Am I posting this flourless chocolate cake recipe because it's Pesach? Yes. Yes I am. But you certainly don't have to be observing or even a member of the tribe or believe gluten is the root of all evil to enjoy the rich decadence of this cake. You can, of course, replace the flourless chocolate cake in this recipe with your favorite chocolate sponge, but the intensity of this cake contrasted with the sharpness of the whipped sour cream is what really takes this cake up a notch from Birthday Party to Plated Dessert.
You'll notice in this recipe I use gelatin to stabilize the whipped sour cream to allow me to build this cake in a ring mold. You can omit the gelatin but it means you'll probably want to build this cake right before serving, with a more rustic, icebox cake look or just serve it as slices of cake with a dollop of whipped sour cream and fresh strawberries on top.
If you just don't have a ring mold or like the idea of plating better, but still want to do as much as possible in advance, keep the gelatin in the recipe and the stabilized whipped sour cream should hold in the fridge for about twenty four hours.
This cake is incredibly rich, so even though it's only a nine inch round, I'd say it serves about 15-18.
For the Cake:
- 8 oz Bittersweet Chocolate (chopped)
- 1/2 pound (2 sticks) Butter
- 1 1/2 cups Sugar
- 6 Eggs (room temperature)
- 1 cup Unsweetened Cocoa Powder
- 3/4 teaspoon Salt
For the Filling:
- 1 cup Heavy Cream
- 1/4 cup Powdered Sugar
- 3/4 cup Sour Cream
- 3 sheets Gelatin (I don't know the strength I'm using because Korea)
- 2 tablespoons Cointreau or other liqueur
- 1 cup Strawberries (sliced)
- 1/3 cup Strawberry Jam
- Preheat your oven to 350. Grease the bottom of two 9 inch pans, cover with parchment and grease again. (Your life will be easier if you have springforms, but I don't have appropriately sized ones and it worked out fine.)
- Using a double boiler, melt together your butter and chocolate. I always line my bowls with the butter before putting in the chopped chocolate as an extra precaution against burning. Once completely melted, whisk in one cup of the sugar and set aside.
- Using a stand or hand mixer (or a whisk and a lot of elbow grease) whisk the eggs and remaining half cup of sugar to ribbon stage. Reduce the speed to low and slowly pour in the melted chocolate mixtures. When the chocolate mixture is most of the way incorporated, whisk in the cocoa powder and salt.
- Divide evenly between the two prepare pans. Bake for twenty to twenty five minutes or until a tester poked in the middle comes out with moist crumbs.
- Cool cake for ten minutes in the pan before removing and cooling completely on a rack.
Whipped Sour Cream (When Cake is Ready for Assembly)
- Bloom sheet gelatin in cold water.
- Whip heavy cream and powdered sugar to medium peak. While whipping, squeeze out the bloomed gelatin and then melt in 3 tablespoons water or a mixture of two tablespoons liqueur and one tablespoon water. (I do this in the microwave, only do about fifteen seconds but you can also use a double boiler)
- With the mixer on low speed, drizzle the gelatin into the whipped cream. Add in the sour cream and mix until incorporated.
- If necessary, trim cakes to the size of the ring
- Put your ring on a cake board and line with a cake collar (acetate strip).
- Carefully place your bottom cake layer inside the ring. Arrange strawberries in an even layer covering the cake.
- Scoop half the whipped sour cream over the strawberries and use a small offset spatula to spread and smooth.
- Carefully place your second layer inside the ring.
- In a small ramekin, heat strawberry jam for twenty seconds in the microwave. Use a small offset spatula to spread a thin layer over the cake. Let cool.
- Scoop remaining whipped sour cream over the top of the cake. Use a large offset spatula to make a smooth top or use a smaller one to make swirls for a textured look.
- Cover in a cake dome and refrigerate for at least one hour or up to twenty four.
- Remove acetate strip and slice. This is definitely a cake where you want to have some hot water to clean your knife between every cut.