Daring Bakers: Flourless chocolate cake… in miniature.

by Patricia on March 1, 2009 · 5 comments

I have been wanting to make a flourless chocolate cake for a couple of months, so it was serendipitous when the Daring Bakers announced that for February we were making the Chocolate Valentino. Of course with 2 birthdays on and before Valentine’s Day, it took me a while to get around to baking it (Procrastinate? Who me?).
Thursday evening, I gathered my best chocolate bars and began chopping (I found chopping chocolate to be very satisfying. Okay, maybe there was a little sampling). I used a mix of chocolates: there was some Valrhona and Scharfenberger, mostly 70-72% cocoa bittersweet but for a little kick I added 2 with chili mixed into the chocolate.

I don’t have a proper double boiler, but find that my pyrex bowl on top of a medium saucepan works perfectly. Into my double boiler went that beautiful bowl full of chocolate along with some butter and I stirred it until it melted and became glossy.
After letting the chocolate cool, I beat in the egg yolks and then the whipped egg whites. Now, what pan to use? I don’t have a heart-shaped pan which the traditional Valentino would be baked in. Round cake pan? That sounded boring, so I pulled out my not-yet-used mini cheesecake pan since everything is cuter in miniature.
This month’s challenge also included an option (preference?) for everyone to make their own ice cream. I love homemade ice cream and would love to try making some even without an ice cream maker (for a how to see: David Lebowitz’s instructions here). But I didn’t have time to try it this time around so I paired my cakelets with fresh whipped cream. The day I made these cakes, D. returned from a business trip so I was excited to see him and to share these treats, but after dinner he wasn’t feeling well. Later that evening, we realized he had food poisoning from his airport lunch… he’s better now but no Valentino for him yet.
flourless chocolate cake mini
After this petite cake posed for these photos, it starred as my one and only dessert Thursday evening. The dark chocolate flavor is intense with hints of spice from the 2 chili-chocolate bars I used (sort of like a Mexican chocolate, but not quite as cinnamony-spicy). It pairs well with vanilla whipped cream. And the miniature size is perfect for this rich dessert.

Chocolate Valentino
Preparation Time: 20 minutes

16 ounces (1 pound) (454 grams) of semisweet chocolate, roughly chopped
½ cup (1 stick) plus 2 tablespoons (146 grams total) of unsalted butter
5 large eggs separated

1. Put chocolate and butter in a heatproof bowl and set over a pan of simmering water (the bottom of the bowl should not touch the water) and melt, stirring often.
2. While your chocolate butter mixture is cooling. Butter your pan and line with a parchment circle then butter the parchment.
3. Separate the egg yolks from the egg whites and put into two medium/large bowls.
4. Whip the egg whites in a medium/large grease free bowl until stiff peaks are formed (do not over-whip or the cake will be dry).
5. With the same beater beat the egg yolks together.
6. Add the egg yolks to the cooled chocolate.
7. Fold in 1/3 of the egg whites into the chocolate mixture and follow with remaining 2/3rds. Fold until no white remains without deflating the batter. {link of folding demonstration}
8. Pour batter into prepared pan, the batter should fill the pan 3/4 of the way full, and bake at 375F/190C
9. Bake for 25 minutes until an instant read thermometer reads 140F/60C.
Note – If you do not have an instant read thermometer, the top of the cake will look similar to a brownie and a cake tester will appear wet.
10. Cool cake on a rack for 10 minutes then unmold.

** My notes: I used a Norpro Mini Cheesecake Pan and reduced the baking time to 10 minutes (probably could have been reduced to 8-9 minutes).

flourless chocolate cake mini

The February 2009 challenge is hosted by Wendy of WMPE’s blog and Dharm of Dad ~ Baker & Chef.
We have chosen a Chocolate Valentino cake by Chef Wan; a Vanilla Ice Cream recipe from Dharm and a Vanilla Ice Cream recipe from Wendy as the challenge.


1 Fran@fransfavs.com December 10, 2012 at 3:29 pm

Be still, my chocoholic heart!

2 Bumblebutton March 6, 2009 at 3:54 pm

Super cute minis–hope the food poisoning is all better so you had someone to share your darling cakes with! Melted chocolate photos always make my heart go pitter patter. Yum!

3 Maggie March 2, 2009 at 12:37 am

I really like the sound of a little chili spice in this recipe. I personally hate chopping chocolate though, it always flies everywhere and melts on my hands.

4 creativecarryout March 1, 2009 at 10:24 pm

Love the bowl of chocolate! Yum.

5 Amy March 1, 2009 at 6:14 am

Great job on the challenge – I have to say I like chopping chocolate too. It flakes in an unexpected way that makes me giggle!

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