Thursday, February 28, 2008
Ginger-Spiked Flourless Chocolate Cake
On his way home from Israel, my friend Jason stopped in Rome last weekend to celebrate his birthday. I flew down to meet him, and we were joined by friends from Birmingham and Madrid. I generally take advantage of every opportunity to mark a birthday, and I believe the best way is through baking. I couldn’t go to Rome empty-handed, so I made a cake in Oxford and took it on the airplane to Italy.
Given the multiple legs of travel involved, I decided to create a cake without icing or frosting. I also figured that a dense cake would be more likely to survive air travel than a fluffy one. Since chocolate is almost always a hit, a flourless chocolate cake seemed appropriate. To make this original recipe a bit more interesting, I spiked the batter with ginger.
8 ounces bittersweet chocolate
1/2 cup unsalted butter
3/4 cups light brown sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons ground ginger
4 eggs, separated
confectioner’s sugar and/or cocoa, for dusting (optional)
1. Preheat oven to 325 F. Line an 8-inch round pan (if available use a springform pan) with wax or parchment paper. Grease the bottom and sides of the pan. If you are not using a springform pan, you can first line it with a large piece of foil, followed by wax or parchment paper. After baking, you dislodge the cake by pulling up on the edges of the foil.
2. In a small pan over low heat, melt the chocolate and butter. You can also do this in the microwave, stirring frequently so that the chocolate does not burn.
3. Add sugar and ginger to the chocolate mixture and stir well. Allow the mixture to cool for 10-15 minutes.
4. In a large bowl beat egg whites on high speed until stiff peaks form. Set aside.
5. Add egg yolks to the cooled chocolate mixture and stir well.
6. Using a spatula, gently add the chocolate mixture to the egg whites, taking care not to deflate them.
7. Pour the batter into the pan, and bake for 30 minutes or until the cake is set. When it is ready, a cake tester will come out almost clean. Cool for 10 minutes.
8. Dust with confectioner's sugar and/or cocoa. Serve warm or at room temperature with ice cream or whipped cream. The cake can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for one week, or frozen for several months.