I’ve had flourless chocolate cakes before, but nothing quite light (lighter than air) as this; needless to say, it’s Raymond Blanc‘s recipe. Raymond Blanc: How to Cook Well is Raymond’s brand new show that aired on BBC TWO a while ago. The show demystifies the basics of cooking – Slow Cooking, Poaching, Roasting, Baking, Frying and BBQ & Grill. Raymond teaches you how simple techniques can do wonders to your everyday cooking and there’s nothing more encouraging than hearing a legendary chef tell you that you don’t need high flying kitchens to cook something breathtaking. The flourless cake has to be billowy, otherwise it’s not a flourless cake. The egg whites are whipped into stiff peaks, puffy and white as clouds. The cocoa powder is dusted into the whipped whites through a sieve and the sight of the cocoa disappearing into the snow-like egg whites is something else.
You know what’s glorious about this cake? It’s not just any flourless cake, it’s a flourless cake with Raymond’s spin and that my dear friends has to be quintessentially French, doesn’t it? A delicious chocolate mousse is poured over the baked cake and is set in the fridge for at least a couple of hours.
And then comes the element that makes this simple cake a showstopping, celebratory one – chocolate tuilles, that sit slenderly atop the cake.
In school, I would always splash blue ink on a sheet of paper and fold the paper in half. When I opened the paper, the ink would’ve travelled to the other side, creating beautiful blue butterfly-like abstract shapes. A similar technique is used to make the chocolate tuile, blue ink is a concoction of chocolate and paper is parchment paper of course.
Now, I need a reward for doing 100 surya namaskars yesterday, so I’m going to cut myself a sliver. And all you folks with gluten allergy, go nuts!
For flourless chocolate cake
- 4 eggs, separated
- 125 g (1/2 cup + 2tbsp) caster sugar
- 35 g (2 tbsp + 1 tsp)cocoa powder, sifted
For chocolate mousse
- 5 eggs, whites only
- 165 g dark chocolate, chopped (70% cocoa solids)
- 25 g caster sugar
For chocolate tuile
- 150 g caster sugar
- 50 g pure chocolate, chopped
- 1 tsp cocoa powder
- 50 g butter
- 40 g liquid glucose (usually available in pharmacies)
Note: The original recipe calls for using two 7 inch ring moulds to prepare to portions of cakes. I used one 8″ ring mould to make one portion of cake instead.
- Preheat oven to 170 C. You will need a 8 ” ring mould to bake this cake. Wrap the sides and base of the ring with aluminium foil. Now, line the base and sides of the ring with parchment paper again. Butter the base and sides of the parchment. Set aside.
- Whip the egg whites until frothy (2 minutes). Gradually add the sugar and whip the (4-5 minutes). Add the egg yolks to the egg whites and whisk until combined. Now fold well. Dust the cocoa powder into the egg mixture through a sieve. Fold gingerly, just until the ingredients are combined. Pour into the ring mould. Bake for 15 minutes until a skewer inserted in the center comes out clean.
- Allow the cake to cool for an hour.
- Melt the chopped chocolate over a saucepan of simmering water. The base of the chocolate dish should not touch the water.
- Whip the egg whites to a frothy texture. Add the sugar. Whip to stiff peaks.
- Fold 1/3rd of the egg whites to the melted chocolate. Fold just until combined. Fold the remaining chocolate. Fold well.
- Cut the top crust of the cooled cake. Place it back into the ring. Pour the prepared mousse on top. Refrigerate the cake for at least 2 hours.
- Preheat oven to 170 C.
- Combine 80 ml water, sugar and cocoa powder in a saucepan. Place saucepan in low heat and wait until the sugar dissolves. Add the butter, chopped chocolate and glucose. Bring it to boil (10 -20 seconds). Allow to cool.
- Pour the tuile mixture on a parchment paper. Fold the parchment paper in half and roll the paper using a rolling pin so that the mixture spreads. Tear the parchment paper in halves, place them on a baking sheet and bake the tuile for 5 minutes.
- Allow the tuile to cool and they will harden.
- Once the cake is set, splash some melted chocolate over it to create an abstract design. Pierce the tuiles into the cake, so they stand, without damaging the cake.
Here is a link to Raymond making the cake http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=msreouoGP7A
Link to the original recipe: http://www.bbc.co.uk/food/recipes/flourless_chocolate_cake_73668