Today we have a special guest blogger.... Yana Berlin, creator of Fabulously 40 & Beyond... blogging about her favorite Fabulous Flourless Chocolate Cake....so heressss YANA!...
For some, cooking is a curse. For others, it’s a blessing. I still can’t decide whether I’m cursed or blessed since food has always been my best friend and my worst enemy.
My Russian heritage demanded that even the smallest gathering or insignificant celebration was accompanied by an abundance of food. My affair with chocolate soon turned into an obsession, which prompted me to start experimenting with all kinds of concoctions.
I strongly believe that with tenacity and determination we can do absolutely everything, however, when it comes to cooking, if you “have it,” you really don’t have to follow a recipe, and if you don’t…well…you’d better pay attention to them.
I can’t tell you how hard I try each and every time to stick to a recipe, even if it’s my own, but each and every time, I deviate and do something a little different.
My last trip to Napa valley was full of culinary experiences. We decided to have lunch at one of my favorite restaurants Mustards Grill. Every time a waiter passed by with a dish I was amazed and impressed at the same time. The food looked exquisite and succulent, but as much as I love food, what caught my attention was the chocolate flowerless cake. After inquiring about the recipe I found out that Mustards Restaurant has a cookbook. Knowing my weakness before I could blink, my girlfriend presented me with the colorful pages.
I couldn’t wait to get home to make my own flowerless cake, and I tried, I really, really tried sticking to the recipe. I promise you I only changed it a bit, but the credit goes to the chef - Brigid Callinan.
The Changes I Made to the Original Recipe:
- I didn’t have enough pecans, so I added walnuts to top off the pecans (two full cups).
- I didn’t have Jack Daniels’, so I used brandy.
- I defrosted raspberries, drained them and pureed them using it as raspberry sauce.
This recipe is relatively easy, if you know how to “fold”, you can’t go wrong with it. *See the post ... How to Fold Ingredients
To make it look a bit more extravagant I also made raspberry sauce. I added a bit more of the chocolate to the chocolate sauce, and after the cake was gone I rolled them into little balls, froze them and served as truffles.
You can serve this cake warm or cold, with hot chocolate sauce or without. One thing I can guarantee is that it will not last long in your kitchen.
Recipe from “Mustards Grill” Napa Valley Cookbook
Recipe: Jack Daniel’s Pecan Chocolate Cake (Original Recipe)
All You Need:
For the Cake:
2 cups pecan pieces
6 tbsp. unsalted butter
6 ounces semisweet chocolate
¼ cup Jack Daniel’s whiskey
8 large eggs, separated
1 cup sugar
Tiny pinch of salt
For the Jack Daniel’s Chocolate Sauce:
8 ounces good quality semisweet chocolate, chopped into small pieces
½ cup of unsalted butter
3 tbsp of Jack Daniel’s whiskey
¾ cup corn syrup
¾ cup heavy whipping cream
Whipped cream, flavored with vanilla extract (Chantilly Cream)
All you need to do:
To Make the Cake:
Preheat the oven to 325. Butter and flour a 10-inch springform pan.
Spread the pecans on a baking sheet and toast for about 12 minutes, until very fragrant. Let cool, then grind the nuts in a food processor or chop finely.
Combine the butter, chocolate, and whiskey in a large, heatproof bowl. Place over a saucepan of simmering water, and stir occasionally until melted and uniform. Remove from the heat.
Put the egg yolks and ¾ cup of the sugar in an electric mixer fitted with the whip attachment. Beat on high speed until very thick and pale.
Stir the group pecans into the chocolate mixture, then fold in the whipped yolks. (Make sure the chocolate mixture has cooled and is roughly the same temperature as the yolks otherwise you will have scrambled eggs).
In a clean bowl, with a clean whip attachment, beat the egg whites on high speed until foamy. Slowly add the remaining ¼ cup sugar and the salt, and whip on high speed until soft peaks form.
In three batches, quickly but gently fold the egg whites into the chocolate mixture, maintaining as much volume as possible.
Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake for 40 to 45 minutes, until the cake springs back when pressed gently in the center. Cool completely on a rack, then remove the sides of the pan.
To Make the Sauce:
Combine the chocolate, butter, whiskey, and corn syrup in heatproof bowl and set over barely simmering water. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the chocolate and butter are melted. Remove from the heat and stir in the cream. Now, see if you can keep from eating it all before it’s time to serve it!
Cut the cake into the desired number of portions.
Place each slice on a pool of warm chocolate sauce and dust liberally with confectioners’ sugar.
Place a big scoop of ice cream along side and dollop of whipped cream on top. (why diet now?)
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