Friday, September 21, 2012

Flourless Chocolate Cake

One of my favorite places to visit locally is a nearby Amish community.  There are some really neat little towns with great shops and restaurants.  One of those restaurants isn't the typical Amish buffet with fried chicken and homemade noodles that you tend to see in that are.  Rather, it is a small cafe that features a Cuban/Key West/South Florida menu and decor.  It's definitely not a restaurant you'd expect to find in a rural community.  It is my absolute favorite place to eat when we are in the area and I always order the same thing.  They have the best cuban sandwich and a scrumptious FLOURLESS CHOCOLATE CAKE with raspberry sauce and whipped cream!  It is FANTASTIC!  My mom says they also have the best Key Lime pie she's ever had!  I've been wanting to try my hand at making one of those flourless cakes for some time, but there are a lot of different methods for making this cake.   I finally found a recipe from Tyler Florence at the Food Network that seemed to be what I was looking for.  It's been awhile since I've been to that wonderful cafe, but this cake sure tasted a lot like what I had there!  I'm sure some will be wondering why I didn't take any photographs of the process of making this cake.  Well, I really wanted to get this right and there were a few steps I was unsure of so the camera got overlooked!  So sorry! 

I have listed the recipe below but I do want to point out a few things.  First of all, you will need a springform pan for this cake.  Secondly, I followed the recipe as closely as I could.  I've noted some specifics below.  Next, the only thing that didn't seem to go as expected was the beating of the egg whites.  Mine didn't quite make it to "stiff peaks" yet the cake turned out fine.  I even used my kitchenaid mixer to beat them for what seemed like a considerable amount of time.  My eggs were still cold from the fridge.  Did I need to have them at room temperature???  I have no idea.  If you have some knowledge in this area, please share it with us!!  :)  Finally, I also ended up baking the cake a little longer than the 25 minutes.  It was more like 35-40 minutes.   It was a little soft in the center but the rest of the cake was the perfect texture.  It has a wonderful velvety texture and the chocolate flavor is outstanding!  It will remind you of a brownie only much more decadent!  This is for serious chocolate lovers only!!!   I will definitely be making this again!!

Flourless Chocolate Cake

1 pound bittersweet chocolate, chopped into small pieces  (I used Ghiradelli bittersweet chocolate chips.)
1 stick unsalted butter   (I used salted butter.)
9 large eggs, separated
3/4 cup granulated sugar, plus 1 tablespoon
confectioner's sugar for dusting the cake
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Butter a 9-inch springform pan.
Put the chocolate and butter into the top of a double boiler (or in a heatproof bowl) and heat over (but not touching) about 1 inch of simmering water until melted.

Meanwhile, whisk the egg yolks with the sugar in a mixing bowl until light yellow in color. Whisk a little of the chocolate mixture into the egg yolk mixture to temper the eggs - this will keep the eggs from scrambling from the heat of the chocolate; then whisk in the rest of the chocolate mixture.

Beat the egg whites in a mixing bowl until stiff peaks form and fold into the chocolate mixture. Pour into the prepared pan (spray the bottom with nonstick spray) and bake until the cake is set, the top starts to crack, and a toothpick inserted into the cake comes out with moist crumbs clinging to it, 20 to 25 minutes. Let stand 10 minutes before removing collar from springform pan.  Allow to cool completely and then dust with confectioner's sugar.

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Thursday, September 20, 2012

Frosted Butterfinger Bars

So I'm not a complete fanatic over Butterfingers like many people, but this recipe intrigued me and I just couldn't stop thinking about making these and they seemed to keep reappearing in my newsfeed on Facebook!  If you've never visted Hugs & Cookies XOXO, then you are in for a real treat!  She has the most amazing confections and she is famous for her bake-alongs!  So I decided to bake along!!!  However, I decided to take her recipe a step further and make these a frosted bar!  These were so scrumptions!!!!

You'll need some Butterfingers!!!!!

Crush 16 Butterfingers!  Measure out a cup for the bars and leave the rest for the frosting! 
Beat butter and brown sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in eggs and vanilla.
Add in the flour, powder, salt just until incorporated.  Fold in 1 cup of butterfingers.

Spread batter into pan lined with foil. . .  Bake at 350 degrees for 28-30 minutes.

For the frosting, beat 2 sticks of softened butter until fluffy.  Add in vanilla.  Continue to beat with electric mixer adding powdered sugar gradually.  Beat until light and fluffy.  Fold in remaining butterfingers.

Allow bars to cool completely before frosting! 

Frosted Butterfinger Bars

adapted from :  Hugs and Cookies XOXO

2 1/4 cups all purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup butter, room temp
2 1/2 cups light brown sugar, packed
3 large eggs
1  teaspoon vanilla

16 snack size butterfingers, chopped divided (1 cup for bars- remainder for frosting)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line 13×9 pan with nonstick foil.
Beat butter and brown sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in eggs and vanilla.
Add in the flour, powder, salt just until incorporated.  Fold in 1 c. chopped butterfingers. Spread batter in pan.  Bake for 28-30 minutes.

Butterfinger Frosting
2 sticks butter
1 tsp. vanilla
4 cups powdered sugar
remainder of crushed Butterfingers

Note:  This frosting is very soft due to the amount of butter.  If you would like a sturdier frosting, exchange half of the butter for shortening.