Saturday, February 28, 2009

Flourless Chocolate Cake with Berries, Chocolate Bark and a Balsamic Glaze


It's hard for me to be anything else but pleased at the prospect of trying a new chocolate dessert. Even a little piece of bittersweet, dark, velvety chocolate can do wonders to one's mood and is an easy pick-me up on those days when everything is going wrong.

This month's Daring Bakers challenge was hosted by Wendy of WMPE's blog and Dharm of Dad ~ Baker & Chef. They chose a flourless chocolate Valentino cake by Chef Wan. The cake was very fast to make and gave me the chance to make two accompanying garnishes. I reduced some balsamic vinegar with a little sugar to obtain a thick glaze which works wonders with berries. I also made a paper thin chocolate bark by spreading a thin layer of melted chocolate on a plastic wrapped- baking sheet. I sprinkled the top with some chopped pistachios and let it harden in the freezer. You can then break the pieces into shards and decorate different dessert plates. So chocolate lovers beware, this combo may lead to a little too much indulgence!

Chocolate Valentino Cake
, adapted from Chef Wan
16 ounces (1 pound) (454 grams) of semisweet chocolate, roughly chopped
½ cup (1 stick) plus 2 tablespoons (146 grams total) of unsalted butter
5 large eggs separated

Put chocolate and butter in a heatproof bowl and set over a pan of simmering water (the bottom of the bowl should not touch the water) and melt, stirring often.
While your chocolate butter mixture is cooling. Butter your pan and line with a parchment circle then butter the parchment.
Separate the egg yolks from the egg whites and put into two medium/large bowls.
Whip the egg whites in a medium/large grease free bowl until stiff peaks are formed (do not over-whip or the cake will be dry).
With the same beater beat the egg yolks together.
Add the egg yolks to the cooled chocolate.
Fold in 1/3 of the egg whites into the chocolate mixture and follow with remaining 2/3rds. Fold until no white remains without deflating the batter.
Pour batter into prepared pan, the batter should fill the pan 3/4 of the way full, and bake at 375F/190C
Bake for 25 minutes until an instant read thermometer reads 140F/60C.
Note – If you do not have an instant read thermometer, the top of the cake will look similar to a brownie and a cake tester will appear wet.
Cool cake on a rack for 10 minutes then unmold.

28 comments:

Kevin said...

That chocolate cake looks really good. Nice presentation!

lisa (dandysugar) said...

I love the simplicity and flavor of the balsamic glaze for this dessert. Beautifully presented with the chocolate bark!

Engineer Baker said...

Oh how I love chocolate bark. Yours sounds like a fantastic pairing with the cake, and the balsamic syrup just puts it over the top. Beautiful job!

Elyse said...

What a gorgeous presentation! I love the acidity of a balsamic glaze with fruit and chocolate. It all pairs so well together. YUM, YUM, YUM!

Hannah said...

Oh, balsamic vinegar and berries would make such a perfect pairing- I wish I had thought of that!

Tina said...

Looks absolutely delicious! And I love pistachios - so your chocolate bark could become a real danger for me and my thighs!

pepsakoy said...

Classic!

Jennifer said...

So elegant!!! I love the addition of the chocolate bark! :D

Dawn said...

I absolutely love that you put a put of balsamic glaze, nice addition.

Passionate About Baking said...

Just gorgeous. Love the plating & your presentation. It's beautiful!!

Junie Moon said...

Your challenge results are just beautiful. I love what you've done with the project. I am learning so much from all the other Daring Bakers' blog posts and look forward to new challenges in future.

jillian said...

I love how the color of the plate sets of the colors of the cake and berries! Beautiful!

Lisa said...

Outsnading job. Love the pistachio chocolate shards and sweet balsamic glaze for the berries.. Also, your plating is top notch, WTG!

Audrey said...

Hi, there...I couldn't help paying you a little tribute on my blog today (at least I hope so!) (And I don't think I've ever met a chocolate dessert I didn't want to try, either!)
Audrey

unconfidentialcook said...

So simple! I make a flourless chocolate cake (Our #1 Favorite) that I'd like to share. Please check it out on my site, and let me know....

StickyGooeyCreamyChewy said...

The cake looks great and your presentation is very elegant! I love the balsamic glaze. Sounds wonderful!

MaryBeth said...

Great looking picture of your cake!!! I have heard of using balsamic with desserts but I have never tried it, I think I will have to give it a try... YUM-O

Dragon said...

Great job on this month's challenge!

Katie Barlow said...

Yum! Love the idea of pairing it with berries and balsamic glaze!

CookiePie said...

Beautiful -- I love what you did with the challenge! That bark looks really fantastic!

Olga said...

Fresh berries are such a great accompaniment to this rich cake!

Ingrid said...

You plated that beautifully!
~ingrid

Leslie said...

stunning..simply stunning! Almost too pretty to eat! I said almost!

Sara said...

Yum, this looks SO delicious! Gorgeous photo. :)

Jo said...

Great job on your challenge and love the picture/presentation.

Christina said...

I love the balsamic glaze idea! Great job with the challenge!

oneordinaryday said...

Your photos are lovely. Great job on the challenge!
Michelle
http://oneordinaryday.wordpress.com/

Yasemin said...

unbelievable! it looks amazing and i am sure it tastes even better. thanks for sharing. i will try it asap :)

Blog Widget by LinkWithin