Now, for a Change of Pace: Bobbette & Belle’s Flourless Chocolate Torte

Remember the Bobbette & Belle bakery cookbook that I got last Christmas? For awhile, I was on a serious dessert baking streak – cinnamon and lemon loaves, brownies, macarons, cupcakes of the lemon and peanut butter chocolate varieties, crumbly cookies, and scones were some of the recipes I whipped up from the book.

Somewhere along the way, I veered off course into the world of bread, and I haven’t looked back. I have come to learn that baking bread is a lot more practical than making many other baked goods. After all, we eat bread every day – both Cedric and I have toast at breakfast and Cedric often has sandwiches for lunch. Plus, breads like foccacia and Sicilian style pizza are solid components of a delicious dinner.

Don’t get me wrong – I love dessert, too, but even my tooth is not sweet enough to bake non-bread goods every day. I usually feel like I need to wait for an occasion of sorts to bake.

There have been a couple of recipes from Bobbette & Belle that I’ve baked but not blogged about. For instance, I made an apple coffee cake that took at least twice as long to bake as the cookbook suggested – my pan was smaller than theirs, and the whole thing kind of overflowed right over, resulting in a delicious explosion of a volcano that was definitely not photogenic. I’ve also made their chocolate chip cookie recipe at least three times, but I always forget to take photos. That one will make it to the blog eventually, I’m sure.

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Today, I’m finally bringing back the Bobbette & Belle posts with a decadent flourless chocolate torte. This one caught my eye the very first time I flipped through the book – I thought it might be a good option for my celiac sister.

There are only four ingredients – dark chocolate, butter, eggs, and sugar – so the book advises to get the best quality of each that you can find. The best chocolate I could find in the Sea to Sky was Callebaut chocolate at the Nesters in Whistler. It did the trick just fine.

As with all the Bobbette and Belle recipes, this one is not overly complicated. A lot came down to the eggs, which had to be room temperature, separated, and whipped in the stand mixer one colour at a time. The yellows had to be “ribboned” with the sugar. I watched a YouTube video to make sure I had the technique down pat, but in hindsight I probably could have kept mixing for an additional 30 to 60 seconds. The egg whites were already en route to soft peaks by then, so I just had to hope that the recipe would still turn out okay. (I think it did.)

The recipe calls for 9-inch springform pan. I am in need of some new springform pans – the only one I have that doesn’t leak is smaller than a 9-inch – and so my torte took forever to bake. The middle was still wiggling like Jello long after the suggested 30 minutes had elapsed. But lo and behold, the toothpick eventually immersed dry, and the cake was ready to cool.

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Uhh… can you tell where I did the toothpick tests?

I set it aside and a little while later, Cedric walked by it and noted, somewhat concernedly, that the entire cake had collapsed. For the first time ever, this did not cause me to panic – the photo in the cookbook indicated that the cake is supposed to cave in upon itself.

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Proof: collapsing is desirable in this recipe

The photo also shows a healthy dusting of cocoa powder, so I sifted a little over the cake. I also added raspberries because there are few combinations more tantalizing than raspberries and dark chocolate.

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Post dusting, pre berries.

So how did it taste? In a word, fantastic. The outside had a thin shell – it was almost like biting into a very light meringue crust. Inside, the cake was moist and like an airy brownie. It’s not a chocolate cake that sits heavy for hours after you eat it. Rather, it’s a few rich bites that cap off a meal with just the right amount of sweetness without overdoing it.

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You just have to be careful that you don’t inhale the cocoa powder, which is a bit of a choking hazard.

Does the flourless chocolate torte get my stamp of approval? That’s a solid yes – it’s nice to have a cake-like recipe on hand for celiacs and gluten-frees, but even flour-lovers like myself will like it. I would, however, not recommend making this if you didn’t have a stand mixer – or arms of steel.

 

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