Gooey Chocolate Cake

May 17th, 2008

This is actually just a baked chocolate mousse, so you could chill the mixture in individual pots (coffee cups work well) and have it as a mousse. That said, its really worth baking it in the oven. I’m not a massive of eating chocolate on its own, but it really comes into its own in baked goods. What is more satisfying that a perfectly cooked gooey chocolate brownie? Er, maybe some ice cream with it…

Cooking with chocolate is so easy and it always affords the best responses from people. There are a few rules, one only use very good quality dark chocolate, even if you don’t like eating, its a must for baking, (you get the sweetness from adding sugar). Make sure you use good quality butter (english, organic if possible) and melt it very slowly. I always use a microwave, it saves the hassle of melting it in a bain marie and I’ve only ever burnt it once. (If you melt chocolate too quickly, it burns, seizes up and is unusable, you will know as it smells pretty bad too). All I do is melt it for a minute or so on medium, give it a stir and then repeat until the chocolate has melted. Simple.

As this cake contains no flour, it is whisked egg whites that give it lift. Whisking egg whites can be a bit of a hassle (though not impossible) without and electric whisk. In those instances, it can be useful to rope in someone else to do the whisking for you, who will benefit from the cake later on. When whisking egg whites, the key is to go slowly at first until the eggs starts to foam, then you can go quite quickly. Its also very important that there is no fat or grease on the bowl or whisk (make sure no yolk gets into the whites) as this will stop them forming peaks. To make sure, you can run a cut lemon around the bowl and whisk.

Gooey Chocolate Cake

350g dark chocolate
200g golden caster sugar
175g butter
8 large eggs, separated
1tbsp vanilla

Grease and line a springform tin. Melt the chocolate and butter in the microwave. Meanwhile whisk the egg yolks and sugar until really pale and thick (an electric whisk works best here) then stir in the vanilla and melted chocolate.

Then whisk the egg whites, by whichever means, until they form stiff peaks (i.e you can hold the bowl upside down over your head and nothing falls out, I would recommend this as a testing method). Make sure you only whisk the egg whites right before baking to retain as much air as possible.

Add a dollop of egg white and stir briskly to loosen the mixture. Add the rest of the egg whites and using a large metal spoon, cut a path down the middle of the mixture with the edge of the spoon. Then gently turn half the mixture over onto the other half. Continue cutting down the middle and turning a portion over. Don’t stir. The purpose of folding is to retain the air you have beaten into the whites. Be careful to only mix enough to incorporate the whites, and never use an electric mixer for this step.

Transfer the mixture to the springform tin and bake immediately at 180°C for about 30-35mins. You want the cake to be firm on top but still a little squidgy underneath.

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