DessertDecember-January 2014

Flourless Chocolate Cake with Maple Ginger Cranberry Sauce

SERVES 10 TO 12

This silky, intensely flavored chocolate cake is topped with Whipped Cream or dairy-free Whipped Coconut Cream and a sparkling cranberry sauce. The better the chocolate, the tastier the cake. This cake keeps well in the fridge for several days and can be enjoyed throughout the holidays. If refrigerated, bring the cake to room temperature before serving. (You can also gently reheat in the microwave.) It freezes well. This recipe can be made with egg replacement; see instructions below.

8 ounces bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
½ pound (2 sticks) unsalted butter or organic non-hydrogenated shortening, cut into 1-inch pieces
1½ cups sugar
6 large eggs
1 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
-Whipped Cream or Whipped Coconut Cream, for topping
-Dried cranberries, for garnish
-Small fresh mint leaves, for garnish

1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Liberally grease a 9½- or 10-inch cake pan. Line the bottom with parchment paper and grease the parchment.

2. In a double boiler or large metal bowl set over a saucepan of barely simmering water, combine chocolate and butter. Stir until mixture is melted and smooth. Remove from heat and whisk in sugar. Whisk in eggs, one at a time. Sift 1 cup cocoa powder over the mixture and whisk to blend.

3. Pour the batter into prepared pan. Place in preheated oven and bake 35 to 40 minutes or until top is crusty and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out with moist crumbs attached.

4. Set pan on rack and cool 10 minutes. Invert pan onto another rack to remove the cake. Remove the paper and flip the cake over onto a platter, top side up. Cool completely.

5. Top cake with Whipped Cream or Whipped Coconut Cream. Garnish with dried cranberries and mint.

6. To serve, cut the cake into wedges and transfer to plates. Spoon Maple Ginger Cranberry Sauce next to the cake and drizzle a little over the whipped cream topping.

Each serving contains 386 calories, 26g total fat, 17g saturated fat, 0g trans fat, 146mg cholesterol, 39mg sodium, 40g carbohydrate, 4g fiber, 26g sugars, 7g protein, 22Est GL.

For Egg-Free Flourless Chocolate Cake, omit 6 eggs. Add 1 tablespoon flax meal to melted chocolate and sugar mixture in step 2, mixing well. Combine 1 package gelatin with 1 to 2 tablespoons cold water to make a very wet paste; add 1 teaspoon baking powder and mix well. Add this mixture to warm chocolate in saucepan, whisking to combine. If mixture is dry, add hot water, 1 tablespoon at a time, until easily stirred. Add cocoa and continue to step 3. Add 1 to 2 more tablespoons hot water if needed to pour batter into prepared baking pan.

TIP Granulated sugar gives this cake a pleasant subtle crunch. For a smoother texture, process the sugar in a food processor or clean coffee grinder until finely ground.


Whipped Cream

MAKES ABOUT 1½ CUPS

This recipe delivers a slight crunch from the sugar crystals. For a smoother texture, combine all ingredients before beating.

¾ cup chilled whipping cream
1½ tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

1. Place cream in a large bowl. Beat until very soft peaks form. Add sugar and vanilla and beat until soft peaks form.

Each tablespoon contains 16 calories, 1g total fat, 1g saturated fat, 0g trans fat, 5mg cholesterol, 1mg sodium, 1g carbohydrate, 0g fiber, 1g sugars, 0g protein, 1Est GL.

Whipped Coconut Cream

MAKES 1 TO 1½ CUPS

This dairy-free, soy-free, nut-free whipped cream must be served very cold. Choose full-fat canned coconut milk that separates when chilled. The coconut fat, which should be very thick, will rise to the top of the can.

1 (14-ounce) can unsweetened coconut milk (not lite)
2-3 teaspoons confectioners’ sugar

1. Refrigerate the can of full-fat coconut milk overnight or longer. Place a medium-size mixing bowl and beaters in the freezer for several hours to chill.

2. Open the can and spoon out the solid coconut fat at the top. This is the part you will whip. Set the liquid in the can aside for another purpose. (It’s great for smoothies.)

3. Add sugar and whip with cold beaters until cream fluffs. Do not over-whip since beaters will warm up and melt the fat, requiring refrigeration.

4. Keep chilled until serving and serve immediately. Whipped coconut fat will melt at room temperature.

Each tablespoon contains 13 calories, 3g total fat, 2g saturated fat, 0g trans fat, 0mg cholesterol, 6mg sodium, 1g carbohydrate, 0g fiber, 0g sugars, 0g protein, 0 Est GL.

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