If you know me, you know I love dark chocolate. And for those of you who can relate to food beyond mere appreciation but rather amorous devotion, you will want to try this flourless chocolate cake recipe from one of my favorite cookbooks, My French Kitchen (2vol) by Joanne Harris . It is one of those recipes that has become almost illegible in the book due to my obsessive use. My children will have little trouble identifying which cookbooks and specific recipes I have grown to love as the stains and dog-eared pages are obvious markers. This cake is simple in regards to preparation and isn’t anything fussy that requires a cake server and fine china. Most definitely, it will fix anything that has gone wrong in the day if eaten warm, right out of the pan. I promise.
6 ½ ounces (70% cocoa) chocolate – I personally buy dark chocolate bars w/ sea salt
12 Tablespoons unsalted butter (softened)
2/3 cups sugar or less
1 2/3 cups of ground almonds (Trader Joes sells large bags)
4 large eggs (separated)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Break chocolate into small pieces. Melt on stovetop at lowest setting in a heavy bottomed saucepan. Remove from heat. Cream together butter (room temp) and sugar. Add ground almonds, egg yolks, melted chocoate and beat until evenly blended. Beat egg whites until stiff and fold into batter gently. Poor into a cake pan ( I like a fluted 9” tart pan) and bake 35 minutes.
It will have a light crust on the outside but the inside will be soft with a moist, dense sponge. It should neither be dry nor goey. The book calls for a chocolate icing but personally, I think it is overkill. Typically, my children and I eat this right out of the oven gathered around the kitchen island. The sighs and smiles are gateways to open hearted conversations. But sometimes, I make this just for me and eat it in bed with a good book and cup of tea. Happy Valentines!