Saturday, 7 April 2012

Ottolenghi's Flourless Chocolate Cake

Oh the wonderful, sensory overload of Ottolenghi.
I have been beating a path to their front door in Notting Hill for quite a few years and my wallet and waistline have felt the effects. But the food is outstanding. Their philosophy is to keep food as natural as possible in a Mediterranean-style cuisine which packs an unapologetic flavour punch.

The window displays alone are worth a visit. The aim is to display all food in the same way that a market stallholder does: show everything you got and don't interfere with it too much. I have heard Ottolenghi's food being described as 'food porn'. Brilliant and so true. Eat your heart out Amsterdam.

The salads are sublime and a selection of cakes, cookies and pastries to make your heart skip a beat. (oh wait, or is that the sugar overload?) My personal favourite is the Flourless Chocolate Cake. Which I have daringly taken the challenge to make. Can it possibly measure up to the shop bought version? You'd better believe it.

This Flourless Chocolate Cake, is also known as Ottolenghi's Chocolate Fudge Cake in their cookbook. It is decadence in abundance. Two things I will say if you make this cake is: 1.) It requires a little patience. 2.) Do not think about the calorie content, at all.

If you are ever in London, I highly recommend popping into one of Ottolenghi's shops.

240g unsalted butter, cut into small cubes
265g dark chocolate (52% cocoa solids) cut into small pieces
95g dark chocolate (70% cocoa solids) cut into small pieces
290g light muscovado sugar
4 tbsp water
5 large eggs (separated)
a pinch of salt
cocoa powder for dusting


Preheat the oven to 170˚C.

In a large bowl combine your chocolate and butter. Both should be cut up into small pieces. At the same time mix the sugar and water into a sauce pan and bring to a boil over medium heat. Make certain the sugar has melted before it boils. Once boiling pour over the chocolate and butter until it is all melted together.

Stir the egg yolks into the chocolate one at a time and reserve the whites in another bowl.  Let the chocolate cool room temperature. Then whisk the whites and the salt until firm and fold into the chocolate. This is when I prepared my springform cake tin. Something to do while waiting for the chocolate mixture to cool.

Pour 2/3 of the mixture into your cake tin and cook for 40 minutes until a toothpick comes out clean. Then set aside until completely cool.

Then pour the remaining mixture over and cook for 20-25 minutes until a toothpick shows a moist crumb. Set aside to cool and dust with cocoa and/or icing sugar.

This is everything it should be: dense, dark, rich, fudgy and chocolately. If you don't manage to eat it all in one sitting, it will keep for 4 days at room temperature.

Serves 10.

If you need tips on lining a springform cake tin, this is a good guide. How to line your springform cake tin.

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