Sunday, May 4, 2008

The Black Beast

Le Bete Noire...a.k.a. The Black Beast
This phenomenal take on a classic flourless chocolate cake lives up to its name. This cake is a labor of love. It is a little labor intensive but well worth it in the end. You can usually find bittersweet chocolate in little bars by Ghirardelli.

1 C water
3/4 C sugar
9 TB (1 stick plus 1 TB) unsalted butter, diced
18 oz. bittersweet (not UNsweetened) or semisweet chocolate, chopped
6 large eggs

1 C heavy whipping cream
8 oz. bittersweet (not Unsweetened) or semisweet chocolate, chopped

lightly sweetened whipped cream

For cake: Preheat oven to 350*
Butter 10 in. diameter springform pan. Line bottom with parchment round; butter parchment. Wrap 3 layers of heavy duty foil around outside of p an, bringing foil to top of rim. Combine 1 C. water and sugar in small saucepan. Bring to boil over medium heat, stirring until sugar dissolves. Simmer 5 min. Remove from heat.
Melt butter in large saucepan over low heat. Add chocolate and whisk until smooth. Whisk sugar syrup into chocolate; cool slightly. Add eggs to choc. mixture and whick until well blended. Pour batter into prepared pan. Place cake pan in large roasting pan. Add enough hot water to roasting pan to come halfway up sides of cake pan.
Bake cake until center no longer moves when pan is gently shaken, about 50 min. Remove from water bath; transfer to rack. Cool completely in pan.

For ganache:
Bring whipping cream to simmer in small saucepan over medium heat. Remove from heat. Add chocolate and whisk until smooth. Pour over top of cake still in pan. Gently shake pan to distribute ganache evenly over top of cake. Refrigerate cake in pan until ganache is set, about 2 hrs.
Can be made 2 days ahead. Cover and keep refrigerated.
To serve, run knife around sides of pan to loosen cake; release sides. Cut cake into wedges and serve with whipped cream.

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