Since the emergence of the gluten-free trend, countless flourless cake recipes are based on the concept of trying to mimic the volume and texture of an actual “with-flour” cake, largely by adding lots of eggs. However my first recollection of flourless dessert dates back to the late 1990s when flourless “cakes” took on a more dense fudge-like richness, a texture I wanted to revive with this recipe and stop trying to simulate a real cake. From a technical standpoint, it’s more appropriate to call this a torte due to its lack of flour, use of fruit preserves and extremely low height. How to classify a torte can be quite complicated, so feel free to read up, but I like how Joe at JoePastry.com explained it in his article “Just what is a torte anyway?“.
This torte is extremely easy to handle when completely cooled (almost like a frisbee) and due to its richness, a small piece of this goes a long way. All you really need with is a small sliver with a scoop of ice cream or frozen yogurt. It must be cooled completely so it is best to make this the night before an event and let it cool overnight and be sure to store the final torte with raspberry preserves in the refrigerator until just prior to serving.
- 8 ounces bittersweet chocolate
- 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup heavy cream
- 2 large eggs, at room temperature
- 2 egg yolks, at room temperature
Instructions for torte
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees and position wire rack in the center.
- Thoroughly grease the bottom and sides of a 9 inch round cake pan with shortening. Cut a circle out of parchment paper (not wax paper) just slightly smaller than 9 inches and place it in the bottom of the pan. Grease the paper as well. This will assure success when removing the torte from the pan. (Note, for an accurate cut you can use the cake pan to trace a circle onto the parchment paper and use that as a cutting guide). Set pan aside.
- Fill a medium pot with water 2/3 full and bring to a boil over hight heat. Meanwhile, with the tip of a knife break chocolate into 4 smaller chunks to help it melt faster. Place the chocolate in a smaller saucepan with a handle. Once water is boiling hold the saucepan with the chocolate just half way into the boiling water allowing the chocolate to melt gently. Constantly watch the chocolate and stir frequently avoiding any hard boiling. Set melted chocolate aside to cool slightly. Keep water boiling for later use to bake in a hot water bath.
- Combine butter and sugar in food processor (or a medium mixing bowl if using electric mixer). Pulse or blend on low speed butter and sugar just until creamy and light in color. gradually add vanilla, heavy cream, eggs and yolks and mix until thoroughly combined. On low speed, gradually mix in the melted chocolate until the color is evenly brown.
- Pour batter into prepared round pan and spread evenly. Place round cake pan in a larger baking pan and pour boiling water into the larger baking pan so the level meets half way up the sides of the smaller cake pan. This water bath assures more even baking.
- Bake for 45 minutes. The center may appear to be not cooked, but do not be fooled.
- Let torte cool to room temperature, then store in refrigerator to cool overnight. Once completely cool, invert torte on a plate to release it from the cake pan. Remove parchment paper and invert again onto a flat serving surface.
- Spread with a thin layer of raspberry preserves and store in refrigeration until prior to serving.
Yield: 8 to 10 servings