Sweet Valentine’s Indulgence
If you have been reading me for a while now, you probably know that I like to indulge in something decadent about once a month.
I mean, really, indulge! And what better occasion than Valentine’s Day to go for a little (or big!) chocolate extravaganza!
I LOVE to bake and decorate cakes, but I don’t get to do this too often, as healthy and cake don’t really mix well togheter…
So for Valentine’s day, I decided to make this super decadent extra rich flourless chocolate cake and decorate it with a few marzipan roses. It had been years since I had made that cake, or marzipan roses, for that matter. Needless to say it took me a long time to make each rose, but I think it was very well worth it in the end. And I was pretty happy with the way they looked. I expected to have lost the touch way more than I did, but much to my surprise, my roses still looked like roses!
What really motivated my decision to go for that particular cake is that I didn’t need to buy anything at all in order to make it. I had ALL the ingredients that I needed, sitting in my cupboard, all leftovers from my Christmas cooking.
That’s pretty much what dictated my choice of a cake for this month’s indulgence. That, and the fact that this cake is to die for, seriously. Think rich, dark, soft, it’s basically like a giant truffle: the only ingredients that go in it are dark chocolate (top quality, of course!), butter, heavy cream and eggs. Loads of them.
Look at how rich and dense it is! It’s got to be at least 2 million calories a piece! (and I ate 2 slices… but shhhht, don’t tell anyone!)
Of course, as if this wasn’t decadent enough, I had to make a salty caramel sauce to go with it. Yet more sugar, butter and heavy cream!
At least, supper was somewhat healthy, even though I had too much to eat. We had chinese fondue, both chicken and beef, with a side of salad, some whole wheat bread and a few classic dipping sauces, such as cucumber garlic tzatziki style, black and green olive in sour cream and honey Dijon. Of course, all sauces were light and healthy. Low fat sour cream and plain yogurt was used instead of mayonnaise.
Hey, I can’t be bad all the way, now, can I? ;o)
Initially, I didn’t want to post this recipe here, as I felt all the recipes that appear on my blog should be of the healthy kind… but hey, since this place if a reflection of who I am and what I eat, and since allowing myself to eat super decadent treats such as this one once in a while is part of what I believe in, I might as well go ahead and let you replicate this beautiful treat at home if you want!
So here goes… Enjoy! 🙂
Adapted from: Le cours de cuisine complet étape par étape (Louis Weber)
- 450g good quality dark chocolate (70% cocoa), chopped
- 340g butter
- 200g granulated sugar
- 100g 10% cream
- 6 large eggs
- 2 tsp pure vanilla extract
- 160g good quality dark chocolate (70% cocoa), chopped
- 2 tbsp butter
- 3 tbsp 10% cream
- 2 tbsp light corn syrup
Salted Caramel Sauce
(adapted from my school recipe book, teacher had sourced Cacao Barry)
- 100g granulated sugar
- 75g light corn syrup
- 225g heavy cream
- 60g butter
- 1 tsp pure vanilla extract (or better yet, 1 vanilla pod)
- 1 tsp sea salt
- 125g granulated sugar
- Preheat oven to 370F
- Line bottom part of a spring form pan with aluminum foil and fold the edges under it. Assemble pan by putting rim in place, then bring aluminum foil up around the walls of the pan. Grease the bottom with butter.
- In a heavy saucepan, over low heat, mix together butter, cream and sugar and melt slowly, stirring often, until the mixture is smooth and well combined. Remove from heat and set aside.
- In a large mixing bowl, add eggs and vanilla and whisk until slightly foamy. Slowly pour in reserved chocolate mixture, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon. Do not use a whisk at this point as you do not want to incorporate any air to the mixture.
- Pour this batter into the prepared pan and bake in the oven for 45 minutes or until a toothpick inserted at 2½ centimeters deep comes out clean and the center has set. Allow cake to cool completely on a cooling rack.
- When cake is completely cooled, carefully remove rim from the pan. Do not remove the cake from the bottom of the pan. Wrap the cake in the aluminium foil and place it in the refrigerator for at least 4 hours, preferably overnight.
- In a heavy saucepan, over low heat, mix all the ingredients together and melt slowly, stirring constantly, until the mixture is smooth and well combined. Remove from heat and set aside.
- Unwrap cake and remove bottom of the pan. Place cake upside down on a cake plate and surround it with wide strips of wax paper to protect the plate.
- Pour warm icing over cake and spread it evently on top and sides of the cake. Wait until the icing has completely set before removing wax paper strips.
- Decorating the cake or not is entirely up to you. You can either leave it as is or decorate it with whipped cream and chocolate shavings, strawberries, chocolate drizzles or even marzipan flowers, if you so desire!
- Serve with salted caramel sauce, if desired (totally optional, but really takes the cake to the next level!)
- In a heavy saucepan, mix all the ingredients of part I and heat over low heat, strirring occasionally, until butter is melted and mixture just barely starts to simmer.
- In a second saucepan (choose one that is large enough to accomodate about 4-5 times the amount of liquid from Part I) dry heat the granulated sugar (part II) until it’s completely melted and starts to colour. Try not to stir the melting sugar, but if you feel you really need to, do so very delicately with a wooden spoon.
- When the sugar is completely melted, monitor it closely until it reaches a nice dark caramel color. Don’t let it go too dark however, as you don’t want it to burn. As soon as it reaches the desired color, remove from heat and pour in the cream, sugar and butter mixture A LITTLE AT A TIME, while constantly stirring with a long handled wooden spoon (the steam will be VERY hot!). Be very careful here as this mixture will bubble heavily and might boil over if you go at it too quickly.
- Once all the cream mixture has been added and completely incorporated, give the caramel another quick boil, then turn off the heat and allow to cool before using.
- This caramel will keep very well in the refrigerator for weeks if kept in an airtight container.