The Duchess Of Litchfield’s Best Flourless Chocolate Cake Ever
Contributor Lisa Fielding is a private chef and boutique caterer based in Manhattan who weekends in Litchfield County whenever possible. Many of her Manhattan clients are also Litchfield County weekenders, so work brings her to Northwest Connecticut as well. A Los Angeles transplant, Fielding was a former Hollywood film executive who segued into screenwriting several years ago, which enabled her to pursue her passion for food and entertaining. Lisa’s culinary skill set draws from a broad spectrum of dishes and ingredients.color:green;
My clients eat a lot of chocolate desserts and over the years I have searched high and low for the best chocolate fill-in-the-blank to keep it interesting for them and me. So I have curated an enviable index of chocolate desserts. And then one day, as I was testing several recipes for chocolate flourless cakes, I came up with the motherlode of recipes. I essentially added more butter, eggs and chocolate to several standard recipes and came up with my own cake that is hands-down the most moist, rich and decadent cake I’ve ever eaten. I then considered how to gild the lily so-to-speak, and plated it on my improvised crème anglaise, then tossed a few berries on top for color. This became my go-to chocolate dessert and it’s a perennial favorite. Best of all, it’s fail safe, requiring very little prep or special equipment. In other words, you can make it in a snap and wow your guests with your culinary prowess when you serve it beautifully plated. Additionally, it keeps for up to a week, so if you make it for yourself, you can finish each day with a little chocolate love for all the good you do. Enjoy!
Flourless Chocolate Cake with Brandied Crème Anglaise
Yield: 12 servings
For the cake
2 sticks (1 cup) unsalted butter plus more for the pan
10 ounces fine-quality bittersweet chocolate
1-1/2 cups granulated sugar
6 large eggs
1 cup unsweetened cocoa powder plus more for sprinkling
1. Preheat the oven to 375°F. Line the bottom of a 12-inch springform pan with parchment paper. Butter the pan and the paper.
2. Chop the chocolate into small pieces. In a double boiler or metal bowl set over a saucepan of barely simmering water, melt the chocolate with the butter, stirring, until smooth. Remove the top of the double boiler or the bowl from heat and whisk the sugar into the chocolate mixture. Add the eggs and whisk well. Sift the cocoa powder over the chocolate mixture and whisk until just combined. Pour the batter into the pan and bake in the middle of the oven for 25 minutes, or until top has formed a thin crust. Cool cake in the pan on a rack for 5 minutes before sliding a knife along the edge and releasing the spring.
3. Dust the cake with cocoa powder, cut it into 1-inch slices, and serve on a puddle of brandied crème anglaise. (Cake keeps, after being cooled completely, refrigerated in an airtight container for 1 week.
For the creme anglaise
2 cups heavy cream
4 large egg yolks
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 tablespoon good-quality vanilla
2 tablespoons brandy
1. In a 2-quart heavy saucepan, slowly bring the cream and vanilla to a soft boil and immediately remove from the heat.
2. In a medium bowl, whisk together the egg yolks and sugar until thick and pale. Add the hot cream to the yolk mixture in a slow stream, whisking the entire time (you might need a spare set of hands to hold the bowl). Transfer the mixture to the same saucepan and cook over moderate heat, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon, until slightly thickened and a thermometer registers 170°F. (Do not let the custard boil.)
3. Cool the crème anglaise completely and stir in the brandy. Cover with a sheet of plastic wrap and refrigerate. Pull the plastic wrap off before serving, which will remove the filmy top.