New Recipe: Recipe: This flourless dark chocolate victory cake may become your new best friend

Makes one 9-inch round

If you have ever had the thought that you want chocolate cake right now, then this recipe is your new best friend. After assembling a mise en place (the measured ingredients), you can mix the cake in 15 minutes if you don’t get distracted, send it to the oven, bake it, cool, and serve it by the time you’ve finished dinner. You won’t really feel like you’re eating cake; it has a mousse-like texture. But the silky chocolate experience will convince you. Use a good dark chocolate that has at least a 60 percent cocoa content. Once you’ve melted it, make sure it’s no longer hot when you use it so it doesn’t curdle the yolks. The batter is stiff when you fold in beaten egg whites. Don’t be alarmed. The whites will loosen it all up enough so that you can spread the batter in the cake pan. A pan with a removable bottom — a tart or springform pan — is ideal here. This cake cannot be turned out onto a rack to cool; leave it in the pan and serve it off the bottom. In a pinch, a pie pan can do the job. Of course, a round of parchment paper on the bottom of the pan makes it all so easy. The cake is thin and rich and the only suitable garnish is heaps of barely sweetened freshly whipped cream, and perhaps a few perfect raspberries, once those come into season. Over the past year, we’ve all endured so much loss and grief and anxiety that a solid victory, even in the form of a beautiful little cake, might be just what we need right now.

Butter (for the pan)
Cocoa powder (for sprinkling)
4 ounces dark chocolate (60 to 70 percent), coarsely chopped
3 eggs, separated
4 tablespoons butter, at room temperature
cup sugar
2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
½ cup whole-milk ricotta
Pinch of salt
Confectioners’ sugar (for sprinkling)
1 cup heavy cream, softly whipped with 1 tablespoon sugar

1. Set the oven at 350 degrees. Butter a 9-inch tart pan with a removable base or a 9-inch springform pan. Dust the pan with cocoa powder and tap out the excess.

2. Put the chocolate in a heatproof bowl. Fill a saucepan with water and bring just to a simmer. Set the chocolate bowl over the saucepan so the water doesn’t touch the chocolate. Let the chocolate melt, stirring with a rubber spatula. Remove the bowl from the saucepan, wipe the bottom dry, and set the chocolate aside until it is no longer hot. Or, melt the chocolate in a microwave in 20-second bursts.

3. In an electric mixer, beat the egg whites until they form soft peaks. They should still look a little creamy when you lift the beaters. Transfer the whites to a clean bowl. Wash and dry the mixer bowl and beaters.

4. In the electric mixer with the clean bowl and beaters, cream the butter and sugar until it is fluffy. Add the egg yolks and beat for 5 minutes, scraping down the sides of the bowl, or until the batter is very thick.

5. Meanwhile, in another bowl, stir together the cocoa, ricotta, and salt. Beat them into the butter mixture, followed by the chocolate. Scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed. The batter is thick and will start to stiffen.

6. Fold the whites into the batter in 3 additions, leaving the last addition slightly streaky. Pour the batter into the pan and smooth the top so the edges are slightly higher than the center.

7. Bake the cake for 20 to 22 minutes, or until the edges start to pull away from the sides of the pan and the top of the cake looks set and dry.

8. Let the cake cool completely in the pan. Set the tart pan on a bowl so the sides fall away or unlatch the springform side and lift it off. Sprinkle the cake with confectioners’ sugar and cut into wedges. Serve with whipped cream.

Caleb Barber

Makes one 9-inch round

If you have ever had the thought that you want chocolate cake right now, then this recipe is your new best friend. After assembling a mise en place (the measured ingredients), you can mix the cake in 15 minutes if you don’t get distracted, send it to the oven, bake it, cool, and serve it by the time you’ve finished dinner. You won’t really feel like you’re eating cake; it has a mousse-like texture. But the silky chocolate experience will convince you. Use a good dark chocolate that has at least a 60 percent cocoa content. Once you’ve melted it, make sure it’s no longer hot when you use it so it doesn’t curdle the yolks. The batter is stiff when you fold in beaten egg whites. Don’t be alarmed. The whites will loosen it all up enough so that you can spread the batter in the cake pan. A pan with a removable bottom — a tart or springform pan — is ideal here. This cake cannot be turned out onto a rack to cool; leave it in the pan and serve it off the bottom. In a pinch, a pie pan can do the job. Of course, a round of parchment paper on the bottom of the pan makes it all so easy. The cake is thin and rich and the only suitable garnish is heaps of barely sweetened freshly whipped cream, and perhaps a few perfect raspberries, once those come into season. Over the past year, we’ve all endured so much loss and grief and anxiety that a solid victory, even in the form of a beautiful little cake, might be just what we need right now.

Butter (for the pan)
Cocoa powder (for sprinkling)
4 ounces dark chocolate (60 to 70 percent), coarsely chopped
3 eggs, separated
4 tablespoons butter, at room temperature
cup sugar
2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
½ cup whole-milk ricotta
Pinch of salt
Confectioners’ sugar (for sprinkling)
1 cup heavy cream, softly whipped with 1 tablespoon sugar

1. Set the oven at 350 degrees. Butter a 9-inch tart pan with a removable base or a 9-inch springform pan. Dust the pan with cocoa powder and tap out the excess.

2. Put the chocolate in a heatproof bowl. Fill a saucepan with water and bring just to a simmer. Set the chocolate bowl over the saucepan so the water doesn’t touch the chocolate. Let the chocolate melt, stirring with a rubber spatula. Remove the bowl from the saucepan, wipe the bottom dry, and set the chocolate aside until it is no longer hot. Or, melt the chocolate in a microwave in 20-second bursts.

3. In an electric mixer, beat the egg whites until they form soft peaks. They should still look a little creamy when you lift the beaters. Transfer the whites to a clean bowl. Wash and dry the mixer bowl and beaters.

4. In the electric mixer with the clean bowl and beaters, cream the butter and sugar until it is fluffy. Add the egg yolks and beat for 5 minutes, scraping down the sides of the bowl, or until the batter is very thick.

5. Meanwhile, in another bowl, stir together the cocoa, ricotta, and salt. Beat them into the butter mixture, followed by the chocolate. Scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed. The batter is thick and will start to stiffen.

6. Fold the whites into the batter in 3 additions, leaving the last addition slightly streaky. Pour the batter into the pan and smooth the top so the edges are slightly higher than the center.

7. Bake the cake for 20 to 22 minutes, or until the edges start to pull away from the sides of the pan and the top of the cake looks set and dry.

8. Let the cake cool completely in the pan. Set the tart pan on a bowl so the sides fall away or unlatch the springform side and lift it off. Sprinkle the cake with confectioners’ sugar and cut into wedges. Serve with whipped cream.Caleb Barber




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