Flourless Chocolate Walnut Cookies

Adapted from François Payard /SELF Magazine December 2008 via Bea Grossman

Parchment paper
2 1/2 cups walnut halves
3 cups confectioners’ sugar
1/2 cup plus 3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
4 egg whites
1 tablespoon vanilla extract

Pre-heat oven to 350°, and line 2 large baking sheets with parchment paper

  1. Finely chop the walnuts on a cutting board, or carefully pulse-chop them in a food processor. The nuts should be chopped small, but not reduced to dust.  Transfer to a separate large baking sheet and toast until fragrant and a bit darker in color, about 7-9 minutes. Check the nuts every two minutes, and shake the pan, to make sure they don’t burn.  Let them cool to room temperature.
  2. Sift the sugar, cocoa and salt into a bowl to remove any lumps and clumping. Whisk together to combine, and set aside until the walnuts have cooled.
  3. Stir in the walnuts.   Add the egg whites and vanilla; combine  with a wooden spoon until the batter is just moistened. Do not overbeat the batter, or it will stiffen.
  4. Drop batter by the teaspoonful, 2 inches apart, onto baking sheets with parchment paper.
  5. Bake cookies until tops are lightly cracked and glossy, about 15 minutes.
  6. Remove cookies from baking sheet immediately, and place on cooling racks.

Store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 1 week.

Makes approximately 40-50 cookies

NOTES: Unless you have a convection oven, you’ll have to bake these cookies one tray at a time.  Also, make sure you use the parchment paper, as the cookies will stick to the pan if you

Bananas Foster

4 firm bananas, sliced in half length-wise, or cut on the bias, 1/2” thick

1/4 cup (half a stick) unsalted butter

1/2 cup brown sugar

1 tablespoon lemon juice

1/3 cup rum

vanilla ice cream

  1. In a large skillet over a medium heat, melt the butter, then stir in the sugar.  Continue to stir, until the sugar is dissolved.
  2. Add the bananas, and continue to spoon the syrup over the bananas, until the bananas are heated through.
  3. While the bananas are heating, add the lemon juice.When the bananas are heated through, add the rum* to the pan, and gently simmer for 1 minute.

WARNING!!!!!!!!!!!!!

*At this point, you may choose to ignite the rum.  Be very careful if you do.   If you do choose to ignite the rum, make sure you have the lid for the pan immediately at hand, to cover the pan and extinguish the fire, if necessary.  Make sure you take all precautions necessary to ensure everyone’s safety.

Serve immediately with ice cream or whipped cream

Serves 6

Flourless Chocolate Cake, with a Chocolate Glaze

12 ounces bittersweet chocolate chips or bittersweet chocolate, roughly chopped

2 sticks, plus 3 tablespoons butter, cut into chunks

1 1/4 cups sugar

6 eggs

½ teaspoon gluten-free orange extract (optional)

1 cup unsweetened cocoa powder, sifted

1 tablespoon milk

1 tablespoon honey

1/4 teaspoon gluten-free vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 375°F.  Spray a 9-inch springform pan with nonstick cooking spray, then line the bottom with parchment or waxed paper. Spray the paper with cooking spray, too.

  1. Melt two-thirds (8 ounces) of the chocolate and 2 sticks of the butter.  Whisk together when melted. Remove from heat and transfer to a large bowl (if you’re using an electric stand-mixer, use that bowl).
  2. Add sugar and mix well. Add eggs one at a time, whisking well after each addition. Add the orange extract and mix.  Then add the sifted cocoa and combine until just blended.
  3. Pour batter into prepared pan and bake for 35 to 40 minutes, or until cake has risen and top has formed a thin crust. The cake should be just firm in the center when done  If you use a cake tester, it won’t come out dry, like a flour cake. Remove from the oven.
  4. Cool for 10 minutes, then invert onto a plate, removing sides of springform pan. Remove and discard parchment paper and set cake aside to cool completely.

The Chocolate Glaze

  1. Melt remaining 4 ounces chocolate and 3 tablespoons butter. Whisk together when melted.
  2. Remove from heat, and stir in milk, honey and vanilla. Set aside to cool slightly.
  3. When cake has cooled, pour glaze onto the center. Using a spatula or the back of a spoon,  spread the glaze glaze along the top and sides of the cake.

Chill the cake, uncovered, for 30 to 60 minutes before serving to set the glaze and make the cake easier to slice

Flourless Chocolate Cake with Almonds

This is Maida Heatter’s famous Queen Mother’s Cake, from her Book of Great Chocolate Desserts.  It’s moist, great tasting, and a bit different than most other cakes.  Follow the details at the end to get the cake out of the pan.  The steps may seem odd, but they really work!

  • 6 oz (1  1/4 cups) almonds, blanched or unblanched
  • 6 oz semisweet chocolate pieces
  • 6 oz (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 6 large eggs, separated
  • pinch of salt
  • 9” spring form pan

Place oven rack 1/3 of the way from the bottom of the oven, and preheat to 375º.

  1. Butter or spray a 9” spring form pan, and line the bottom with wax paper.  Butter or spray the wax paper, too.  Optional: cover the buttered wax paper with a dusting of flour or very fine bread crumbs.  Set aside.
  2. In a food processor, grind the nuts to a very fine powder.  They should resemble corn meal.  Set the nuts aside.
  3. In the top of a double boiler, melt the chocolate, then remove from heat and cool to room temperature.
  4. With an electric mixer, cream the butter and sugar, at medium-high speed, for two minutes.  Add the yolks one at a time, until they’re all incorporated.  Lower the mixer’s speed to low, and add the chocolate, only until it’s just mixed in.  Add the almonds, also only to mix.
  5. In a larger, separate clean bowl, add the egg whites and salt.  With clean and dry beaters, Beat the whites until they hold a definite shape, but don’t let them get stiff or dry.  Stir (by hand) a large spoonful of the whites into the chocolate mixture.  Then, in three additions, fold the remaining whites into the chocolate mixture.
  6. Spoon the cake batter into the pan, and gently spin the pan to level the top of the batter.
  7. Bake for 20 minutes at 375º.  Reduce the oven temperature to 350º, and bake for an additional 50 minutes,  When done, the cake should be soft and moist in the center.
  8. (This is important, though no-one knows why):Wet and slightly wring out a folded towel, and place it on a smooth surface.  Take the finished cake from the oven, and place it directly on the wet towel.  Let it stand for 20 minutes.  Then release and remove the sides of the pan.  Do the “two cooling rack/flip and remove pan bottom and paper” thing.  The cake will be fragile, so be careful when moving it around.

Serve with a whipped cream, and or a chocolate or raspberry sauce

Flourless Chocolate Cake Without Nuts

This is a great recipe from the late, great Gourmet Magazine, from 1997. Not only does it have a terrific taste and texture, it’s also gluten and nut free!
Details
  • Prep Time:  15 min
  • Cook Time: 25 min
  • Ready Time: 40 min

Servings

8 servings

Ingredients

  • 4 ounces semi-sweet or bittersweet chocolate not unsweetened chocolate
  • 1 stick unsalted butter
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • confectioner’s sugar for garnish

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 375°F. Butter an 8-inch round baking pan. Line bottom with a round of wax paper and butter paper.
  2. Chop chocolate into small pieces. In a double boiler or metal bowl set over a saucepan of barely simmering water melt chocolate with butter, stirring, until smooth. Remove top of double boiler or bowl from heat and whisk sugar into chocolate mixture. Add eggs and whisk well. Sift the cocoa powder over chocolate mixture and whisk until just combined. Pour batter into pan and bake in middle of oven 25 minutes, or until top has formed a thin crust. Cool cake in pan on a rack 5 minutes and invert onto a serving plate.
  3. Dust cake with additional cocoa powder and serve with sorbet if desired. (Cake keeps, after being cooled completely, in an airtight container, 1 week.)