Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Fallen Chocolate Souffle Cake

Weeks ago...nay, months ago, I won a cookbook giveaway from lisamichele.wordpress.com, and she sent me a copy of The Sweet Melissa Baking Book. I was so stoked when I got it, I pored over it, and dog-eared recipes I was dying to make, and dreamed of the treats melting in my mouth.

And then life happened. The book got shelved away, along with my baking dreams. I planned on baking from it eventually...

I pulled it out last week when I was trying to figure out how to use a couple of pounds of raspberries and was reminded of all those sweet dreams.

I didn't end up using it for the raspberries...but when my mom and I decided to have a family dinner together last Sunday, I knew I had the perfect dessert. I pulled out the Sweet Melissa book and dreamed once again, this time knowing my dreams would come to fruition.

You see, while it may be unexpected, the cover image on The Sweet Melissa Baking Book is a photo of a gluten-free chocolate cake. Yes, gluten free. On the cover of a baking book. Shocking, right? Well, my mom just so happens to be Celiac, so it was perfect!

[Image from Amazon.com]
I made the cake on Sunday, and it was surprisingly easy. I am afraid I overwhipped the egg whites, because my cake didn't fall as much as hers, but it was still tasty. And I was so surprised that the texture was really similar to cakes made with traditional flour. It was a little spongy, which could be contributed to my overwhipping, or perhaps to overbaking. But it was delicious just the same. And gluten free without any unusual substitutions. What more could you ask for? Make this for your gluten-intolerant friends. They'll love it.

Fallen Chocolate Souffle Cake
Adapted from The Sweet Melissa Baking Book
Printable Recipe

10 1/2 oz semisweet chocolate
7 tablespoons butter
8 eggs, separated
1/2 cup sugar, divided
1 tablespoon orange juice
pinch of salt
powdered sugar, for dusting

Preheat oven to 350. Grease a 10-inch springform pan, then line the bottom with parchment paper.

In a double boiler, melt the chocolate with the butter over simmering water. Stir until smooth.

In the bowl of an electric mixer, whip the egg yolks with 1/4 cup sugar until it has doubled in volume. Add the melted chocolate and mix until combined. Add the orange juice and salt and mix until combined. Transfer to a large bowl and then wash and dry the bowl and whip attachment thoroughly.

In the clean bowl, make a meringue by whipping the egg whites until foamy. In a slow steady stream, add the remaining 1/4 cup sugar. Whip until the meringue holds stiff but not dry peaks.

Briskly fold 1/3 of the meringue into the chocolate batter, then fold the remaining meringue into the batter until just incorporated. Be careful to not deflate the meringue.

Pour the batter into the springform pan, then spin the pan to level the batter. Bake for 55-65 minutes, until a toothpick comes out clean. When the cake is cool, dust with powdered sugar.

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