Let's hear it for Uncle Mark! Another of his family-favorite recipes turned out fabulous. I practically ate this entire chocolate cake myself.
It was dense, so a couple of people I served it to asked whether it was flourless. The answer is 'no'. It has a wee bit of flour in it. I can't help it, I find flourless bakery items odd. Or at the very least, a mystery. I can't recall ever having tried one, so it's all a preconceived notion in my head. HOW does one make a cake flourless? I bet it's actually easy, and just one of those things you need to do once to understand. However, I'm sticking with this cake and it's flour. It's my new go-to chocolate adult party cake.
Why 'adult party cake'? As you can see above, it has no frosting. Kids like frosting. Don't deny them frosting.
However, the cake is rich, moist, dense and delicious. It does not need frosting. When serving to adults.
I dusted it with powdered sugar for better presentation, but it doesn't need that either. Just pure chocolate-y goodness.
Marie-Claude Gracia's Chocolate Cake
from Food & Wine, via Uncle Mark
1 stick (4 ounces) plus 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
12 ounces bittersweet chocolate, preferably Lindt or Tobler, broken into pieces (I used Ghirardelli)
3/4 cup granulated sugar
5 eggs, separated
1/3 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
Confectioners' sugar, for garnish (optional)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Using 1 tablespoon of the butter, generously grease a 9-inch springform pan.
In a double broiler*, combine the chocolate, remaining 10 tablespoons of butter, and the sugar. Cook over barely simmering water, stirring occasionally, until melted and smooth, and about 8 minutes. Remove from the heat.
* Don't have a double broiler? Do what I do, and substitute a metal bowl over a pot of boiling water. Voila. Your own home-made double broiler.
Let the chocolate mixture cool for 10 minutes; then whisk in the egg yolks. Stir in the flour just until blended.
In a large bowl, beat the egg whites just until they form firm peaks; do not overbeat. Stir on-third of the egg whites into the chocolate batter until blended. Fold in the remaining egg whites until the mixture is well blended and no streaks of white remain. Spoon the batter into the springform pan.
Bake the cake in theh middle of the oven for 35-40 minutes, until firm and springy and a tester inserted near the center comes out clean.
Let teh cake cool on a rack for 2 hours (I did not do this. Mine cooled for about 30 minutes), then remove the sides of the springform. Let the cake cool completely, about 1 hour longer. Invert the cake onto a platter and carefuly remove the springform bottom. This cake is traditionally serve without icing. To garnish, dust the top with a sprinkling of confectioners' sugar.