March 17, 2016
Dense Chocolate Cake
Happy Friday! To kick off the week end, I'm sharing Joel Robuchon's dense chocolate cake with you today. After all, the week end deserves a decadent start. This cake is a flawless blend of chocolate and almond flour, and what a treat it is!
Now, normally, I think frosting is the most important part of a cake. In fact, a cake without frosting really isn't worth it to me. However, this cake is a different story. This cake does not need frosting. It is so rich that it stands perfectly well by itself. In fact, I think frosting would actually take away from the flavor.
Whenever chocolate is the star ingredient of a recipe, I always make sure to use a higher quality chocolate. For this cake, I splurged with good chocolate from Valrhona. Valrhona is a top notch fancy French chocolate made near Lyon. This chocolate used to be harder to find, but now Trader Joe's has it.
When baking, I've noticed a big difference when I use European butters. European butters have a higher fat content and less water than American butters. Lower moisture equals flakier pastries. Here, to keep the French ingredient theme going, I used the Brittany, France butter from Trader Joe's. It is cultured butter, so it has a creamier and more distinct flavor.
If you can resist, this cake tastes better the next day. The chocolate flavor becomes more pronounced over night.
A little sliver of this will take care of any chocolate craving. Have a great week end!
Dense Chocolate Cake
Yields 8 servings
65 grams (4 tbsp.) butter
100 grams (3 oz.) dark chocolate, chopped
3 large eggs, separated
60 grams (1/2 cup) confectioners' sugar
60 grams (3/4 cup) almond flour
1 tbsp. flour, plus extra for flouring the cake pan
Dash of granulated sugar
Dice the chilled butter and leave it out to soften. While the butter softens, boil a kettle of water. In a heatproof bowl, place the chocolate and 2 tbsp. of water (not boiling - you can just do tap water) into the bowl. Place the bowl inside a saucepan. Once the kettle boils, pour the water into the saucepan so that it reaches halfway up the outside of the bowl of chocolate. Turn the heat to low and stir the chocolate to melt. When the chocolate is almost completely melted, stir in quickly all of the butter except 1 tablespoon. Then, stir in the 3 egg yolks, followed by the confectioners' sugar. Add the almond flour and flour and stir until everything is incorporated. Remove the bowl from the saucepan and allow it to cool.
While the chocolate mixture cools, preheat the oven to 350ºF. Pour the egg whites into a mixing bowl and add a dash of granulated sugar. Begin to whisk the whites slowly with a hand mixer and then increase the speed. The whites are ready once the whites no longer stick to the sides of the bowl and form light peaks.
Quickly whisk the one-fourth of the whipped whites into the chocolate mixture. Once incorporated, gently fold in the rest of the whites. Continue slowly until all traces of white have disappeared.
Grease a 8" or 9" cake pan with the remaining butter and sprinkle with flour. Shake the flour all around the pan to coat evenly and tap out any excess. Fill the pan with the batter, and bake for about 20 minutes in the lower part of the oven.
Check to see whether the cake has finished cooking by slipping in the blade of a knife. It should emerge from the edges dry, but from the center of the cake, it will carry out some of the hot batter. When the cake is done, untold it onto a large plate, and then place it onto a cooling rack.
Source: The Complete Robuchon