Take the 2-minute tour ×
Seasoned Advice is a question and answer site for professional and amateur chefs. It's 100% free, no registration required.

I have just started my journey of testing and experimenting with a recipe for a Flourless Chocolate Torte. I really want to surprise my wife with a version of this classic that is like the one that she loves from a fancy restaurant. The description from the one from the restaurant is as follows: "a rich flourless torte made with dark callebaut chocolate from Belgium finished with lightly whipped cream and fresh raspberry coulis."

Listed here is the first recipe that I tried. It was, however, disappointing since it was more like a fudge cake.

What can one do to make a flourless chocolate torte so that it does not turn out like fudge by the forkful? Are there any techniques that I, perhaps, could have messed up? Is it better to use powdered cocoa along with melted chocolate? Any help and even alternate recipes would be greatly appreciated.

share|improve this question
    
I have tried with great success: Chef Michael Smith's "Molten Chocolate Cake". You can search and compare the two techniques... –  talon8 Oct 6 '11 at 14:37

1 Answer 1

up vote 6 down vote accepted

From the recipe and your "fudge" description, I think the problem was that you didn't get enough air in the batter. Trying a different recipe is a good idea.

The way to get more air into a flourless cake is through the eggs. Look for recipes which require you to beat the egg whites separately to soft peaks. Mix everything very carefully, in the correct order. If your try still doesn't get you enough air, try more tricks. Whip your yolks with some liquid (maybe 10 ml per yolk) over a water bath (keep it between 60° and 70°C!), practically creating zabaglione. But really watch the temp with a probe thermometer - you don't get a good emulsion below 60°C, and you don't want your proteins to coagulate while whipping, they must do it latter in the oven (they start a bit above 70°C).

The other problem is that you might get too smooth a texture. First, select a recipe with less fat. Fat makes the batter softer, but also very smooth. Your hunch is correct: Choose a recipe which calls for both cocoa powder and chocolate. The powder has much less fat, resulting in a higher percentage of starch, and that creates a more cakelike texture. Another good way to change the texture is to use recipe which includes a nut flour. A raw almond flour will give you very little change in flavor, but if you don't mind deviating from the original, roasted hazelnut pairs very well with both chocolate and raspberry.

And as we are speaking of fat: you must use a good chocolate! Standard chocolate bars (Hershey, Milka) are no good. To cut costs, they use vegetable fat instead of cocoa butter, which changes the texture a lot. Then there are the manufacturers who use emusifiers and include even less cocoa butter. If you can get hold of real confectioner's chocolate (Valrhona, Callebaut), use it. If not, buy a chocolate bar which contains only cocoa mass, cocoa butter and sugar and nothing else - no vegetable fat, no emusifiers, etc. Also no milk solids, you want to make this kind of recipe with bittersweet to bitter chocolate. The one big brand I use for baking is Lindt Excellence (not Lindt Lindor!), but there are also some supermarket-branded chocolates with the right contents.

I don't have a tried recipe to offer you, but I am sure that the usual suspects have published something good. I think Smitten Kitchen had a nice big post on flourless pastries ones (but don't remember if they had a choco cake there), and Lebovitz and/or Desaulniers probably have recipes for a flourless choco cake too.

share|improve this answer

Your Answer

 
discard

By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.