happy valentine’s day! by which i mean, i’ve been keeping this really delicious chocolate cloud cake from you for too long and i wanted to see if i could find a use for a bit of that beet powder i bought at costco and just can’t quite bring myself to enjoy in smoothies as much as i wish i did.
mostly my brief dalliance into trying to make a pretty dessert reminded me that while desserts that i make taste good, they aren’t going to make me a pinterest sensation. which i feel 1,000% fine about. it also reminded me how yummy this cake is and made me nostalgic for the times i’ve enjoyed it before.
when i get together with my college friends for a weekend together, we cook and bake A LOT. this flourless chocolate cake has become something of a staple at our gatherings, as is endorsed by those of us who were born in belgium and brought us both drinking chocolate and the original version of these brownies and it is also safe for those of us who can’t with the gluten. as my chocolate connoisseur friend said, “in my opinion, it’s what gluten-free baking should be. omitting the flour because it’s best that way, not making some weird set of substitutions.” amen to that!
not content to quit while i was ahead though, with a recipe for a decadent yet accessible chocolate souffle cake, i tried to get cute with the aforementioned beet powder. in my head, it was this really pretty perfect dusting of intense pink, perfect for the upcoming holiday. check me out, instagram!
in practice, i overbeat the whipped cream, as always, and the beet powder turns out to be quite fine compared to the size of the holes on my little mesh strainer, so things got a bit aggressive.
also, after i had already made and photographed my chocolate cloud cake, i searched online to see if this was a recipe name that people might ever search for and discovered a) yes it is and b) people who approach the whipped cream topping more like, well, clouds, and less like frosting end up with a prettier result.
while i feel really quite good about the nearly zero chance of ever being asked to make someone’s wedding cake and understand that directing you away from *my* recipe site and telling you to go look at other recipe sites is not traditionally advisable, i’ll adopt the miracle on 34th street approach and recommend that you take a quick peek at how others have approached the whipped cream.
but please do come back! we’ve got more to cook together and i may even manage to get a couple more posts up over the next few weeks. after all, i know you’re all just on a desperate search for a good kohlrabi recipe, right?! don’t worry, i’ve got you covered.
chocolate cloud cake
chocolate cloud cake is a decadent contrast of rich, flourless chocolate cake with fluffy whipped cream. beet powder dresses it up for holidays!
- 227 g. (8 oz.) high quality bittersweet chocolate, coarsely chopped, see notes
- 113 g. (4 oz. / ½ cup) unsalted butter, cut into roughly tablespoon size pieces, softened
- 6 large eggs: 2 whole, 4 separated
- 198 g. (7 oz. / 1 cup) granulated sugar
- 341 g. (12 fl. oz. / 1 ½ cups) heavy cream, well chilled
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- unsweetened cocoa powder or beet powder (if you want yours pink like mine) and/or dark chocolate shavings
- preheat the oven to 350° F. line the bottom of an 8” or 9” springform pan with a piece of parchment paper, cut to fit the bottom of the pan. do not butter the paper or the pan.
- in a heat proof, medium size bowl set over a pan of simmering water (or a double boiler), melt the chocolate, stirring constantly. remove the bowl from the heat and whisk in the butter until it melts. set aside.
- in a large bowl, whisk the 2 whole eggs and the 4 egg yolks with 99 g. (½ cup) of the sugar until combined. whisk in the warm chocolate mixture. set aside.
- in the bowl of an electric mixer, use the whisk attachment to beat the 4 egg whites on high speed until foamy, about 1 minute. gradually add the remaining sugar and beat 2 – 3 minutes more, until you can form soft mounds with the whites; stop before you get to stiff whites.
- gently stir ¼ of the beaten egg whites into the chocolate to lighten it, then gently fold in the remaining whites, taking care not to deflate the whites. pour the batter into the prepared pan and gently smooth the top (but don’t worry about it too much).
- bake for 35 – 40 minutes, until the center of the cake is set and the top has puffed up and cracked. do not overbake the cake.
- set the pan on a wire rack to cool completely; leave the sides of the pan in place. the center of the cake will fall quite a bit as it cools. (if at this point you were to pull off the pieces of that perfect, crackly, thin top of the cake and eat them prior to covering the whole thing in whipped cream, well, no one would be the wiser…)
- if you have the space, stick your beaters and mixing bowl in the freezer or fridge to chill in preparation for whipping the cream.
- when you’re ready to serve the cake, whip the cream and vanilla just until soft peaks form. i am incapable of this, but believe in you. using a large spoon or flexible spatula, gently mound the whipped cream into the fallen center of the cake. dust with cocoa (or beet) powder and/or chocolate shavings. carefully run a thin, flexible spatula or butter knife around the edge of the pan, then release the sides of the pan. dive in!
- should there be any, store leftovers tightly covered in the fridge (whipped cream absorbs fridge flavors). in a pinch, you can carefully put the sides of the pan back around the cake and then put a dinner plate on top to cover the cake. it will keep several days in the fridge and is quite delicious when eaten cold, straight out of the fridge.
equipment: in order to go smoothly, this recipe really needs an electric mixer (i love my stand mixer affiliate link) and a springform pan. the cake bakes up taller than a cake pan and as my friend said when we were texting about this recipe, “i’ve made this cake with a damn fork before, which i recommend if and only if you’re an avid rock climber hospitalized with some sort of leg injury trying to keep your forearms in shape while your leg heals.” but if you want to whip egg whites and then also whip cream with a fork, you do you. (but really, if you don’t have an electric mixer of some sort, may i suggest you turn your chocolate and cream into drinking chocolate instead? very delicious, zero whipping.)
chocolate: use the best quality chocolate you can find here, and try to avoid chocolate chips. chips have stabilizers to keep them from melting and step one is to melt the chocolate, so… they’ll work, but chopping a bar is worth the extra effort. if you need this cake to be soy free, be sure to read labels as chocolate frequently contains soy lecithin. lindt is my go to for good dark chocolate sold at the grocery store i’m already in and several of their bars are soy free.
whipped cream: i like to leave the whipped cream unsweetened to serve as a counterbalance to the rich cake.
adapted from the chocolate cloud cake in classic home desserts (affiliate link) by richard sax.
chocolate cloud cake
Serves: 8 – 12
|Amount Per Serving:|
|% Daily Value*|
|Total Fat 39.31 g||60.5%|
|Saturated Fat 23.28 g||116.4%|
|Trans Fat 0.48 g|
|Cholesterol 228.27 mg||76.1%|
|Sodium 74.42 mg||3.1%|
|Total Carbohydrate 44.41 g||14.8%|
|Dietary Fiber 1.67 g||6.7%|
|Sugars 41.57 g|
|Protein 6.9 g|
|Vitamin A 36.87 %||Vitamin C 0.28 %|
|Calcium 6.15 %||Iron 8.74 %|
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.
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