Flourless chocolate cake was born gluten-free, but it wasn't refined-sugar free until now. Here, we magnify the complex depths of unsweetened chocolate with caramelly coconut blossom nectar and rich espresso, resulting in our most decadent cake yet.
For both chocolate lovers and people with gluten allergies, there are few experiences better than a perfectly baked flourless chocolate cake. So when we first wondered if we could reinvent it without refined sugar, we knew we had some very discerning palates to get past. No flour AND no sugar? That's a tricky proposition for many classic patisserie recipes, and it renders some impossible. But by working with unsweetened chocolate and granulated nectar, versus the bittersweet chocolate and refined sugar in the original, we created a simple adaptation that – dare we say it – is even better, richer and more sophisticated.
Considering it consists of only six ingredients and a few shorts steps, this cake is deceptively elegant, and with a ganache coating becomes even more of a jaw-dropper. We gave ours a finishing touch with edible flowers and edible gold, but adornments aren't really necessary on a cake so stunning in naked form. But if you are feeling festive, try drizzling with salted caramel or topping each slice with a few berries and some roasted, finely chopped nuts. A sprinkle of cayenne can also be a welcome addition for anyone who likes a little heat!
Flourless Chocolate Cake
For the cake:
8 oz good quality unsweetened chocolate, roughly chopped (we love Madacasse Fair Trade Dark Chocolate Disks, 100% Cocoa )
1 cup granulated nectar
½ cup water
½ tsp salt
6 oz butter, in small chunks
For the ganache:
8 oz good quality dark chocolate
8 oz heavy cream
1 tbsp instant espresso
1. Preheat over to 300F. Grease a 9 inch springform or removable bottom cake pan and set aside.
2. In a small saucepan, combine water, granulated nectar and salt. Bring to a simmer over medium heat, stirring occasionally. When nectar granules have dissolved completely, remove from heat.
3. Place chunks of unsweetened chocolate in a microwavable container and microwave on high at 30-45 second intervals, stirring between each one. When chocolate is fully melted, remove from microwave and pour into the bowl of an electric mixer.
4. One or two chunks at a time, beat butter into chocolate on low speed. Turn mixer off, add hot water mixture, then return to low speed. Once water is fully incorporated, add eggs one by one, beating between each addition.
5. Pour batter into prepared cake pan. Place pan into another, larger cake pan, and create a water bath by filling the larger pan about halfway up with hot water (the hot water goes between the pans, not on top of the cake batter)!
6. Bake for 40 minutes. Allow to cool, then carefully remove inner pan from the water bath. Cake will still appear wet. Refrigerate for about 6 hours or overnight.
Ganache & Assembly:
1. Remove cake from refrigerator. Using a flat metal spatula or a knife, loosen cake from the sides of the pan, then remove outside of the springform or cake pan, leaving on the bottom portion of the pan (this will help you transfer the cake without getting covered in chocolate).
2. Place a cooling rack on top of a few paper towels, then set the cake on top of the cooling rack.
3. Place chopped chocolate in a heatproof bowl. Place cream in a small saucepan, and over low flame, heat cream until steaming (do not allow to boil). Pour hot cream over chocolate, and allow to sit for five minutes. Add instant espresso, then whisk mixture until glossy and smooth.
4. In a slow and steady stream, pour ganache onto the center of the cake. As you pour, the ganache will spread out and over the sides of the cake.
5. Allow to set, then refrigerate until ready to serve.