Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Divine Flourless Chocolate Cake- the easy way

If you've never had flourless chocolate cake, you don't know what you're missing.  Incredibly rich, moist, dense, it is a chocolate lover's dream.  I've loved it for years and have posted a recipe for it before.  But last weekend I tried out a new recipe I came across.  It's pretty similar to the first recipe, same ingredients with slightly different measurements.  But what sets this recipe apart, is the method.  It's really much simpler and I promise- anyone can make this!  Use your kitchenaid for this and it's a snap. This one has now officially became my favorite.  Be sure to serve it with a healthy dose of fresh whipped cream to cut the richness of the cake.

18 ounces bittersweet chocolate pieces
3/4 C unsalted butter
1 T vanilla
5 eggs
1 C sugar
6 T whipping cream
6 T corn syrup
1 C sliced or chopped almonds
fresh whipped cream for garnish

Preheat oven to 350.  Line the bottom of a 9 in springform pan with parchment, then grease.
In a saucepan over low heat, melt 10 ounces of the chocolate and the butter, stirring frequently until smooth.  Watch closely so the chocolate doesn't burn.  Stir in the vanilla.  Set aside to cool slightly.
In your kitchenaid beat the eggs and sugar until triple in volume, about 5-6 minutes.  Set to low stir setting, and slowly add the chocolate until combined.  Using a rubber spatula, carefully stir to be sure you get everything off the bottom incorporated well.  There may be streaks in the batter, that's okay.  Pour into prepared pan and bake for about 40-45 minutes.  The crust will start to crack a little.
Place on a wire rack and remove the side of the pan.  The top will be uneven, you can leave it alone for a rustic look (which I like) or you can carefully press it down to create and even layer.  Let cool. When you are ready for the glaze, you can either leave it top up like this, or you can invert it onto a plate if you want a really even, flat top.
For the glaze, in a saucepan on low heat, melt the remaining 8 ounces of chocolate with the whipping cream and corn syrup stirring until smooth.  Cool for ten minutes, then pour over cake.  Top with almonds.  I like to cover the top with almonds so I get some of that salty crunch in each bite, but if you prefer you can press the almonds into just the sides of the cake for another nice look.
It is best if refrigerated before serving.  Enjoy with whipped cream!

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Chocolate Pastries

Ever since Jared and I went to Paris about 8 years ago, we've loved Pan Au Chocolat.  It's like a croissant with chocolate rolled up in it, but it has a more tubular shape (like the picture above).  I never thought I could do anything like that at home, but once again I have been happily disproven.  I got an idea for these from a recipe I saw on TV, but I've tweaked it and changed the shape making it look more like a classic Pan Au Chocolat that you would find in Paris. The creamy filling is really wonderful, it doesn't taste cream-cheesy, it just tastes like a great creamy chocolate filling.  These would be awesome served with hot chocolate for the cold fall and winter months ahead. 

 Chocolate Pastries
1/2 C cream cheese at room temp
1 egg yolk
1 T flour
1/4 C sugar
1 tsp vanilla
1/4 tsp salt
2/3 C mini chocolate chips
2 sheets frozen puff pastry, thawed
1 egg, beaten

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment.
In a small bowl, mix together the cheese, yolk, flour, sugar, vanilla and salt until smooth. Stir in the chocolate chips and set aside.
Cut each sheet of pastry into 6 even pieces. Place pieces of pastry onto the parchment lined pans. Spoon 1-2 tablespoons of filling into the middle of each piece of pastry. Fold one side down onto the filling, then using a pastry brush, brush it lightly with the beaten egg. Then fold the other side of pastry down onto the egg wash and pinch a little to be sure it stays down during baking. Brush top of entire pastry with a little egg wash. Leave the ends open. It will somewhat resemble an egg roll at this point.
Bake until puffed and golden, about 15 minutes. Remove from oven to cooling rack and let cool for at least 5 minutes before serving.