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Saturday, August 16, 2008

Susan Purdy's Flourless Chocolate Espresso Cake

The Altitude Adjustment Section
Of all of Susan Purdy’s great altitude-adjusted recipes, the one which amazes them in cooking class every time, is for the flourless chocolate espresso truffle cake. It's very easy but you must follow her instructions exactly. This is not just an idle threat, it’s a fact. So here it is:

Ingredients
8 ounces semisweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
1/2 cup water
1 cup granulated sugar
2 teaspoons instant espresso powder
1/2 pound room temp unsalted butter (2 sticks)
4 large room temp eggs

Procedure
Preheat your oven to 375. Take a 9 x 1-1/2 inch cake round pan and coat with non-stick spray. Then line the bottom with parchment and coat again. Place rack in the center of the oven. Put a rectangular pan with 3/4 of an inch of boiling water in the oven (one your pan will comfortably fit into). Put the chocolate into the bowl of your food processor and process for 1 minute, till chocolate is reduced to a fine powder. In a small saucepan, combine the water, sugar, and espresso powder over medium heat and stir till dissolved. Bring to the boil till you see little bubbles forming around the edge. Careful, as it loves to boil over. Now remove from heat and with processor running, slowly pour hot syrup into chocolate about 10 seconds. Now stop and scrape down sides of bowl. With the machine running, add bits of the soft butter 2 at a time letting them disappear into the mixture completely before adding the next butter bits. Break the eggs into a 2-cup measure and beat lightly with a fork. Slowly add to chocolate mixture. Pulse mixture about 10 times, just to blend. Now scrape the mixture into prepared pan and smooth the top. Carefully open oven and set cake into hot water bath. Lower oven to 350 and bake for 25-33 minutes. The way to test for doneness is when you touch the top, and the batter does not stick to your fingertip. The cake should feel firm and slightly rubbery to the touch. Carefully remove from water bath and let cool on a wire rack for 20-30 minutes. When cake is cool, and starting to pull away from the sides of the pan, run a thin knife around the edge. Cover top of cake with plastic wrap and turn it onto cardboard circle covered with tin foil. Now flip it onto nice flat serving platter and top should look perfect. Can be served warm and gooey or chilled and firm. It's great either way!