Queen of Napa Chocolate Cake
This elegant cake is a snap to make. Imagine a chocolate cake crashing into a chocolate soufflé; what could be more delicious? Serve with a bit of whipped cream and raspberries.
6 ounces of bittersweet chocolate (+62% cacao)
10 tablespoons (5 ounces) unsalted butter, cut into 1” pieces, plus 1 tablespoon for the pan
3 tablespoons (1½ ounces) Napa Port
1 teaspoon vanilla
pinch of fine sea salt
½ cup almond flour/meal*
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour**
4 large eggs
¾ cup (6 ounces) sugar: divided 1/2 and 1/4 cup each
Powdered sugar, whipped cream and raspberries for garnish
1. Place the oven rack in the lower third of the oven and heat to 375F- degrees. Butter an 8-inch cake pan and line with a circle of parchment paper. (You can use a 9" in a pinch but it won't be the same, you need to cook it for less time too.)
2. Separate the eggs. Placing the whites into the bowl of an electric mixer and the yolks in another bowl.
3. Place a 2-quart stainless steel bowl over a sauce pan of simmering water add the chocolate and butter and stir until melted. Remove from the heat and mix in the port, vanilla and salt. Stir almond flour into chocolate mixture.
5. In a mixing bowl, whisk the egg yolks with ½ cup of the sugar until yolks are pale yellow and they have doubled in size. Add to the chocolate mixture and mix well.
6. Beat the egg whites using an electric mixer at medium speed until soft peaks are formed then add the 1/4 cup remaining sugar. Increase the speed to high until the peaks are stiff but not dry.
7. Fold one-fourth of the egg whites into the chocolate batter. Then add the remaining egg whites to the batter and fold in. Scrape the batter into the prepared 8” pan, tap gently on the counter a few times to level.
8. Bake for about 25 to 30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted about 1 inch from the edge comes out dry; the center will still be soft. Cool on a wire rack. Don't worry when you see the cake collapse a little in the center; this is fine.
9. Unmold on to a serving plate. Dust the top of the cake with powdered sugar using a doily or another design out of paper. Serve with the whipped cream and raspberries.
*You can find Bob's Red Mill in most grocers. Or make your own by grinding blanched almond in a food processor. Don't use the almond meal/flour if you see they ground the skins with the nuts; they are not very flavorful.
**You can make this cake gluten free. I've used Cup4Cup instead of a-p flour. Or replace a-p flour with more almond flour.
Copyright © Julie Logue Riordan, Cooking with Julie