappointed. Darn good thing I am not gluten intolerant, or I would forever be denied a decent chocolate cake.

Well, I tried her "Craggy Chocolate Cake" recipe and I am forever in love.  It's like a soufflé, yet like a brownie, yet like the most rich an decadent chocolate cake you ever tasted.  Completely and totally divine.  My only suggestion, for those wishing to try this recipe, is to forgo the Whipped Cream and invest in a little Crème Fraîche;  SO much more luscious, especially with a little orange zest.  YUM!

Though she calls it a "Craggy Chocolate Cake", I really like to think of this as an intentionally failed soufflé, for it is, at it's basic level, a soufflé recipe; minus an egg white or two.  Collapsed though it may be, I find this to be genius, for if I had known that a fallen chocolate soufflé would be this awesome, I would have been practicing purposeful deflation a long time ago.  I mean, talk about making a purse out of a sows ear!  Utterly Brilliant!

The recipe is SO simple too, especially due to the lack of a couple egg whites.  All you have to remember is 200.  200 grams of this and 200 grams of that.  I know, I know, we don't normally measure eggs by grams, especially when you have to separate them.  But 4 large whole eggs averages 200 grams, without the shells of course, cause that would add a decidedly unpleasant "crunch" to the soufflé.

Laura Calder's Craggy Chocolate Cake

(Fallen Soufflé Cake)

200 g 70% Bitter Chocolate, chopped (about 7 oz)
4 eggs Large Eggs, separated
200 g Cultured Butter
200 g Granulated Sugar, divided (this is about 1 cup minus 1 tsp)
Pinch of Kosher Salt (my own addition)

For Serving:
8 oz Crème Fraîche
3 TB Confectioners' Sugar
Zest of 1/2 Orange
1 tsp Cointreau or Gran Marnier
Orange Zest Strips

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees (on my oven 350 degrees worked better); line an 8-inch springform pan with parchment then grease and flour the pan.

Chop the chocolate,

and separate the eggs.

Place chopped chocolate in a saute pan, over low heat and allow to melt.

Once melted, add the butter and stir until smooth, then remove from the heat and set aside.

 Combine Egg Yolks and 1/2 cup (100 g) of the sugar in a small bowl.

Beat the Yolks and Sugar until they reach the ribbon stage (when the beaters are lifted, a wide ribbon of yoll falls into the bowl)

Add a spoon of the warm chocolate mixture to the yolks and whisk it in (this will help to condition the yolks and prevent scrambled eggs)

Once the yolk mixture has been warmed, go ahead and add the remaining melted chocolate and whisk until thick and delicious looking. ;)

In a large bowl (I prefer copper) whisk the egg whites with a pinch of salt (cause it helps denature the proteins and provides balance to the flavor)

Once you reach soft peaks, begin sprinkling in the remaining 1/2 cup (100g) of sugar and whip until a lovely glossy French Meringue is formed. (this is stiff peaks)

Add about 1/2 cup of the Meringue to the chocolate mixture and stir it in, this will lighten it a little and make the remaining folding a little easier.

Add the now lightened chocolate mixture to the remaining Meringue and fold until well blended.

Pour the batter into the prepared spring-form pan.

Bake for 50-55 minutes.

Remove from the oven and set on a cooling rack.

Use a small icing spatula or a knife to release the edge of the cake from the pan, allowing it to contract and crack.

Allow to cool and enjoy the show as the souffle sinks and cracks like a volcanic landscape.

As far as serving goes, you can serve with whipped cream if you like, but I decided that since I always talk about how wonderful Crème Fraîche is, I should probably blog a little about it.

Ya see, Crème Fraîchee, unlike American Sour Cream or Mexican Crema, will actually whip, just like heavy cream.  Granted, it won't be quite as light as whipped cream, but it's just SO delicious! Sooooooooo....

Place Crème Fraîche, Orange Zest, Confectioners' Sugar and Cointreau in a small bowl.

Put the spurs to it!  (whisk or beat until it becomes fluffy)

It's that easy....

Now add a healthy spoonful to the top of a slice of this delicious cake....  YUM!


P.S.  Please note the new "Print Friendly" button at the bottom of this post.  This will allow you to print just the text of this post alleviating the need for me to create a "site" link to a separate location for a print friendly recipe. 


Patti T. said...

I had noticed the print friendly button, thank you for a great addition to your blog. Too bad chocolate is not my friend, I love the creme fraiche topping though, mmmm.

Unknown said...

Ok,close your eyes or look way while I pick at that cracked crusty top! don't worry, I'll cover it up with your Crème Fraîche and no one will ever know :D

RetiredWithNoRegrets said...

CHOCOLATE - got my attention!
You make it seem so easy! My mouth is watering for just a little bite