Low-fat!! Chocolate torte!!
This has to be the best low-fat chocolate cake I've ever tasted. It's no surprise that the recipe comes from Alice Medrich's "Chocolate & the art of low-fat desserts". I can't understand why this incredible book is out of print. I bought mine second-hand on eBay or Amazon, and it was a Very Good Decision. If you don't know much about Medrich or this book, do a bit of Google research - you'll probably end up placing an order yourself. I wrote a bit about her in my post about her low-fat chocolate birthday cake, and I've also tried her chocolate souffles and lemon blueberry cake (fabulous!).
A friend was having a girls night and asked if I could make something that was Weight Watchers compatible. I knew just the book to go to, and the recipe that I'd been wanting to try. Unlike the other Medrich low-fat recipes I've made, this one isn't too pedantic and tedious or involves 12 mixing bowls. I had it made and in the oven in about 10 minutes.
I think this recipe is just amazing. Basically it's a low-fat version of the flourless Chocolate Cloud Cake I made last year. But that one is WAY high in butter and eggs and calories. This one is butter-free and only contains 2 egg yolks. It's almost wheat-free too. And the taste and texture are just incredible. There is no way this tastes low-fat.
Medrich's recipe suggests serving this with her "enlightened whipped cream". Intrigued, I looked this up. Did you know that you can "extend" whipped cream by adding merinuge to it? What a great idea! Just beat up one egg white and 2 tablespoons of sugar and add it to your whipped cream. The amount you see on the cake is only 2/3 of a cup in total. The cream has a slightly different texture - lighter and more airy - but that was seen as a good thing by a few people who find plain whipped cream a bit too rich. Medrich has a concern about raw egg whites and includes a pretty tedious recipe for cooking them and making a cooked meringue, that frankly looked way too much work. We have a lower concern about salmonella and eggs here in Australia, so I ignored that and did a standard raw egg meringue. Nobody seemed to get sick...
Look at that texture! Melt in the mouth chocolate decadence, without the decadence. Ok, so we're not talking the fat count of a plate of steamed asparagus here, but as gooey chocolate cakes go, this is pretty damn good. There are 179 calories in each serve of cake (not sure how big that is) and 6.4g of fat. The enlightened whipped cream has 15.6 calories per tablespoon, and 1.38g of fat. I hate to think how many are in the full-fat version....
Read on for the recipe:
Fallen Chocolate Souffle Torte
Adapted from 'Chocolate & the art of Low-Fat Desserts'
1/4 cup ground almonds
3 tablespoons plain flour
3 ounces (90 grams) dark chocolate, chopped fine
1/2 cup Dutch cocoa
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup boiling water
2 egg yolks
1 tablespoons brandy
4 egg whites
~1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
1: Preheat oven to 375 F/ 190 C. Grease and line an 8 inch/20cm sprinform cake tin.
2: Combine chopped chocolate, cocoa and 3/4 cup of the sugar in a large mixing bowl. Pour in the boiling water. Whisk until mixture is smooth and chocolate is completely melted. Make sure any cocoa lumps are dissolved. Whisk in the egg yolks and brandy. Set aside.
3: Combine the egg whites and cream of tartar in a smaller mixing bowl. Beat until soft peaks form. Gradually sprinkle in the remaining sugar and beat on high speed until stiff. Whisk the flour and almonds into the chocolate. Fold about 1/4 of the egg white mixture into the chocolate mixture to lighten it then fold in the remaining egg whites. Pour into the cake pan.
4: Bake for 30-35 minutes until a skewer comes out with a few moist crumbs on it. Cool in the pan. The torte will sink - it's supposed to.
Medrich likes the look of the torte with just a dusting of icing sugar on top and enlightened whipped cream on the side. I chose to cover it in cream. Whatever your choice, here's the recipe:
Enlightened Whipped Cream
Adapted from "Chocolate & the art of Low Fat Desserts"
Pinch cream of tartar
1 egg white
2 tablespoons sugar
2/3 cup cream
1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
Beat the egg white and cream of tartar until soft peaks form then add the sugar. Beat until fairly stiff.
In another bowl beat the cream with the vanilla until fairly stiff. Add the meringue to the cream or vice versa. Easy!