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An Easy Flourless Chocolate Cake

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Nik Sharma

Hey Friends, I’m a multi-award-winning and best-selling cookbook author and photographer.

Last week was a week to celebrate. My birthday and then our first wedding anniversary. I can’t believe it’s already been a year, and we still have to plan our reception and, for that matter, even pick a date. The big move last year took most of our time and energy, and this year involved work and career changes. Thankfully, neither of us has been pressed to plan a wedding in a hurry, but I know it needs to be taken care of. I’m leaning towards something small with family and close friends with a lot of food, drinks, and fun.

Renee of Will Frolic for Food had a wonderful idea to celebrate spring with an edible flower virtual potluck. Check the collection of recipes on her site; there are so many wonderful sweet and savory takes that all include edible flowers in some delicious way. 

To celebrate all these milestones in my life, I made a flourless chocolate cake that’s infused with orange blossom waterOrange blossom water is one of the most delicate floral flavors to work with, and it is delicious! Since the flourless chocolate cake has a deep dark chocolate flavor, I’ve balanced it with lightly sweetened whipped cream flavored with orange blossom water. And of course, since it was a celebratory occasion, champagne and strawberries in a sweet sauce seemed very fitting!

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flourless chocolate cake with orange blossom water and strawberry champagne sauce

This is a decadently rich flourless chocolate cake in which the cocoa flavor shines. To counterbalance the cake’s richness, I serve it with a scoop of lightly sweetened orange blossom-infused whipped cream and a gorgeous strawberry champagne sauce. The cake is adapted from my friend Alice Medrich’s Sinfully Easy Delicious Desserts.

The pectin in the strawberries will help thicken the champagne sauce. I prefer serving cakes with fresh cream immediately, or the fresh cream starts to fall apart. For this reason, this cake is best put together right before serving.

  • Yield: One 9 in/23 cm cake

Ingredients

For the Cake

8 oz/230 unsalted butter cubed at room temperature, plus extra to grease the pan

8 large eggs, cold

1 lb/455 g dark chocolate chopped or chips (55 to 70% cacao)

1 Tbsp sugar

2 Tbsp orange blossom water

For the Orange Blossom Whipped Cream

1 cup/240 ml heavy whipping cream

2 tsp orange blossom water

2 Tbsp sugar

For The Strawberry Champagne Sauce

1 1/2 cups/360 ml champagne

2 cups/about 400 g strawberries, hulled and diced

2 Tbsp sugar

a few extra fresh strawberries, halved for garnishing

Instructions

For the Cake

  1. Place a wire rack in the middle of the oven and preheat to 350F/180C. Line a 9 in/23 cm springform pan with parchment paper or aluminum foil. Grease with butter and keep aside until ready to use.
  2. Place the eggs in the bowl of a stand electric mixer, and using the whisk attachment, whisk the eggs on high speed for about 6 to 7 minutes until the eggs have doubled in volume and appear pale yellow.
  3. While the eggs are whisking, place the butter and chocolate in a large heat-proof bowl and place it over a saucepan containing simmering hot water. Stir with a silicone spatula until it is completely mixed.
  4. Pour half of the whisked eggs into the bowl containing the chocolate, and using an outward-to-inward movement, fold the mixture to incorporate. Add the orange blossom water and the remaining whipped eggs and fold until combined and no visible flecks of the eggs can be seen. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake for about 20 minutes until the center of the cake is firm to touch. Allow the cake to cool to room temperature in the pan. Then, run the knife between the cake and the pan using a sharp paring knife and release. The cake can be made 2 days in advance or frozen for up to 3 months, wrapped tightly with clingfilm, and left in the refrigerator. Serve the cake at room temperature.

For the Orange Blossom Whipped Cream

  1. Place all the ingredients in a medium-sized mixing bowl. Whisk the ingredients using an electric mixer for about 5 minutes on medium-high speed until the cream becomes stiff. (Do not over-whisk, or you’ll end up with butter). This can be prepared at least one day in advance and stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator.

For the Strawberry Champagne Sauce

  1. Place all the ingredients in a large saucepan. Bring the mixture to a boil over medium-high heat, and then reduce the heat to a gentle simmer. Cook for about 4 minutes with occasional stirring until the strawberries have become soft.
  2. Remove from stove and, using an immersion blender or food processor, blend until smooth. Strain the mixture through a fine mesh sieve set over a medium bowl, and discard the solids in the sieve. The sauce will be thick. Taste to adjust sweetness if desired. Refrigerate and serve chilled. This sauce can be 2 days in advance and stored in an airtight container or frozen for up to 1 week.

To Serve

  1. Serve the cake chilled topped with orange-blossomed-infused whipped cream and the halved strawberries. Drizzle with the strawberry champagne sauce. Serve immediately.

Notes

18 Responses

  1. Love the photos, absolutely stunning ! I need to try making that strawberry champagne sauce !

  2. So many wonderful things going on here. One, happy belated birthday! Two, happy belated anniversary!! Three, I love everything about this cake. That strawberry champagne sauce sounds heavenly!!

    1. Hi Tone, yes you can make it at home when the flowers are in season. I haven’t made it but there should be recipes available online that you can try. Let me know how they work, I’d love to know your thoughts.

  3. This sounds absolutely lovely! I do like a flourless chocolate cake (way more than a flour-filled chocolate cake) and that dreamy strawberry champagne sauce sounds like the perfect thing to drizzle on top. Happy belated birthday + wedding anniversary too!

  4. Congratulations, Nik! Happy Birthday and anniversary. My husband and I waited, too, for our big party. I think it’s nice to do after you’ve been married for a while so you know exactly how wonderful marriage is and what you are celebrating. D

  5. Oh goodness, such a luscious, gorgeous cake! It sounds incredible. And EEE such happy days lately! Happy belated birthday and wedding anniversary!!!! Hope they were lovely 🙂 I love what Dena said about waiting to celebrate, I’m sure it’ll be so wonderful when the time comes! (And boy can I sympathize with why it might be hard to mobilize and plan it!)

  6. I could go for some sweet chocolate frittata right now. 🙂 Your photos are beautiful, and I love the combination of dark chocolate and delicate orange blossom. Belated happy birthday and happy anniversary, too!

  7. So lovely!! And so many happy things from this post. I hope you had a wonderful birthday and anniversary celebration. however you decide to do it, I’m sure your reception will be lovely. As a wedding photographer I’ve been to SO many types of receptions (like, minuscule but utterly charming ones of 5-10 to HUGE celebrations of 400+), but one thing that stays constant is the warmth and love that you can feel from every single reception. I think that’s one of the reasons we love doing it: you can feel the happiness and positivity!!! Do whatever feels right for you!

  8. Love the photos! And flowerless chocolate cake is always a good choice, not even talking about the combination of chocolate and orange blossom water. Yum!

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