Frosted with chocolate ganache, this flourless cake is absolutely magnifique for February 14th! First, shop for Valentine’s Day decorations. Then, make the cake and enjoy the romance. Happy Valentine’s Day!
For the Cake:
Butter, flour and parchment paper for 9-inch springform pan
7 ounces bittersweet chocolate chips
1 tablespoon rum
1-1/4 sticks unsalted butter
¾ cup granulated sugar
5 large eggs, separated
Four 3-inch wide strips of aluminum foil (for cake assembly)
1 cup ground, unpeeled almonds
1. Preheat oven to 350°F oven. Butter a 9-inch springform pan.
2. Place a 9-inch round parchment paper circle at bottom of pan; dust the sides of pan with flour, shaking off excess.
3. Fill a double-boiler pan with about 2 inches of water. Place the double boiler element over the pan and place on stove burner set on high heat.
4. Add the chocolate, rum, butter and sugar to the double boiler. As the mixture heats, stir it with a wooden spoon until it becomes uniform.
5. When chocolate mixture is uniform, remove the pan from heat and allow to cool a little.
6. Meanwhile, in a 2 or 3-quart mixing bowl, beat the egg whites until stiff peaks form. Set egg whites aside.
7. In a separate 1-pint bowl, beat the egg yolks until they are uniform.
8. With a spatula, transfer the chocolate mixture to a 3-quart mixing bowl.
9. Gently stir the beaten egg yolks into the runny chocolate mixture.
10. Stir the ground almonds into the chocolate-egg yolk mixture.
11. Gently fold the stiff egg whites into the chocolate batter, taking care not to mash or deflate the egg whites.
12. When mixture is uniform, transfer it to the prepared spring form pan.
13. Place the spring form pan on a rack positioned in center of oven.
14. Bake the cake for 25 minutes. After 25 minutes, check to see if the center of cake has puffed up. If it still looks sunken and wet, bake the cake for an additional 5 minutes.
15. After 5 minutes, if the cake looks puffed up, insert a knife with pointed tip in center of cake. If knife comes out clean, the cake is done.
16. Transfer the cake to a rack or trivet set on a counter; let it cool completely.
17. When cake has cooled completely, remove the sides of spring form pan.
18. Invert the cake over a platter and gently lift off the pan bottom.
19. Peel off the parchment paper and set cake aside.
MAKE SURE THAT THE CAKE IS COMPLETELY COLD, BEFORE YOU PREPARE THE GANACHE:
For the Chocolate Ganache:
8 ounces semisweet chocolate chips
1 tablespoon rum
1 cup heavy whipping cream
1. Place chocolate and rum in a medium glass or porcelain bowl (it should be heatproof).
2. Place cream in a small saucepan over medium heat and bring to a simmer.
3. When the cream has just begun to simmer, immediately pour it over the chocolate in bowl and let it stand 2 to 3 minutes.
4. After 2 to 3 minutes, whisk the chocolate-cream mixture until smooth. Let cool slightly before using. Set aside.
Pour Ganache Over Cake:
1. Pour the runny ganache over cake, start pouring in center of cake and then pour over rim/sides of cake.
2. Let the ganache forms drips over the cake sides.
3. Set the cake aside so that the ganache will solidify – about 30 minutes.
4. When the ganache has solidified, cover the the cake with aluminum foil and refrigerate for about 30 minutes.
5. This cake can be made one day ahead and refrigerated.
Text and Photograph ©2014 Nancy DeLucia Real