03 July 2020

FLOURLESS CHOCOLATE RUM CAKE

The good old classic, the hearty chocolate cake that stays soft and moist for days. The cake you make in the evening and then eagerly await the next day, to serve and enjoy it.
It does require a bit of preparation, whipping the egg whites to a glossy perfection, grating the chocolate, making the syrup and the frosting. But the result is a lush flourless chocolate cake, combining both dark cocoa powder and extra dark chocolate, soaked in a fragrant syrup, and topped with double cream, to balance the richness.
As with any cake, be careful when baking so it does not dry out. Bake only until the centre stops wobbling when you move the pan, and the toothpick inserted in the very centre comes out clean. It could even have a few little most crumbs sticking to it, and that would also be fine.
On a final note, keep in mind that his cake, although flourless, is not gluten-free, as it contains semolina.


Ingredients
For the chocolate cake
4 large eggs, separated, at room temperature
1 small pinch of salt
150 grams granulated sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste
180 grams unseasoned mashed potatoes, at room temperature
50 grams semolina
20 grams unsweetened cocoa powder
2 teaspoons baking powder
For the chocolate rum syrup
100 ml cold water
50 grams granulated sugar
50 grams extra dark chocolate (70-80% cocoa solids), grated
15 millilitres dark rum
For the decoration
100 ml double cream
1 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder
½ teaspoon vanilla bean paste


Preparation
Carefully separate the egg yolks from the egg whites, placing them into large bowls. Add a small pinch of salt to the egg whites, and whip them with an electric mixer on high until stiff peaks form. They should be firm enough to hold peaks, but still glossy. Set them aside. Beat the egg yolks with an electric mixer on high for about 2 minutes or until they start to get lighter in colour, and slightly thicker. Add in the granulated sugar and the vanilla, and continue mixing until they increase in volume and become pale, about 3-4 minutes more.
Add in the mashed potatoes, and briefly mix on low. Sift in the semolina, cocoa powder, and the baking powder, and mix on medium speed until just combined. Take a sturdy spatula, and fold in about a third of the egg whites. Fold it through gently, making sure a lot of air remains in the batter. Once that is folded in, add in the rest of the egg whites, and softly fold until combined.
Take a small rectangular pan (18x18 cm) and line the bottom and sides with baking parchment. Pour in the batter and bake immediately, at 200°C, for about 20-25 minutes, until the centre no longer wobbles, and the inserted toothpick comes out clean.
While the cake is baking, cook the rum syrup. Pour the cold water into a heavy-bottomed saucepan, and add in the sugar. Place it over high heat, and let it come to a boil. Cook, without stirring, for 3 minutes, or until the sugar is melted and the syrup is barely started to thicken up. Remove from the heat, and add in the grated dark chocolate. Mix until it is completely melted, and set aside to cool down slightly.
Once the cake is baked and ready, remove it from the oven, and let it cool down in the pan for about 5 minutes. Add the rum to the chocolate syrup, mix it through, and soak the baked cake really well with it. Use a tablespoon and slowly pour the syrup all over, making sure the sides are soaked, as well. Let the cake cool completely at room temperature.
Add the vanilla and the cocoa powder to the chilled double cream, and whip it until stiff peaks form. Spread it evenly on top of the cooled cake, and place the whole cake into the refrigerator for at least 8 hours. It will only get better and better as it stands. Serve with additional melted chocolate, walnuts, or just strong coffee. Yields 12 rich servings.

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