Monday, May 23, 2016

Flourless Crustless Chocolate & Apricot Fudge Tart

Oh man. Long weekends just make me realize how much more fun life is when you're not working.

Long bike rides, a mild sun burn, wind in my hair, late nights, friends, fizzy drinks, lots of ice cubes, movie reviewing (do not EVER watch The Human Centipede - ew), foodie conversations, slow cooking and fast baking. Brunch! I love when there's time for brunch...

How. HOW are we all supposed to go back to work after a long weekend? Chocolate. That's how.

Totally flourless and totally fudgy - this dessert is one meant to be served at the table and on a board. Plates are optional.

This delicate hybrid of a brownie and chocolate cake and fudge is sticky, moist and crumbly all at the same time.

It's the technique that makes it crumbly, but that's what gives it charm.

At first it appears like a brownie recipe with melted chocolate and butter - always an excellent start to something delicious. But then it all goes wacko.

Put that melted chocolate mixture aside and start making meringue! Whip egg whites with sugar until thick and glossy. The trick to making a stable meringue is beating in the sugar at an early stage (once the whites get foamy) to give it time to dissolve thoroughly and stabilize the foam. As the sugar dissolves, it thickens the egg whites making it more difficult for air to be incorporated. That sounds like a bad thing, but what it really means is that the air that does get in will be in the form of very small bubbles.

Basically, many small bubbles = fine foam = stable.
Fewer large bubbles = open foam = unstable.

The lack of flour means that these will be rich but light.

This dessert has a brittle texture, giving you a clean slice if you are careful, but its better just broken up in shards and served with cream on top and a cup of tea on the side.

It comes together quick, requires few ingredients, bakes in just 20 minutes and uses 200g of chocolate. More than enough reasons to make this on your Tuesday.

I hope your week is great.
Great, great, GREAT!


Flourless Crustless Chocolate & Apricot Fudge Tart 

¼ cup (56g) unsalted butter
7oz (200g) bittersweet chocolate (70% cocoa), chopped
2 large eggs, separated
¼ tsp salt
4 tbsp (50g) sugar
½ tsp vanilla extract
10 dried apricots

Preheat your oven to 350°F. Generously butter an 8-inch round fluted tart pan with removable bottom.

Place the butter and chocolate in a large bowl over a saucepan of simmering water and stir until melted and smooth. Remove the bowl from the heat and set aside while you whip the egg whites.

Combine egg whites and salt in the bowl of an electric mixer and whisk on medium speed until very foamy. Gradually add the sugar and whisk until the meringue is thick and glossy.

Stir egg yolks and vanilla into the chocolate mixture. In 3 batches, gently fold in the beaten egg whites until just combined. Pour the mixture into your prepared pan and spread out evenly. Peel apricots apart to form two halves and arrange on top of mixture, skin side up.

Bake for 5 minutes, reduce to 325°F and bake 15-18 minutes or until puffed and edges are cooked through and the center is just set. Cool to room temperature and then refrigerate for 2  hours before slicing.

Tip: If you’re refrigerating the cake for longer than 3 hours, remove it from the fridge 1 hour before serving to allow it to come to room temperature.
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