Flour-less chocolate cake
Sadly carb free doesn’t mean fat-free
When we invited our friends over for Sunday lunch last weekend and I decided to make a flour-less chocolate cake, I thought I’d be doing a ‘good’ thing ie producing a carb-free cake as my friends were all trying to cut down on the amount of carbs they ate.
While this cake is certainly ‘carb’ free, it’s unfortunately not fat-free; in fact, I’d say it’s the exact opposite because it required the use of a whole cake of butter. Yes, you heard me, an entire 250 grams of butter. That’s not even like a small ‘oops’ but a massive clutch-your-heart type of mega oops. My arteries are constricting again just at the thought of all that butter. But, and I have to add a but here, it was spoon-suckingly, plate-scrapingly delicious. DE-LI-CIOUS.
However, as with all my baking anecdotes, my attempt at making this cake was never going to be drama free. I spent quite a good amount of time trawling through the internet and various blogs as what I was after was the simplest and most disaster-free flour-less chocolate cake ever. I certainly found the easiest one in the form of a recipe on The Daily Mail website, of all sites. I need to digress slightly and state that I am categorically NOT a Daily Mail reader, ok?
Anyway, in hunting for an easy recipe, I noticed that most pictures of flour-less chocolate cakes all showed cakes that had some subsidence in the middle, some quite significantly so. As I had just bought a Savarin ring (God knows why, seriously…!?!!), I therefore came up with the bright idea that I would bake a flour-less cake using this magic ring, which in my head would mean there would be no sinkage; clever, right? (BTW, sinkage is not a real word either, just one of many made-up words you’ll often find me using.)
However, therein lies a problem… most baking recipes are quite prescriptive not just in the ingredients and the amounts but in the methodology and equipment too. Having bought my savarin ring some weeks ago, I typically threw away the label so no longer knew what capacity of cake my beautiful non-stick savarin ring could handle. Additionally, not knowing how much flour-less cakes rise before they sink meant I had no idea how much batter I should pour into my savarin ring before I risked major cake overflow in the oven (which, um, has happened to me once or twice before…)
Anyway, I decided to err on the side of caution and filled the savarin ring ½ full of cake batter before pouring the remaining cake batter into a standard 22 cm round cake pan.
So, did my experiment work? Well… yes and no.
- I could easily have poured much more batter into the savarin ring and it would have been fine. What I did put rose (a little) and then fell back to just over the same level as what I poured into it in the first place. The only problem was that I burnt it slightly. Lesson learnt – cakes cook much faster when there’s a great big hole in the middle of the tray. That said, my husband and I actually loved the taste of the slightly burnt cake more than the one that cooked perfectly in the round cake tin.
- I think my savarin idea is actually genius and I will be attempting my experiment again because I do think the shape prevents the cake from that common sinking problem when baked in a normal round cake pan. However, I have to wait for a few months until my arteries have recovered before doing so. But when I do, I will almost fill up the savarin ring with batter and I will simply not cook it for as long and turn the temperature down slightly so it doesn’t burn as much. I didn’t take any pictures of my savarin ring attempt because I also ended up breaking the cake into bits when I was trying to tap it out of the pan – I was too impatient and didn’t let the cake cool enough and I was a bit rough in my handling of it too.
However, the round cake version worked perfectly, and even delivered the standard sinking effect in the middle, even after I turned the cake upside down. But, like most people, I then cleverly disguised the sinkage under a pile of beautifully sweet raspberries and a dusting of icing sugar.
We devoured this cake in minutes, it was that good! But even though I made sure everyone know how much butter went into it, every single one of us still doused our cake in double cream (she admits hanging her head in shame) because as lovely as this chocolate cake was on its own, adding the cream to it takes it to a whole new decadent level.
The only way I could appease my guilty conscience was by making sure I went out for a very long walk after lunch. In fact, it turned into a two hour walk + tree climb with my friend’s seven year old daughter. Sadly, my friends and husband had no such intentions on their minds. The mother promptly ended up having an afternoon kip in my bed while I was walking her daughter, and the dad and my husband watched the rugby on telly. Not only did the men vegetate on the couch all afternoon, they actually ate some more – cheese and crackers! – while they watched England kick the sh*te out of France in the Six Nations. All said, it was a brilliant end to lovely Sunday meal with friends. 🙂
Lots of love
Flour-less chocolate cake (A Daily Mail recipe)
250 grams butter
250 grams dark chocolate (I used Lindt’s 70%)
250 grams caster sugar
5 eggs, separated
The original recipe calls for a 23cm round cake tin.
Preheat the oven to 180 degrees (Celsius).
In a heavy bottomed pan, melt the chocolate and butter over simmering water before setting to one side.
In a bowl, whip the egg yolks with half the sugar (125 grams) until pale yellow and fluffy.
In another bowl, beat your egg whites until they form stiff peaks. Then add 1 tablespoon of sugar to the egg whites. Repeat every 20 seconds by adding 1 tablespoon of sugar each time until all the sugar is gone and you’ve got a stiff meringue mixture.
Fold the chocolate into your beaten egg yolks. Then gradually fold in your white meringue mixture in two lots, until it’s mixed through.
Pour your cake mixture into your tin and bake for 40-45 minutes or until a skewer comes out clean.
If your cake sinks, turn it upside down and disguise under lovely fresh fruit and give it a good dusting of icing sugar.
Serve as it is or ideally with some double cream.