Chocolate lovers unite!
This is the desert to please any and all chocolate lovers worldwide :)
Although this cake is called "Flourless Chocolate Cake" it would be better named "Chocolate Truffle Cake" because it is like sitting down with your favourite, delectable chocolate truffle and a fork. Rich, dense, creamy, and chocolatey. And the mint ice cream on the side is the perfect pairing, with its light mint flavour from fresh mint leaves and peppermint tea. It helps to cleanse the palette between the heavenly bites of creamy chocolate cake.
The cake itself is simply divine and I support all the claims made by the author in terms of ingredients, methods, etcetera. My only complaint is removing the cake from the springform pan. The book (Cook's Illustrated: All-Time Best Chocolate Recipes) made it sound so easy - flip it over on some parchment, peel off the bottom of the pan and the parchment round, flip over on to your cake stand. Well, my cake did not want to let go of the bottom of the pan or the parchment round... I had to cut out two slices of cake and gingerly remove them, with minor damage to the slices, before I could get my spatula under the parchment round to release the rest of the bake. In hindsight, maybe I should have left a lip of parchment outside of the springform pan to give me something to hold on to when removing the cake, but I am not sure if that would cause issues with the water bath and possible water seeping into the springform pan. Anyone out there have any tips on that?
Now let's talk ice cream! Is there any better treat for a lazy almost-summer day? I think not ;) And what possible flavour could go with this decadent chocolate truffle cake than mint? A perfect match, if I do say so myself.
I am very new to the world of ice cream making - this is just my third batch. However, I have learnt some valuable lessons is researching recipes and making a few of my own.
Lesson #1 - the type of dairy you use is crucial, as it will be the deciding factor when it comes to the texture of your ice cream. Long story short, the higher the fat content, the creamier the ice cream. I stick to whipping cream as it really does lend that stick-to-your-tongue creaminess I crave from ice cream. But if you are looking to lighten things up a little you can certainly use half-and-half or even 2% milk, but it will make for an icier ice cream.
Lesson # 2 - Do NOT walk away from simmering cream or cooking custard! Unless you want ice cream à la scorched cream or scrambled eggs, stay next to those pots while they are on the stove. Dairy is a bit of a diva and will go form a nice simmer to burnt in 60 seconds flat. (And I am convinced it knows when you're not watching!) And those eggs you just added to your simmering dairy? I am confident their goal in life is to grow up and become scrambled eggs. Keep your burner on low-medium heat and constantly stir your custard. (And when in doubt, strain the cooked custard before you put it in to chill.)
Lesson # 3 - Patience is key. Just like you want your dairy to come to a nice simmer in the beginning, you also want your nicely cooked custard to chill adequately before throwing it into the ice cream maker. 4 hours minimum seems to be the rule of thumb, but I always chill it in the fridge overnight to be safe.
Flourless Chocolate Cake
8 eggs, chilled
1 pound (16 ounces) bittersweet of semisweet chocolate (I used semisweet)
1 cup butter (16 tablespoons), softened (use REAL butter, not margarine)
1/4 strong brewed coffee, room temperature
Preheat oven to 325°F.
Grease bottom and sides of 8" springform pan. Line bottom with parchment. (I would likely add a collar of parchment around the sides of the springform pan next time as well.)
Wrap outside of springform pan with two large pieces of aluminum foil. Set in roasting pan.
Boil full kettle of water.
Whip all 8 eggs together on medium speed until doubled in volume; about 5 minutes.
Meanwhile, combine chocolate, butter, and coffee in top of double boiler. Over simmering water, allow chocolate, butter, and coffee to melt together, stirring occasionally. Do not let the water touch the bottom of the bowl.
Remove chocolate mixture from heat and fold in 1/3 of the whipped eggs until few streaks are visible. Add remaining whipped eggs in two additions, mixing until homogenous.
Transfer batter to prepared pan. Set roasting rack on oven rack and fill with enough boiling water to come about halfway up the sides of the springform pan.
Bake 22-25 minutes or until cake registers 140°F (mine took the full 25 minutes). Edges will be just set and the centre may look underdone. Don't worry, it will continue to firm up as it cools.
Cool completely in pan. Wrap pain in plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.
Before removing from the pan, run a knife around edges to loosen the cake form the sides of the pan. Invert cake onto a sheet of parchment and remove the bottom of the pan and parchment round. Reinvent cake on to your cake stand. (Like I said, this method was problematic for me and if anyone has any tips I am all ears!)
Mint Ice Cream
2 cups whipping cream
1 cup whole milk
Mint leaves (I used one small bunch from our mint plant and about 1 tbsp of peppermint tea leaves)
6 eggs yolks
1/2 cup sugar (could be reduced, in my opinion)
*a pinch of salt could be used here as well to round out the sweetness
In a saucepan (preferably not non-stick) , bring cream and milk to a simmer. Remove from heat and add your mint and/or tea leaves. Cover and let steep for 2 hours. (I've done some reading on the topic of flavouring ice creams with tea leaves and 2 hours seems to be enough time to let the flavours marinate and it won't take you all day to get the custard finished.)
In another saucepan, whisk together egg yolks and sugar. Strain your flavoured dairy mixture into the yolk mixture. Whisk until combined and set over low-medium heat. Cook, whisking frequently, until custard forms (run your finger through the custard left on the back of your spoon - if a clean line remains, its custard).
Strain custard into an airtight container and refrigerate overnight.
Churn ice cream according to your ice cream maker's manufacturer's instructions. Freeze to harden (I had mine in the freezer for about 3 hours.)
*Hubby and I found the mint flavour a little grassy for our tastebuds. We found it was very enjoyable with the cake, but not so much on its own.
Printable Recipes :)