Divas on a Dime: Sweets for the sweet on Valentine’s Day

You only need two ingredients to make this rich, decadent chocolate cake. Yes, you read that right. It’s just crazy.

If you’ve been reading my column for a while, then you know I’m a foodie science geek, so this recipe is totally up my alley. Variations of this cake have been floating around the internet for years and I thought Valentine’s Day was the perfect excuse to try it.

It’s inexpensive, as it’s just eggs and chocolate. The only thing some folks might find challenging is making meringue with the egg whites. But trust me – if you have a mixer you can make meringue!

Here’s the science behind why this works: eggs are amazing. When we separate the yolks from the whites, the yolks add richness and help emulsify the chocolate. The whites when whipped into a stiff meringue and blended with the chocolate add all the lift and structure that makes this a legit cake. It’s like a chocolate soufflé and a truffle had a baby. And I ate it.

CHOCOLATE TRUFFLE TORTE

Prep Time: about 20 minutes Cook Time: 35 minutes

Yield: 6 to 8 servings

What You’ll Need:

10 oz. good quality chocolate – chopped

4 eggs – separated

Here’s How:

Preheat oven to 350°F. Line an eight-inch round cake pan, or ideally, a springform pan with parchment paper. Cut a round to fit the bottom and make a sleeve to go around the sides. I used cooking spray on the pan to keep the paper in place. But don’t spray the paper!

Separate the eggs, making sure not to get any yolks in the whites. Melt the chocolate in the microwave, at 30-second increments, stirring until smooth, then set it aside to cool. Using a hand or stand mixer, whip the egg whites until they form stiff peaks.

Add egg yolks to the cooled chocolate with a whisk. It’s going to seize up at first but keep whisking. Add one-third of the meringue to the chocolate and whisk to lighten the mixture, add half of the remaining meringue and incorporate until just blended. Fold in remaining meringue with a spatula. Pour batter into prepared pan. Bake for 35 to 40 minutes.

It’s going to inflate a little like a soufflé but don’t fall too in love with that because it’s also going to fall (like my last soufflé). But that’s what you want. Let it cool. I love the craggy, uneven exterior of this cake. Top with some powdered sugar if you want. This is divine served with a dollop of whipped cream and some berries.

About choosing chocolate for this recipe: choose wisely. Since there’s nothing else to distract from it, use the best chocolate you can afford. I found semi-sweet chocolate to be just right, but my kids preferred milk chocolate. You could even chop up good chocolate bars flavored with orange or raspberry to vary the flavors.

I hope you’ll enjoy this torte for the romantic holiday ahead but remember, thick and dense is great in a cake but not so much in a valentine. Again, choose wisely. Enjoy!

Frugal Festivity contributed by Patti Diamond from Divas On A Dime – Where Frugal, Meets Fabulous! Website and blog – www.divasonadime.com Join us on Facebook at DivasOnADimeDotCom.

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