One of the best parts of our monthly CBL meetings is sharing a meal together. It's a great way to connect before we get into the nitty gritty of the meeting. Each member takes turns cooking for the group, which can be quite the endeavor when satisfying 7+ foodies and being mindful of each member's dietary restrictions. For our second annual retreat, I was part of the food crew and had to find a dessert for the whole group. This is the recipe I spied in Bon Appetit (my food mag bible), it is PERFECT for satisfying gluten free and gluten loving appetites alike. Plus, it can easily be adjusted for our dairy-free friends.
Flourless Chocolate Cake
- ½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, cut into 1” pieces, plus more, room temperature, for pan - for dairy free option replace with equal amount of coconut oil
- ¾ cup plus 1 Tbsp. sugar, divided, plus more for pan
- 10 ounces semisweet or bittersweet chocolate (61%–72% cacao), coarsely chopped
- 2 tablespoon vegetable oil
- 6 large eggs
- 2 tablespoon natural unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- ¾ teaspoon kosher salt
For Topping *
- 1 cup chilled heavy cream
- ½ cup mascarpone
- 3 tablespoon powdered sugar
- * for dairy-free option, simply top with coconut milk ice cream
A 9”-diameter springform pan
Preheat oven to 350°. Lightly butter (or coconut oil) your springform pan and dust with sugar, tapping out any excess.
Combine chocolate, oil, and ½ cup butter in a large glass bowl. Create a double boiler by setting glass bowl over a saucepan of simmering water and stirring often, until everything is almost 100% melted. Remove bowl from saucepan and continue to stir until fully melted.
Separate 4 eggs, keep whites and yolks in separate bowls. Add cocoa powder, vanilla, salt, ¼ cup sugar, and remaining 2 eggs to bowl with yolks and whisk until mixture is smooth. Gradually whisk yolk mixture into chocolate mixture, blending completely.
Using a standing mixer (or hand mixer) on high speed, beat egg whites until frothy. With mixer running, slowly pour in ½ cup sugar; beat until firm peaks form.
Gently fold egg whites into chocolate mixture in 2 additions, folding just until incorporated between additions (This part is a bit nerve racking because you don't want to lose all that lovely volume you've created. Just be really gently and don't over mix). Scrape into prepared pan; sprinkle with 1 tsp remaining sugar and 1/2 tsp of good sea salt (or try lavender fleur de sel).
Bake until top is starting to crack and cake is pulling away from edge of pan, 35-45 minutes. Pull from oven and let cake cool completely in pan (it will crack and collapse a bit, that is exactly what it's supposed to do).
DO AHEAD: Cake can be made 1 day ahead. Cover in pan and store at room temperature.
To make topping: Using a standing mixer or hand mixer, beat cream, mascarpone, and powdered sugar in a medium bowl until soft peaks form.
Remove sides of springform pan from cake. Mound topping mixture in center of cake.
- Add about 1-2 tbsp of bourbon to the whipped cream/mascarpone topping (you could do vanilla instead of the bourbon – 1/2 tsp).
- Add 1/2 tsp of cardamom to recipe (I love ALL things cardamom – hello Grapefruit Cardamom Lotion)
Any other variation ideas out there? What is your go-to dessert dinner part/big group dessert?