February 11, 2010

Flourless Chocolate Cake and Cookbook Giveaway!

My Day So Far: Laundry, packing, stocking up the iPod, hoping airport delays will clear up…
Naptime Goals: Make Flourless Chocolate Cake for early Valentine’s Day celebration
Tonight’s Meal: Take-out from our favorite restaurant, cake for dessert.

Parenting Lesson of the Day: There is no such thing as too many toys in the diaper bag when traveling!

We are celebrating Valentine’s Day a little early this year because we will be in Florida during the actual holiday. This doesn’t bother us in the least. Hallmark holidays are fun and all, but we don’t take them too seriously. In fact, this year we are happy to pass up going out to dinner altogether since we plan to be taking in the ocean breezes from my in-law’s porch in Venice, Florida.

There is one thing about Valentine’s Day I refuse to give up, however, and that is chocolate. I’ll happily forgo balloons, sugar candies and roses, but you’d better give me a rich, dense chocolate dessert or I will be one unhappy girl. For this year’s meal we are ordering out from one of our favorite neighborhood restaurants. Since we are traveling the following day I don’t want to buy lots of ingredients that will go bad in the fridge. Instead, we agreed to order the main course and cap off our meal with a fabulous homemade dessert.

Obviously I am more than happy to be responsible for the cake production given my love of baking. Last year I made mini-bundt cakes and this year we’ll enjoy a delicious Flourless Chocolate Cake from one of my new favorite cookbooks, Park Avenue Potluck Celebrations. You may remember, I hosted a virtual celebration to trumpet it’s release back in October. Since then I’ve been cooking and baking my way through each chapter, loving the delicious results of each recipe.

I don’t have a very well-stocked bar, so I had to wing it a bit when it came to the whiskey-soaked currants. I used Grand Marnier instead, which I quite enjoyed. I loved the boozy orange flavor it gave the cake and think I will do it again the next time I make it. Best of all, this cake is ideal to make-ahead. Since part of the process of making it is allowing it to cool in the fridge for at least 3 hours, I had no trouble making it during my daughter’s naptime. It would also be great to make in the morning, or even the night before you want to eat it since it can chill for up to 24 hours without going bad.

As you can probably guess, I had about .5 seconds to take the photographs here before my husband dove right in for a bite. I guess that is to be expected with something this good. Happy Valentine’s Day!

Since Valentine’s Day puts me in the giving mood I am happy to give away a cookbook to one lucky winner. To enter please leave me a comment below by midnight EST on 2/22/10 and tell me your favorite Valentine’s dessert!

Recipe

Flourless Dark Chocolate Cake

adapted from Park Avenue Potluck Celebrations

Ingredients

½ lb. unsalted butter, room temperature
1 c. dried currants
½ c. Grand Marnier
½ lb. Bittersweet Chocolate (at least 70% cocoa), finely chopped
6 large eggs
1 ½ c. superfine sugar
1 t. potato starch, sifted
1 t. good quality vanilla extract

Instructions

1. Preheat oven to 325ºF. Butter a 10-inch round cake pan, set aside.
2. In a small bowl place the currants, add the Grand Marnier and set aside.
3. In a heatproof bowl place the butter and chocolate. Microwave it in 20-second bursts for up to a minute, stirring after each to melt butter and chocolate together. Melting the chocolate can also be done over a double boiler.
4. In a mixer fitted with a paddle attachment beat the eggs and sugar until pale and creamy, about 4-5 minutes. Fold in sifted potato starch. Then, with a wooden spoon, stir in the chocolate mixture, vanilla, the currants and remaining Grand Marnier from the bowl.
5. Pour batter into cake pan and bake for 40 minutes. The cake will be firm but a test will not be perfectly clean.
6. Allow the cake to cool to room temperature, the refrigerate for at least 3 hours or overnight before serving.

Naptime Notes

Naptime Recipe Serving ideas

The original recipe calls for whiskey or brandy with currants or raisins. If you’d prefer either of those feel free to use them, I liked the orange flavor of Grand Marnier myself. I like to serve this with vanilla ice-cream or fresh whipped cream on the side.

Naptime Stopwatch

Preparing this batter takes about 20 minutes and is very easy. Then bake it, cool it, and dessert is ready.

Naptime Reviews

My daughter did not love the currants in the cake, but loved the rest of it. My husband adored the cake overall, it was a delicious holiday treat.

  • Sweet and Savory

    Anything chocolate is my dessert of choice on V-Day. This year I'm making a red velvet cake…yum. I'll post on my blog about your giveaway as well!

  • Sweet and Savory

    Anything chocolate is my dessert of choice on V-Day. This year I'm making a red velvet cake…yum. I'll post on my blog about your giveaway as well!

  • bsmithhill

    I adore anything with dark, dark chocolate!

  • bsmithhill

    I adore anything with dark, dark chocolate!

  • blissmamaof3

    Oh my, I think we may have to have this on Sunday for our celebration. Have a great time in FLA!

  • blissmamaof3

    Oh my, I think we may have to have this on Sunday for our celebration. Have a great time in FLA!

  • Cortney

    Sounds yummy!

  • Cortney

    Sounds yummy!

  • Lizthechef

    I won't be making anything with chocolate in it this Valentine's Day because I like to cater to my husband, a Midwestern guy from Wisconsin who loves anything with rhubarb! He'll be surprized with a rhubarb(from the freezer) pie… This year, it will be the special Valentine treat in our family.

  • Lizthechef

    I won't be making anything with chocolate in it this Valentine's Day because I like to cater to my husband, a Midwestern guy from Wisconsin who loves anything with rhubarb! He'll be surprized with a rhubarb(from the freezer) pie… This year, it will be the special Valentine treat in our family.

  • Mercè

    Anything chocolate is my favorite dessert! :)Thanks for the giveaway!

  • Mercè

    Anything chocolate is my favorite dessert! :)
    Thanks for the giveaway!

  • cjvierow

    Just make it anything chocolate, any kind, and I'm a happy lady. We have a favorite restaurant that has a Molten Chocolate Cake which is totallly awesome–so maybe we'll go celebrate.

  • cjvierow

    Just make it anything chocolate, any kind, and I'm a happy lady. We have a favorite restaurant that has a Molten Chocolate Cake which is totallly awesome–so maybe we'll go celebrate.

  • cjvierow

    Just make it anything chocolate, any kind, and I'm a happy lady. We have a favorite restaurant that has a Molten Chocolate Cake which is totallly awesome–so maybe we'll go celebrate.

  • Jenni

    Just like most people said, anything chocolate!

  • Jenni

    Just like most people said, anything chocolate!

  • Jenni

    Just like most people said, anything chocolate!

  • parisgirl

    My fav Valentine dessert is chocolat raspberry flourless cake. Your cake looks wonderful and I would love to try it. Happy V-Day!

  • parisgirl

    My fav Valentine dessert is chocolat raspberry flourless cake. Your cake looks wonderful and I would love to try it. Happy V-Day!

  • parisgirl

    My fav Valentine dessert is chocolat raspberry flourless cake. Your cake looks wonderful and I would love to try it. Happy V-Day!

  • niidea222

    I'm not very creative but anything with chocolate, althoug A Choco lava cake is my favourite

  • niidea222

    I'm not very creative but anything with chocolate, althoug A Choco lava cake is my favourite

  • niidea222

    I'm not very creative but anything with chocolate, althoug A Choco lava cake is my favourite

  • Topher

    My favorite is definitely chocolate chocolate cake with lots of frosting. The denser the cake the better. Thanks for the giveaway!

  • Topher

    My favorite is definitely chocolate chocolate cake with lots of frosting. The denser the cake the better. Thanks for the giveaway!

  • Topher

    My favorite is definitely chocolate chocolate cake with lots of frosting. The denser the cake the better. Thanks for the giveaway!

  • Colleen

    This year I am making my yummy red velvet cupcakes for a single girls celebration/Valentine's brunch…but I LOVE anything chocolate so I might have to try this sometime soon (with whiskey, of course!)

  • Colleen

    This year I am making my yummy red velvet cupcakes for a single girls celebration/Valentine's brunch…but I LOVE anything chocolate so I might have to try this sometime soon (with whiskey, of course!)

  • Colleen

    This year I am making my yummy red velvet cupcakes for a single girls celebration/Valentine's brunch…but I LOVE anything chocolate so I might have to try this sometime soon (with whiskey, of course!)

  • Anonymous

    I just Love Keylime pie, and of course anything with dark chocolate

  • Anonymous

    I just Love Keylime pie, and of course anything with dark chocolate

  • Rebecca

    Creme Brulee. But even better–chocolate creme brulee.

  • Rebecca

    Creme Brulee. But even better–chocolate creme brulee.

  • Rebecca

    Creme Brulee. But even better–chocolate creme brulee.

  • Mona

    Anything with chocolate would be great :-)

  • Mona

    Anything with chocolate would be great :-)

  • Mona

    Anything with chocolate would be great :-)

  • Fresh Local and Best

    This looks like an excellent dessert! My favorite Valentine's Day dessert is actually flourless chocolate cake.

  • Fresh Local and Best

    This looks like an excellent dessert! My favorite Valentine's Day dessert is actually flourless chocolate cake.

  • Fresh Local and Best

    This looks like an excellent dessert! My favorite Valentine's Day dessert is actually flourless chocolate cake.

  • Jon

    I'd have to say something with dark chocolate and almonds.

  • Jon

    I'd have to say something with dark chocolate and almonds.

  • Jon

    I'd have to say something with dark chocolate and almonds.

  • Jennifer Kate

    This Valentine's Day I completely broke my own rules and made three edible gifts – that were NOT chocolate. For some reason, I was compelled to make Martha's Almond Macaroons with my own Blackberry Buttercream filling. They were cute and pink – and even though I forgot to de-skin the almonds (oops) I received many calls for the recipe! But I bought myself a chocolate cupcake from my fav bakery just to stick with tradition. Love your site Kelsey. It is a true staple at our home! Jen

  • Jennifer Kate

    This Valentine's Day I completely broke my own rules and made three edible gifts – that were NOT chocolate. For some reason, I was compelled to make Martha's Almond Macaroons with my own Blackberry Buttercream filling. They were cute and pink – and even though I forgot to de-skin the almonds (oops) I received many calls for the recipe! But I bought myself a chocolate cupcake from my fav bakery just to stick with tradition. Love your site Kelsey. It is a true staple at our home! Jen

  • Jennifer Kate

    This Valentine's Day I completely broke my own rules and made three edible gifts – that were NOT chocolate. For some reason, I was compelled to make Martha's Almond Macaroons with my own Blackberry Buttercream filling. They were cute and pink – and even though I forgot to de-skin the almonds (oops) I received many calls for the recipe! But I bought myself a chocolate cupcake from my fav bakery just to stick with tradition.

    Love your site Kelsey. It is a true staple at our home! Jen

  • Feeding the Saints (A. C. Park

    Dark chocolate, chocolate mastiha brownies with brandied cherries (it's my own recipe, so maybe that's tacky of me to mention, sorry, but they're great for Valentine's Day), or, if I had to pick something that isn't chocolate… rose panna cotta (there's one from Claudia Fleming that features goat's milk and is divine).

  • Feeding the Saints (A. C. Park

    Dark chocolate, chocolate mastiha brownies with brandied cherries (it's my own recipe, so maybe that's tacky of me to mention, sorry, but they're great for Valentine's Day), or, if I had to pick something that isn't chocolate… rose panna cotta (there's one from Claudia Fleming that features goat's milk and is divine).

  • Feeding the Saints (A. C. Parker)

    Dark chocolate, chocolate mastiha brownies with brandied cherries (it's my own recipe, so maybe that's tacky of me to mention, sorry, but they're great for Valentine's Day), or, if I had to pick something that isn't chocolate… rose panna cotta (there's one from Claudia Fleming that features goat's milk and is divine).

  • Anonymous

    My favorite Valentine's Day desserts are heart-shaped things … the Silver Palate heart-shaped shortbread cookies and my own heart-shaped, from-scratch brownies dusted with powdered sugar. Just looking at them makes me smile!Love your site! Michelle

  • Anonymous

    My favorite Valentine's Day desserts are heart-shaped things … the Silver Palate heart-shaped shortbread cookies and my own heart-shaped, from-scratch brownies dusted with powdered sugar. Just looking at them makes me smile!Love your site! Michelle

  • Anonymous

    My favorite Valentine's Day desserts are heart-shaped things … the Silver Palate heart-shaped shortbread cookies and my own heart-shaped, from-scratch brownies dusted with powdered sugar. Just looking at them makes me smile!
    Love your site! Michelle

  • annalene

    I actually love red velvet cupcakes or cake, the red is perfect for valentine's day :)

  • annalene

    I actually love red velvet cupcakes or cake, the red is perfect for valentine's day :)

  • annalene

    I actually love red velvet cupcakes or cake, the red is perfect for valentine's day :)