Flourless chocolate cake is a delectably moist cake with an intense chocolate taste. The finely ground nuts used in place of flour in this style of cake is what gives it a rich, well-rounded flavor.
Similar to flourless chocolate cake is the chocolate torte. Some tortes are made with flour or boxed cake mixes, but many also use ground nuts in place of flour. If torte is made with flour, it is not gluten-free unless you use gluten-free flour.
Both chocolate torte and flourless chocolate cake are delicious when sprinkled with powdered sugar, slathered with ganache, or spread with frosting. A small scoop of vanilla ice cream or a glass of milk are a refreshing accompaniment to these rich desserts.
The dense chocolateness of flourless chocolate cake and chocolate torte means that a small slice goes a long way. One single layer 9-inch torte or flourless cake will yield 8-10 servings. While it takes a little bit of time and care to prepare, flourless chocolate cake and chocolate torte are definitely worth the effort!
Secrets for a perfect flourless cake
You will have the best and most consistent baking results if you use a springform pan to bake your flourless chocolate cake or chocolate torte, even if your recipe calls for a different type of pan.
It is easy to switch your recipe to baking with a springform pan. If your flourless chocolate cake or chocolate torte recipe recommends a round or square cake pan, just use a springform pan of the same diameter. So, a for a 9x9 inch square pan, use a 9-inch circular springform pan. If your recipe makes a 9x13 size flourless chocolate cake or chocolate torte, use two 8-inch springform pans.
Make a little extra glaze or frosting and spread it between the layers of cake or torte you have made or frost and serve each layer of cake or torte separately.
Leave No Cake Behind
There is nothing more heartbreaking than a cake stuck in the pan. To avoid the tears and frustration, grease your springform pan carefully. Put a lining of parchment paper along the bottom and grease the paper. Then, flour the pan and the parchment paper. If you are baking a gluten-free cake or torte, do not use a flour with gluten or a baking spray containing flour to grease your pan. Instead, use a gluten-free flour. Some recipes recommend using cocoa powder instead of flour so that the outside edge of your cake or torte will not be white. However, this often causes the cake to stick, defeating the purpose of flouring the pan.
Gather the Ingredients
Many of the ingredients called for in flourless chocolate cake or chocolate torte require just a bit of preparation.
Save time by melting the butter and chocolate in your recipe together in the microwave. Microwave for one minute on low heat in a microwave-safe dish and then stir. Continue to microwave in twenty-second increments until the chocolate and butter are melted.
If you prefer an intense flavor, replace some of the semisweet chocolate called for with bittersweet chocolate. If you prefer a milder chocolate flavor, use milk chocolate for up to half of the chocolate called for. Give your cake or torte a boost of flavor by adding 1-2 tablespoons of prepared and cooled espresso.
Use your food processor to grind the nuts called for in your recipe. Pulse the nuts until you create a fine nut powder. The ground nuts should look like dry sand. Do not let them go for too long in the food processor or you will have nut butter instead of nut flour.
Your fingers are the best tool to separate the eggs called for in your flourless cake or torte. Working over a bowl, crack each egg and gently pour it over your fingers. Let the yolk rest on your fingertips while the white drips into the bowl. Once the white and yolk are separated, place the yolk in a different bowl. Repeat this process until all of the eggs you need are separated. Most recipes recommend you beat the egg whites until soft peaks form, some have you go until hard peaks form. Be careful not to overbeat the egg whites.
Chocolate tortes often include 1-2 tablespoons of flour. If you are making a gluten-free cake, do not be tempted to add extra ground nuts in place of the flour. The cake will not bake properly and it will fall apart when you take it out of the pan. Instead, replace the flour with equal amounts of gluten-free flour.
Don’t Ruin Your Hard Work
Once you have added all of the air into the egg whites, be careful not to crush them as you blend your ingredients together. Use a spatula and gently fold them in until they are completely incorporated and the batter is an uniform color. You should not see any streaks of egg white. As you pour your batter into the prepared pan(s), do not scrape it into the pan(s) too hard or too quickly. This will take the volume out of your batter that you worked so hard to put in.
Give it a tap and a shake
After the batter is in the pan(s), gently tap the pan on the counter to remove any bubbles. These bubbles can cause uneven baking. Do not tap it too hard, though, or you will destroy its volume. Use a spatula to lightly even out the top of the batter or give the pan a shake, back and forth horizontally, until the batter settles.
Because flourless chocolate cake and chocolate tortes are so dense, it can be difficult to tell when they are done. A toothpick inserted in the center should come out with baked crumbs on it. There should be no jiggle in the center of the cake. If you are making the cake or torte with gluten-free flour, check it at the recommended time, but plan for it to take about 5 minutes longer.
Cooling and Removing
Let the cake cool in the springform pan on a wire rack for 15 minutes. Run a knife around the inside of the pan. Remove the sides of the springform pan. Now you have to make a choice. You can serve the cake on the base of the springform pan and dodge the parchment paper when you cut and serve it or your can take it off of the base. If you will serve it from the base, let it cool completely on the wire rack before frosting or glazing. Otherwise, let the cake cool another 15 minutes, invert it onto a cake plate or server, and peel off the parchment paper. Let it cool completely before frosting or glazing.
Glaze, Frost, or Sprinkle
While your cake is cooling, follow the recipe instructions for making the frosting or ganache. Once the cake is completely cool, spread on the frosting or ganache with an offset spatula or butter knife. You could skip this step and dust the cake with powdered sugar.
Serve and Store
Flourless chocolate cake and chocolate torte are best served cold. Once you have glazed, frosted, or dusted your cake, cover it carefully and set it in the refrigerator. Slice the cake to serve and refrigerate leftovers immediately. This cake will only last for up to two days in the refrigerator before it begins to get overly damp.