Sunday, January 23, 2011

Sinfully Delicious Orange Flourless (Dark) Chocolate Cake

This is definitely one of the 'champagne' recipes....I know, not exactly healthy. But, it's FAST preparation and EASY to make. Extremely decadent. Worthy of those moments in life where you want to punctuate sentences such as, 'I love you for working like a dog so I can stay home', or 'sorry I ran up the Discover prior to Christmas', or 'can I change your mind about taking that vacation?' or 'happy birthday to a hardworking immigrant mom that I never get to see on her birthday.'  Ha! You get my point...

Being that my mom is visiting on her birthday weekend and she is European, making a traditional cake with buttermilk frosting was completely out of the question. Therefore, this was the perfect opportunity to pull out another 'can't wait to try this when I have people over' recipe that combined her favorite things: dark chocolate and orange flavor. No, this cake is NOT attractive. But that's ok. One bite, and you are lost in love....

This delightfully moist and rich flourless chocolate cake was made for the Reagan family by the French pastry chef Roland Mesnier, during President Ronald Reagan's administration. The recipe is excerpted from the book Chef Mesnier wrote describing the desserts he made during 25 years he served as the White House pastry chef.

This recipe appeared on and had amazingly good reviews. I modified the recipe using salted butter and leaving out the extra 2 Tbsp. of sugar which made it turn out particularly excellent, but the original recipe is below.

Adapted from All the Presidents' Pastries: Twenty-Five Years in the White House, A Memoir

1 1/2 sticks (170 g) unsalted butter, plus extra for greasing
flour, only for dusting
6 ounces (170 g) bittersweet chocolate
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons (220 g) sugar
zest of one large orange
4 eggs, plus 2 egg yolks
1/2 cup (55 g) unsweetened cocoa powder

To serve:
Confectioner's sugar, for dustingcandied orange peel and vanilla ice cream, optional--but, apparently worth it

Preheat the oven to 375°F (190°C). Butter and flour a 10-inch (25-cm) round cake pan. Line the bottom of the pan with parchment paper, then butter and flour the parchment paper.

Gently melt the chocolate over a double boiler. Stir the butter into the chocolate to melt, and stir until smooth.

Remove from the double boiler and whisk the sugar and orange zest into the chocolate mixture. Add the eggs and egg yolks and whisk well. Sift the cocoa powder over the chocolate mixture and whisk the batter until totally smooth. (Below is some of the chocolate I used--a little of each)

Pour the batter into the pan and bake for approximately 35 to 40 minutes, or until the top has formed a good crust. The cake will puff up some, but it will not be as heavy as other flourless chocolate cakes.

Cool the cake in the pan on a rack for 10 minutes. Invert the cake onto a serving platter. Dust with confectioners' sugar and if you like, serve with candied orange peel and/or vanilla (bean) ice cream.

Makes about 10 servings.

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