Chocolate is like fine wine. They each have their own unique characteristic and taste. Chocolatiers exploit these distinct attributes in their creations to come up with end products that not only taste divine but are visually appealing as well.
Baking with fine chocolate is a topic with two viewpoints. There is one camp that says using fine chocolates for cake baking is a waste since the distinct subtleties of the chocolate is lost once it goes through the baking process. There is the other camp that swear by using fine chocolates in all their baked chocolate goods and claim their creations taste that much better because of it. I belong to the belief of the first camp but with one caveat. That caveat is “Flourless Chocolate Soufflé Cake”. This cake is the only baked chocolate cake that I would use fine chocolate as the main ingredient where I know the distinct characteristic of the chocolate will shine. Some people have said the best brownies are made from the best chocolates (I’m talking about using bar chocolates rather than using cocoa powder) and there will be a difference in taste but it will be marginal at best. For a pure unadulterated chocolate cake experience, you can’t beat the Flourless Chocolate Soufflé Cake.
The Flourless Chocolate Soufflé Cake is deceptively simple (it contains just four ingredients – chocolate, butter, eggs, sugar) but it is the moistest chocolaty cake you will ever have. It is best served warm with a scoop of vanilla bean ice cream and the cake literally melts in your mouth. My favorite chocolate to use for this cake is Valrhona’s Guanaja (70%) chocolate. Valrhona’s Guanaja has a very nice blend of bitterness combined with a touch of acidity to give it a very balanced taste for the bittersweet chocolate lover. This is the chocolate I tend to use for my chocolate mousse creations as well.
For those of you who are keen to try this cake, I’ve included my recipe below.
Flourless Chocolate Soufflé Cake
190g Guanaja Chocolate (70%)
100g Unsalted Butter
65g Egg Yolks
110g Egg Whites
66g Castor Sugar
Yield: Serves 4-6 people
Cake size: 16cm/6.25″ (~500g cake)
– Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
– Grease your cake mold with clarified butter and line your pan with parchment paper (I use a 16cm/6.25″ cake ring but you can use a springform pan of the same size).
– Melt chocolate and butter together in a bain marie. Once melted, put aside.
– Whip egg yolks with 16g of sugar. Whip to ribbon stage.
– Whip egg whites with 50g of sugar. Whip to soft peak stage.
– Fold whipped egg yolks into chocolate mixture.
– Fold whipped egg whites into chocolate/egg yolk mixture.
– Pour combined mixture into ring mold (or springform pan).
– Put into oven and bake for 25 – 30 minutes.
– Once baked (the cake will still jiggle like it was unbaked but that’s the way it should be), let cool and run a knife along the side of the cake mold to release. The center of the cake will sink and that’s normal.
– Sprinkle confection power on top of cake to decorate.
I hope you will enjoy this cake as much as I have.