I've been promising a fantastic soup recipe, but I invented a new healthy version of the flourless chocolate cake that demands attention, so the soup will have to wait for another day. It's a keeper though, so be sure to check back!
I am a huge fan of dark chocolate, and my diet routine involves a daily dose of it, partly for the rich antioxidants it provides, but let's face it: it's a little square of heaven. Nothing else has the flavor, the feel, the smell... there's almost something otherworldly, almost sensual about it. It's not just me, I'm sure of it.
I had been craving something more than my daily square of Lindt 70% and the girls and their boyfriends were coming for dinner so I started looking at some recipes for flourless chocolate cake. I knew that was a dessert that would be decadent enough to satisfy my cravings and please the masses while conforming to my "no white flour" rule. The challenge though, was that it is a dessert that calls for white sugar, another no-no of mine. So I was looking for a substitution. I typically use raw organic honey in place of sugar, but I was afraid it would affect both the taste and the texture too much. If you look back to my old posts, you'll see where I introduced coconut crystals as a great sugar substitute. Not tasting like coconut at all, with more of a malty flavor, it's a great substitute for brown sugar and is similar in color. I wasn't sure if that would work in my flourless chocolate cake because it is very coarse and I didn't know if it would break down enough to get the right texture. As it turned out, my KitchenAid was a rock star and pulverized it with the eggs so well that there was not a grain left. Score!
Feeling inspired, I decided to see if I could lighten up my ganache recipe a bit by using almond milk instead of heavy cream. Makes sense, right? All of these substitutions and changes had the potential to go horribly wrong, but somehow the stars were all aligned and the result was my new favorite healthy dessert. Or as I have been taken to calling them- healthi-ER dessert. Let's not fool ourselves by saying that they are low calorie. They're just much better for you.
This particular cake's flavor is enhanced by a little espresso powder in the cake itself and some black raspberry liqueur in the ganache. For a fancy effect, I melted a little extra chocolate, added some butter and more liqueur to pour on the plate before setting the plate on top. I served the cake at room temperature, but had a second piece the next day straight from the refrigerator. Somehow it reminds me more of a brownie when it's ice cold, but I would honestly recommend it either way.
Looking forward to making this again, very soon, perhaps with Grand Marnier in the ganache and orange garnish. Enjoy!
Flourless Chocolate Cake with Black Raspberry Ganache
1 2/3 cup Ghiradelli 60% chocolate chips (or any dark chocolate 60-72% cacao)
3/4 cup unsalted butter
1/4 cup Dutch process cocoa
2 tsp instant espresso powder
--Melt chocolate with butter over low heat in a small saucepan. Whisk until smooth. Whisk in cocoa and espresso powder. Remove from heat and cool 10-15 minutes.
5 large organic eggs at room temperature
1 cup coconut crystals (If you can't get these, try organic brown sugar or other natural sugar)
-- Beat eggs and coconut crystals in stand mixer about 6 minutes or until mixture is completely smooth and there are no more crystals. Fold in chocolate mixture. Pour into springform pan buttered, lined with parchment, and buttered again.
--- Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes or until cracked and middle is still moist when a cake tester is inserted in center. Remove from oven and cool completely.
2/3 cup unsweetened almond milk
1 cup Ghiradelli 60% chocolate chips)
1-2 Tablespoons black raspberry liqueur (or other liqueur)
--- Heat almond milk until almost boiling. Add chocolate and whisk until smooth. Add liqueur and whisk again. Let cool slightly, then pour over cooled cake, letting ganache fall over edges decoratively. Refrigerate uncovered for about an hour, then cover. Bring to almost room temperature when ready to serve.
To serve, melt additional chocolate with butter and liqueur (I didn't measure- so you'll have to experiment and taste until you get the texture and flavor you want). Pour a spoonful of the chocolate sauce onto a plate. Top with a slice of cake. Garnish with blackberries or other fruit.