HAPPY VALENTINE’S DAY
Chocolate is often associated with Valentine’s day and although I am not really a fan, my boyfriend is. Regardless, we both appreciate good, dark chocolate but much of what is on the market is loaded with sugar and other flavours. I think I would prefer the ancient Mexican cacahuatl which was likely more natural. The ancient Mayans spiced up their cocoa with chili which is similar to what we recognize today as Mexican hot chocolate. What WE really enjoy is the combination of dark chocolate and mint.
The first time I ever saw raw chocolate was in the Grand Caymans on a plantation. The cocoa pod looked like a giant nut and the seeds were covered in a white coating. It was there that I discovered the seeds were dried and crushed and underwent a process creating different types and qualities of cocoa. From that chocolate was made.
Rather than do the whole traditional chocolate thing for Valentine’s day, I wanted to make a special mint chocolate cake that was loaded with chocolate. I didn’t necessarily want the cake part but I wanted to present it in cake form. The result was this adapted recipe from the gluten-free cooking section at About.com.
Start by melting butter and chocolate together before adding the sugar to make a smooth, glaze-like mixture. Don’t over melt the chocolate. Remove the pan from the heat and whisk in an egg, vanilla and some drops of mint extract. A little goes a long way. At this point you can see the “batter” starting to form.
The final step is adding the sifted cocoa powered. This acts like flour to give it a slightly thicker consistency. The final product actually reminds me of lava cake because of the way it melts in your mouth. Finally, line a 7″ pan with parchment paper and lightly butter the pan. The result will be a tort-like, dense, heavy, chocolate cake.
Once the cake is fully cooled, make a chocolate glaze to coat it. Since I opted for a mint chocolate cake, I found really cute, organic, mint chocolate leaves at the Canadian chocolatier store Bernard Callebaut. This is some of the best local chocolate I have had. To add a bit of colour, you can also garnish with fresh mint leaves.
Flourless Chocolate Cake
6 ounces dark chocolate chips
1/2 cup butter unsalted
100 g sugar
3 large eggs
1/2 cup cocoa
1 teaspoon vanilla
Mint chocolate – add 6 drops on mint extract
Coconut chocolate – add 6 drops coconut extract and 1/4 C shredded coconut
Hazelnut – add 6 drops hazelnut extract and garnish with hazelnuts
1. Melt butter and chocolate over low heat.
2. Stir in sugar until dissolved and chocolate looks glossy.
3. Remove from heat and quickly whisk in the eggs and vanilla.
4. Add optional flavours here if using them.
5. Sift cocoa into the mixture and whisk together.
6. Pour batter into a lightly greased and lined 7″ pan.
7. Bake at 350º for 20 minutes.
8. Let cool in pan for 10 minutes before transferring to a cooling rack.
9. Be sure to let cake fully cool before glazing.
10. Decorate and serve.
Protein 4.9 g