Something to Fall For

Valentine's Day, at least in our house, is a Hallmark holiday. We don't pay much attention to it. We don't give each other cards and, no, he doesn't give me flowers. We certainly don't go out to dinner and yet we do give in to the tradition of chocolate on this day. At least we did this year. (He did give me a pair of fabulous boots for Valentine's Day, and that's perfectly fine with me.)

In previous years, I have made chocolate truffles and other decadent chocolate desserts for the occasion and I have also made key lime pie to accompany stone crabs. However, I prefer chocolate and David knows that. He also knows that since I do the baking, my choice is probably going to win out.

So chocolate it is. And he's going to love this, I just know it. I printed this recipe on March 3, 2013, and have been saving it for this exact moment. Or perhaps that's the way I want to see things. I am a believer in destiny, fate and "if it happens, it's meant to be."

If you're lucky, this fallen chocolate cake will also be in your future and I assure you it will be something you definitely will want to fall for.

Buen provecho!
Fallen Chocolate Cake
The Cowgirl Gourmet slightly adapted this recipe from Bon Appetit

Print recipe

If you love chocolate and are gluten sensitive or want to avoid eating wheat, this flourless cake is going to be your new favorite thing. Rich and gooey, it's pretty spectacular with just four main ingredients--butter, sugar, chocolate and eggs--along with a few extras. Topped with a combination of heavy cream, mascarpone cheese and a touch of powdered sugar, you'll feel like royalty when you sink your teeth into this cake.

Serves 8-10

1 stick (1/2 cup) unsalted butter, organic, cut into 1-inch pieces, plus more, at room temperature, to coat the pan
3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar, divided, plus more for dusting pan
10 ounces dark chocolate discs (61-72% cacao)
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
6 farm fresh eggs
2 tablespoons natural unsweetened cocoa powder
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3/4 teaspoon kosher salt

1 cup chilled heavy cream
1/2 cup mascarpone
3 tablespoons powdered sugar

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly butter springform pan and dust with sugar, tapping out any excess.

In a large heatproof bowl, combine chocolate, oil and stick of butter, and set over pan of simmering water and heat, stirring often, until melted. When melted, remove bowl from saucepan and let rest.
Separate 4 eggs, placing the whites and yolks in separate medium bowls. To the yolks, add the cocoa powder, vanilla, salt and 1/4 cup of sugar and remaining 2 eggs. Whisk mixture until it is smooth. Gradually whisk the yolk mixture into the chocolate mixture, blending well.
Using an electric mixer or stand-up mixture on high speed, beat the egg whites until they are frothy. With the mixer running carefully and slowly add the sugar, beating until soft peaks form.

Now, gently fold in the egg whites into the chocolate--in two batches. Fold just until incorporated.
Scrape the batter into the prepared springform pan, smooth the top and sprinkle with the remaining 2 tablespoons of sugar.
Bake until top is puffed and starting to crack and the cake is pulling away from the sides of the pan, about 35-45 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack and let cake cool completely in pan. The cake will deflate in the center and crack further as it cools.

For the topping, use an electric or stand-up mixer on medium-high speed to beat the cream, mascarpone and powdered sugar until soft peaks form.
To dazzle your guests, remove the cake from the springform pan and mound whipped cream mixture in the center of the cake. Alternatively, if it's just two of you, place a piece of cake on a plate and generously place a mound of cream on top so it is spilling over.

Refrigerate any leftover cake and cream.

Important note: If, after a few days, any cake remains, just whip up a fresh batch of mascarpone cream and make individual trifles. Let the layers of chopped bites of cake and cream melt together in the fridge for a few hours before serving.

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