Flourless Chocolate Cake with Cabernet Sauvignon and Dried Cherry Sauce
The combination of the dried cherry Cabernet Sauvignon sauce with this flourless chocolate cake is a very grown-up way to end a meal. Please note that both the cake and the sauce need to be started a day in advance.
Makes one 8-inch cake (serves 10 to 12)
1 cup plus 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
8 large eggs, at room temperature
1 pound bittersweet chocolate
1 cup Cabernet Sauvignon and Dried Cherry Sauce (see recipe below)
Preheat oven to 325°F.
Grease the sides of an 8-inch cake pan with 1 tablespoon butter and line the bottom with a parchment paper circle. You can buy these circles pre-cut or place bottom of the pan on a sheet of parchment paper and trace and cut a circle.
In a stand mixer or using a hand mixer, start whipping the eggs at low speed and gradually raise the speed to medium high over about 20 seconds. Whip the eggs until they double in volume, about 5 minutes.
Melt the chocolate and butter over a water bath. Bring the water to a simmer over medium heat and place the bowl in pot. Melt the chocolate and butter, stirring frequently, about 4 minutes. You want the mixture to be warm but not hot. It should be a little warmer than body temperature, registering 110°F on an instant-read thermometer.
Gently fold one-third of the eggs into the chocolate mixture, until only a few streaks of egg are visible. Fold in the remaining eggs until mixture is totally homogeneous, about 3 minutes. At first the mixture may seem runny, but after a few minutes of blending it will thicken. Pour the mixture into the prepared cake pan and smooth the surface.
Place the cake pan in another pan or baking sheet with sides that are higher than at least halfway up the cake pan. An ideal combination is placing the 8-inch cake pan inside a square 9-inch pan. Pour boiling water in the outer pan so that it comes halfway up the sides cake pan.
Place the pans on the middle rack of the oven. Bake until the cake has risen slightly, the edges are just beginning to set (at this stage the cake will have a firm pudding sort of feel to it) and the center registers 140°F on an instant-read thermometer, 20 to 25 minutes.
Cool the cake on a rack in the pan and refrigerate overnight.
To remove the cake from the pan, carefully immerse pan in a shallow basin of hot water. Shake the pan slightly to make sure there is movement before flipping cake onto a flat cake plate. Dust with powdered sugar just before serving.
Cut the cake into 12 pieces. Place a slice of cake on a serving plate and pour about 4 teaspoons of the sauce alongside cake.
Dried Cherry and Cabernet Reduction Sauce
Also needs to be started a day in advance.
Makes about 1 cup
1/2 cup dried cherries
2 cups Cabernet Sauvignon
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
Combine all of the ingredients in a 1½ -quart non-reactive saucepan. Bring the mixture to a boil over medium-high heat, reduce the heat to medium-low so that the mixture is at a simmer and simmer, stirring occasionally, until reduced by half, about 20 minutes. The mixture should look as if it is just getting syrupy, as it will thicken further as it cools.
Purée the cherry and wine mixture in a blender, about 1 minute. Strain through a fine-mesh strainer into a medium mixing bowl, using a spatula to push the liquid through the solids. Cool the mixture, cover and refrigerate overnight.
Reserve until needed. This will keep for one week in the refrigerator.
Of course, that bit of Cabernet Sauvignon that you have saved from your meal!