Sunday, June 1, 2014

4-Ingredient Chocolate Mousse Cake (gluten-free)


I had a major kitchen fail this week.

I made butterscotch pudding, (well, I sort of made butterscotch pudding) and then I introduced butterscotch pudding to the garbage.

I learned something really enlightening from this kitchen fail - there IS such thing as too much cream.


Every single bone in my body wishes I didn't have to admit that.

To sum it up, too much cream and butter in butterscotch pudding equals really tasty, really separated pudding.



As I was throwing it out I thought, why the heck was I making butterscotch pudding in the first place? Is it 1973? It doesn't even have chocolate in it. It was a weird day. I got over it and made this Four Ingredient Chocolate Mousse Cake to redeem myself.

After such a traumatic experience, I needed to feel comfort with something simple, something decadent, something modern - something that is more me. Butterscotch pudding is not me.

This Chocolate Mousse Cake will become a regular for you. I'm about 97% sure of this.


It uses only 4 ingredients - ones that I'm certain you have in your pantry.
We need dark chocolate, butter, eggs and just a touch of sugar.

If you have a bit more effort in you, a pinch of salt and hit of vanilla bean, or even a dash of spice can transform this on any other occasion.

It is flourless, so obviously it is gluten-free, but let's just shout it out anyway.


For this recipe you'll need to make a water bath, also known as a "bain marie" in fancy French technical terms. What this means is to bake the cake like it's an island surrounded by hot water. The water will maintain a uniform temperature so that the cake bakes evenly. It also creates a humid environment so that the cake doesn't dry out. This technique is essential to baking a perfect cheesecake - moist, dense and without cracks.


You really can have this recipe up in less than 10 minutes. Make sure to whip those eggs like mad. When you think you've whipped them enough, whip them for 1 minute more! They should look nearly white. With a stand mixer on high speed, this usually takes about 5 minutes. Using an electric hand mixer might require another 2 minutes or so.

Have a light hand when folding the whipped eggs into the cooled chocolate. The chocolate cannot still be hot at this point because that would deflate the air in the eggs. Use a light hand to get everything incorporated. You can use a wide spatula or a large balloon whisk to do this.


Contrary to what many may think, a big fat balloon whisk is more efficient at folding airy ingredients into a mixture than a spatula. The many wires cut through the mixture at once so that less mixing is actually required and the mixture comes together sooner. Just don't use the whisking action, but use the whisk like you would fold with a spatula.


This cake is light as ever! Literally, it feels like nothing in your hand, and dissolves instantly on your tongue.

It checks all the boxes. Easy made, fast made, decadent and gluten-free (because these days it seems like we all know someone who avoids it).

Miles away from butterscotch pudding, it's not even funny.

Lesson: no matter the question, the answer is always CHOCOLATE - bittersweet is better!

The end.
xo


Four Ingredient Chocolate Mousse Cake
Makes one 8-inch round cake

4 large eggs, at room temperature
½ cup (113 g) unsalted butter 
2 tbsp sugar

Place a rimmed baking tray on the center rack of your oven (for the water bath) and preheat the oven to 400°F/200°C. Line a 7- or 8-inch round springform pan with baking paper and lightly grease the sides. My pan is a funny size – it’s about 7.5-inches in diameter. Just don’t use anything larger than an 8-inch round or the cake will be too short. Wrap the bottom of the pan with a double layer of foil to prevent water from getting in when you bake it in the water bath.

Combine chocolate and butter in a heatproof bowl set over a saucepan of simmering water and stir until completely melted and smooth. Set aside to cool.

Place eggs in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment and beat until very foamy, about 1 minute on high. Gradually add sugar and continue to beat on high until very thick, voluminous and nearly whitened, about 5 minutes longer. Add one-third of the foamy eggs to the chocolate mixture and fold it in gently. Add the remaining eggs in two parts and fold them in gently until blended. Try not to over-mix and knock all of the air out of the batter.

Pour mixture into a prepared pan and then gently place the pan on the rimmed baking tray. Pour boiling water into the baking tray until it comes about ½ inch up the sides of the cake pan. Bake for 5 minutes, then turn down to 350°F/180°C and bake for about 25-30 minutes. A toothpick will come out with just the tiniest bit of sticky chocolate. If you under-bake it, it will sink too much on cooling, so don’t be afraid to give it the full 30 minutes. Transfer pan to a wire rack to cool completely. Dust with cocoa and serve.

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