Friday, December 23, 2011

pure decadence...

i'm pam, another sister-in-law to erin, and i'm happy to be posting to a blog that is truly heaven-sent! my mother was diagnosed with celiac disease back in 2000, and meeting up with erin three years later meant that something as simple yet important as a homemade birthday cake was suddenly back on my mom's menu. (this has become her traditional fall birthday cake, and it is one of thee best cakes i've ever devoured!)

when i think back to the christmas eves of my childhood, i'm reminded of a special tradition centered around one of my favorite indulgences - chocolate. for many years my family spent such magical winter nights next door at my grandparents' home, where a box of our favorite cummings chocolates would be passed around the room until each person had secured one of its treasures. before partaking, we were handed a toothpick with which to "eat" our chocolates - so as to savor each "bite" while christmas stories were read by the fire. this tradition was in remembrance of the luxury of a simple christmas chocolate in my grandfather's humble home as a boy - always accompanied by a toothpick, and never a second helping. i was reminded of the spirit of gratitude on those special nights - the spirit of christmas.

and in the spirit of chocolate, this is to-date my favorite gluten-free chocolate dessert. it is rustic, yet luxuriously decadent, and perfect for a holiday gathering. small slices will receive big praise. merry christmas everyone!!

flourless chocolate cake

1 c. (2 sticks) unsalted butter, cut into pieces + more for the pan
1/4 c. unsweetened cocoa powder + more for the pan
1+1/4 c. heavy cream
8 oz. bittersweet chocolate, chopped
5 lg. eggs
1 c. granulated sugar
1/2 c. crème fraîche or sour cream
1/4 c. confectioners’ sugar + more for dusting

heat oven to 350°. butter a 9-inch springform pan and dust with cocoa powder. in a medium saucepan, heat the butter with ¼ cup of the heavy cream over medium-low heat until the butter is melted. add the chocolate and stir until melted and smooth; remove from heat. in a medium bowl, whisk together the eggs, granulated sugar, and cocoa powder; whisk in the chocolate mixture. transfer the batter to the prepared pan and bake until puffed and set, 35 to 40 minutes. let cool in the pan for 1 hour. run a knife around the edge of the cake before unmolding. using an electric mixer, beat the remaining 1 cup of heavy cream with the crème fraîche and confectioners’ sugar until soft peaks form. dust the cake with confectioners’ sugar and serve with the whipped cream. (original recipe found here.)


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