Flourless chocolate cake is my favourite kind of cake. Why? One reason: it is like a large chocolate truffle that is just pretending to be a slice of cake. So I make a lot of these decadent cakes for my Ultimately Chocolate clients, here on Manitoulin Island. And in a recent effort to localize some of my products, I have been experimenting with Canadian maple sugar and Canadian sea salt. So I thought I would share one of my most chocolaty recipes here on the blog. Read on to achieve decadent dark chocolate bliss!
Recipe: Maple Dark Chocolate Truffle Cake with Maple Sugar, Sea Salt & Maple Ganache
(As a bonus: this is a flour-free and gluten-free cake with no refined cane sugar)
- 8 ounces 70% dark chocolate (you can use any kind, but I used Camino, the Canadian brand of Organic and Fair Trade chocolate to be both local and environmentally and socially responsible, you need just under 3 100 gram bars)
- 1 cup of unsalted butter (1/2 pound), chopped into cubes
- 1 cup maple sugar crystals (In Canada, Costco sells the Quebec Decacer brand)
- 4 eggs (best at room temperature)
- 1 tsp Sea Salt (I used Vancouver Island Salt Company's 'Canadian Sea Salt')
For the ganache:
- 4 ounces 70% dark chocolate (you can go as low as 50%, but it will taste very sweet)
- 1/3 cup maple syrup
- a pinch of chunky sea salt
- two tablespoons of maple syrup
Prep Time: Not much! 20 minutes at first, but only 10 minutes once you do it a few times.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Prepare a 9" round baking pan, preferable springform, with parchment paper.
1. Melt the butter and 8 ounces of chocolate together in a medium sized stainless steel or glass bowl over a double boiler (if you don't like this method, you can melt on HALF power in the microwave for 1 minute in a glass or plastic bowl, take out, stir, then add 10 seconds at a time until fully melted and smooth, but I find the double boiler method easier).
2. Add the sugar, stir well and let the mixture rest for five minutes.
3. If you do not have a hand mixer, pour the mixer into a stand mixer bowl. If you do have a hand mixer or immersion blender/mixer, keep your mixture in the same bowl and use the hand mixer to minimize the number of dirty dishes!
4. Add in four eggs, one at a time and mix between each addition. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and mix again. Mix just until it is completely blended.
5. Add the teaspoon of sea salt. Mix again for 30 seconds. Stir with spatula.
6. Pour into a prepared 9" springform baking pan (you can use any baking pan, but reduce cooking time by five minutes if you are using a dark-coloured non-stick baking pan of any kind because the edges may burn).
7. Bake for 30 minutes in a pre-heated oven at 350 degrees F. When done, turn off oven and leave for 5 minutes (set timer) with door closed. Take out and carefully rest on counter until the cake cools. Once cooled, place in fridge until fully chilled (about 2 hours).
8. Once chilled, slice the edges off of the cake with a hot knife (run under hot water and dry it off before slicing) so that the cake has an even top.
9. Place your serving plate upside down on the cake, centre it, and invert the cake onto the pan. Remove the parchment paper and chill in the fridge while your prepare the ganache.
Prepare the Ganache and Top the Cake:
1. Melt together the 4 ounces of chocolate and maple syrup in the microwave for 1 minute and 20 seconds on HALF power (or melt over a double boiler). Stir until completely smooth. Add five second intervals in the microwave if not completely melted, stirring between each interval. Alternately you can melt this together in a bowl over a double boiler. Stir until melted and smooth.
3. Let cool for a few minutes on the counter. Then sprinkle some chunky sea salt on top.
To Serve: slice and drizzle a tsp of maple syrup on top of each slice and on the plate.
For 14 slices, cut the entire cake in half. Then, starting at one end, carefully cut 7 slices per half of the cake.