(From the December 2014 archives)
A Very Special Birthday – Part 2
The second half of Kristopher’s foodie birthday gift was a homemade dinner. Last year I crafted a meal completely made from scratch and inspired by our favorite Italian restaurant. I decided to do the same this year, only I’d base the menu off a wonderful risotto restaurant we stumbled upon last spring. On my menu – Rosemary and Sage Risotto paired with plenty of Pinot Grigio, followed by his favorite flourless chocolate cake and whipped cream.
Overall, the entire evening was lovely. Happy stomachs and happy hearts. I’m a firm believer that food is not just food. It is an experience. And a gift like this is truly one that comes from the heart.
The Flourless Chocolate Cake is originally from King Arthur Flour (http://www.kingarthurflour.com/recipes/flourless-chocolate-cake-recipe), though I have included my technique for creating beautiful single serving cakes along with an extra whipped topping of my own creation.
Flourless Chocolate Cake
1 cup semisweet or bittersweet chocolate chips (I recommend Ghirardelli)
½ cup unsalted butter
¾ cup granulated sugar
¼ tsp salt
1 tsp vanilla extract
3 large eggs
½ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 cup semisweet or bittersweet chocolate chips (again I recommend Ghirardelli)
½ cup heavy cream
1 cup heavy cream
Sugar (to taste)
Vanilla extract (to taste)
1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Line a cupcake pan with liners.
2. Melt the chocolate and butter on the stove top over very low heat. Mix and transfer to a mixing bowl.
3. Stir in the sugar, salt, vanilla, and eggs.
4. Add the cocoa powder and stir until just combined.
5. Spoon the batter into the cupcake pan. Bake for about 25-35 minutes. The top will have formed a thin crust
6. Remove from oven and cool in the pan for five minutes. Remove from pan and let cool further.
7. One by one, turn each cupcake upside down and remove the paper. The top of the cupcake will now be the bottom. Let cool completely before glazing
8. For the glaze: combine chocolate and cream in a sauce pan on very low heat. Mix until smooth.
9. Spoon the glaze over the cake, spreading it with the back of your spoon and letting it drop of the sides a bit. Allow the cakes to set in the fridge for several hours before serving. Makes 10-12 cupcakes
10. Before severing the cake, pour 1 cup heavy cream (use ½ cup if you’re having a more intimate dinner) into a mixing bowl. Add ¼ tsp vanilla extract and 1 tsp sugar. Blend for about 2-3 minutes until you can clearly see it turning to whipped cream. Periodically taste the whipped cream and add more vanilla and sugar as needed. For a rich dessert like this cake you may want a whipped cream that isn’t too sweet. Serve on top of glazed cupcakes
Check back soon for holiday recipes including my favorite gingerbread cookies!