It’s almost Valentine’s Day, peeps. Valentine’s is a day of romance, embraces, nice dinners out. It’s also a day of expensive flowers, long waits at over-crowded bistros, and babysitters’ fees.
I’m not trying to sound negative about the holiday, but my hubs and I are the stay-inside-and-celebrate type. I’ve yet to decide what I’m cooking for the main entrée this year, but I know for sure what’s for dessert. (I mean that literally. Get your mind out of the gutter!)
I have a few favorite things that I cherish. I keep them in my pantry: organic turbinado sugar, good quality chocolate, and good quality bourbon vanilla extract. (The REAL stuff. I’ve heard that the artificial vanilla is made from a by-product of the paper-making process. I read it on the internets, so it’s gotta be true.)
This morning, while waiting to leave to go to an appointment, I found myself
cradling looking at my beloved items. What to make? Brownies? Meh. Chocolate cupcakes? Boring. Flourless chocolate cake? YUUUUUUM. Then I saw the Bourbon (Rough morning), and I thought Hmmm. Flourless Chocolate Bourbon cake? Interesting. I also looked at some Pomegranate Vinegar and strawberries I had sitting on the counter. Ahh. Flourless Dark Chocolate Bourbon Cake with a Strawberry Balsamic Pomegranate Sauce? Sex-yyy.
Don’t let the snobby title scare you. I would’ve named it something simpler, but really. With all of these flavors going on, if I left them out it would be an insult to the awesomeness of this cake. This is probably one of the easiest cakes you’ll ever make. And since there isn’t flour, you don’t have to worry about it being tough or dry. Just make sure you don’t whisk the ingredients too roughly; you don’t want to incorporate too much air. You want this to be dense, fudgy, and oh so sexy.
The Bourbon I used in this cake was one that I stole from my husband’s very own secret stash: Maker’s 46. It has a nice “chocolatey” finish to it, which helps meld the liquor to the cake flavor profile. If you’re worried about this being a strong liquor taste, don’t worry. You don’t notice it as much as it enhances and brings out the other ingredients!
Flourless Dark Chocolate Bourbon Cake
4 ounces of bittersweet chocolate (70%), such as Scharffen Berger, chopped
1/2 cup butter, unsalted, cut into pieces
1 cup turbinado sugar (white, granulated sugar is just fine!)
1/2 cup cocoa powder
3 eggs, beaten
pinch of sea salt
1 tsp. vanilla
2 tsp. Bourbon
1. Preheat your oven to 300 degrees. Line an 8 inch cake pan or 8 inch springform pan with parchment paper. Spray side of pan with nonstick spray or grease with butter.
2. In a large, microwaveable glass bowl, melt chopped chocolate and butter, stirring every 30 seconds. (In my microwave, it only took one minute and a half total heating time. DO NOT OVERHEAT!)
3. Once chocolate and butter are melted, add the rest of the ingredients into the bowl. Stir briskly to ensure everything is well combined.
4. Spread batter evenly into prepared pan. Tap twice on counter to eliminate any air bubbles.
5. Bake for 35 minutes until set. Let cake cool in pan 10 – 15 minutes, then remove. Serve warm.
This batter is quite thick and does not raise much during the baking process.
Strawberry Balsamic Pomegranate Sauce
2 cups strawberries, chopped
1 cup sugar
2 T. Texas Olive Ranch Pomegranate Vinegar (You can also use regular Balsamic!)
In a medium saucepan, combine chopped strawberries, sugar, and balsamic vinegar.
Stirring every few minutes, bring mixture to a simmer over medium heat and cook until thickened.
This will take about twenty minutes.
Remove from heat and pulse in a food processor until berries are further broken down.
Be VERY careful. PULSING is key here; it reduces the risk of HOT sauce bursting out of the bowl.
The final step is to strain the pulverized mixture through a fine mesh strainer. Don’t ask why I forgot to take a picture. Guess I was too eager for a big hunk ‘o chocolate heaven. After straining, your sauce is DONE. Time to plate the cake and allow your taste buds to be seduced.
One final word:
This Pomegranate Balsamic Vinegar I bought may be my fourth coveted possession. Look at how pretty it is!!!!