So, I missed Chocolate Cake Day but knowing that Valentine's Day was right around the corner I knew not to fret!
This flourless cake is crammed with chocolate (use only the best) is rich with butter and will fall slightly as it cools. The center is filled with softly whipped cream and sprinkled with cocoa powder — intensity, then relief, in each bite.
Each bite will have you on Cloud 9!
Chocolate Cloud Cake
Adapted from: Nigella
8 ounces dark chocolate, minimum 70% cocoa solids
1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
6 eggs: 2 whole, 4 separated
1 cup caster sugar (if you're using granulated sugar use your food processor to make it super fine)
2 tablespoons Cointreau (optional, I used Bailey's)
grated zest of 1 orange (optional, I used)
Whipped Cream Topping
1 1/2 cups of heavy cream, well chilled
3 tablespoons confectioner's sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon unsweetened cocoa powder for sprinkling
Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line the bottom of an 8-inch springform pan with a round of wax paper; do not butter the pan.
Melt the chocolate in a bowl set over hot water (double boiler). Remove from the heat and whisk in the butter until melted; set aside.
In a bowl, beat 2 whole eggs and the 4 egg yolks with 1/4 cup of the sugar just until blended. Gently add the warm chocolate mixture, the optional Cointreau (or Bailey's) and orange zest (I added these and recommend doing so).
In another bowl, with an electric mixer, beat the 4 egg whites until foamy. Gradually add the remaining 3/4 cup sugar and beat until the whites form soft mounds that hold their shape but are not quite stiff. Stir about 1/4 of the beaten egg whites into the chocolate mixture to lighten it; gently fold in the remaining whites. Pour the batter into the pan; smooth the top but leave the air bubbles.
Bake until the top of the cake is puffed and cracked and the center is no longer wobbly, usually 35 to 40 minutes. Do not over bake.
Cool the cake in the pan on a wire rack; the cake will sink as it cools, forming a crater with high sides.
At serving time, whip the cream with the confectioners’ sugar and vanilla until not quite stiff. With a spatula, carefully fill the crater of the cake with the whipped cream, pushing it gently to the edges. Dust the top lightly with cocoa powder. Run the tip of a knife around the edges of the cake; carefully remove the sides of the pan and serve.
Happy Valentine's Day! I'm lucky enough to have the sweetest valentine of them all :)