Saturday, March 21, 2009

The flourless chocolate cake showdown

Posted by kel @ sweet treats at 8:27 PM
My other half has been hanging out in the kitchen quite a bit lately. I came home from work the other day and he was standing in the middle of the kitchen, holding a bowl of chocolately batter, looking perplexed. It was the first time he'd ever endeavoured to bake a cake, so I gave him a little bit of a hand.

Justin works with some very health conscious people, so he was trying to bake a sweet treat that would not only be delicious but somewhat healthy as well. He decided upon a flourless chocolate cake as it was low carb and low fat.

I stared wistfully at the cake baking away in the oven and my man kindly agreed to replicate the cake for me today.

My story now changes direction...
My best bud Charlotte somehow managed to persuade me that watching her partner playing in his cricket grand final today was a good idea. After a few hot hours in the sun (yes, I'm badly sunburnt because I merely have to go outside and my pasty skin scorches) we decided to hit nearby Prahran market for some retail therapy guessed it...cupcakes from Crabapple.

When I saw that they had their flourless chocolate cupcake for sale today I snaffled it up. New to the idea of flourless chocolate cakes, I decided a showdown between my boyfriend and Crabapple Cupcake Bakery was in order.

In the red corner, we have Crabapple Cupcake Bakery's flourless chocolate cupcake. It is topped with chocolate ganache, gold cachous and a white chocolate heart.

Pros: cute presentation, decadently creamy dark chocolate ganache, rich cake.
Cons: the ridiculous $5 price tag (!!!) and far too much ganache (sickly).

The blue corner sees Justin's flourless chocolate and pear cake. It is uniced, but I topped it with a little thickened cream.

Pros: deliciously mild nutty flavour, richness of the cake cut by slices of pear, very moist cake.
Cons: almond meal was just a little gritty.

Overall winner: it's got to be Justin's! I wasn't even able to finish the Crabapple cake because of the amount of ganache slathered on top. Justin's was a clear winner as it was light but decadent, even without icing.

Now for the recipe!

Justin's Chocolate and Pear Flourless Chocolate Cake

1/3 cup cocoa powder
1/3 cup hot water
2 tsp instant coffee powder
2 tsp boiling water
100g almond meal
1/2 cup caster sugar
3 eggs, separated
4 tinned pear halves, sliced and well drained

Preheat oven to 180 degree celsius (160 fan forced). Grease a round 22cm cake tin and line the base and sides of tin with non stick baking paper.

Whisk the cocoa powder and hot water together in a bowl. Stir the coffee powder and boiling water in a mug and add to the cocoa mixture. Add the almond meal, sugar and egg yolks to cocoa mixture and stir until well combined.

Using electric beaters and a separate clean, dry bowl, whisk egg whites until soft peaks form. Fold eggwhites into cocoa mixture, one tablespoon at a time, until just combined.

Pour half of the mixture into prepared cake tin. Layer pear slices over mixture, leaving a 1cm gap around the edge of the mixture. Spoon the remaining mixture into the cake tin and smooth the top. Place cake tin in a large roasting tin. Pour boiling water into the roasting tin until the water sits at two thirds of the height of the cake tine. Bake for 40 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the centre of the cake comes out clean. Allow cake to cool for 15 minutes before turning out on to a wire rack.


1 comments on "The flourless chocolate cake showdown"

Charlotte said...

Go Justin!!!
Thanks for coming to the cricket Kel :) I owe you BIG TIME!


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