Hugs & Kisses: Flourless Chocolate Cake!

My friends were coming for dinner last week, so to the booze cabinet I went — for napkins to set the table, that is. I bought this cabinet a few years ago and converted it into a napkin hutch.

Even though it desperately needs rearranging and a good cleaning, my eyes went straight to the package of napkins that had never been opened. I pulled them out … 8 brand new napkins.

Hugs and Kisses …

The funny thing is, as I was cleaning and getting ready for my guests, I kept thinking about my Auntie Ellen (who passed away exactly one year ago).

I often think of her, our conversations, how she was my “entertaining mentor,” always encouraging me, interested in my life.

I was missing her tremendously before I even started setting the table!

The napkins I pulled from the hutch were the last gift Auntie bought for me. How ironic that I’d be reminded of her “hugs and kisses” on this day.

I smiled *BIG* when I figured it all out.

A hint of red – perfect for my table.

A touch of love – wrapped up in hugs and kisses.

Do you ever feel that it’s too much work to throw a dinner party and bake dessert from scratch?

Sometimes it’s easier to either delegate the dessert or to make something quick and simple. But for this dinner party I had the “time” to bake from scratch.

And I’m glad I did … because here’s where chocolate and goodness come together.

Flourless Chocolate Cake
Serves 8-10

10 oz. bittersweet chocolate
3/4 cup unsalted butter (cut into 6 pieces)
5 large egg yolks
1/4 cup + 2 T. sugar
1 T. brewed espresso
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1/2 tsp. salt
3 large egg whites, at room temperature

Chocolate Glaze:
In microwave, on 50% power, melt 1/2 cup butter and 8 oz. bittersweet chocolate. Remove from heat and whisk in 2 T. light corn syrup, until smooth and glossy. Slowly pour the warm glaze over the center of the cake.

Preheat oven to 300. Grease the bottom of an 8-inch round cake pan and line it with parchment paper. Grease the paper and the sides of the pan.

In a double boiler, or 50% power in a microwave, combine chocolate and the 3/4 cup butter and melt; set aside to cool slightly.

In a large bowl beat together the egg yolks, 1/4 cup sugar, coffee (cooled), vanilla, and salt until very pale and thick. Gradually pour in the chocolate mixture and continue beating until well blended.

In a clean bowl, using a mixer, beat the egg whites until foamy. Gradually add the remaining sugar and continue to beat until medium-firm peaks form.

Scoop half of the egg whites onto the chocolate mixture and fold them in gently. Fold in remaining whites just until no streaks remain.

Pour the batter into the prepared pan and spread it out evenly.

Make sure and take a quick “taste.”

Bake the torte until it puffs slightly and a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out very moist but not liquid, about 35 minutes. Do not overcook! Cool on a rack for 30 minutes.

Run a small knife around the inside of the pan to loosen the cake, then invert onto a flat plate. Lift off the pan and carefully peel off the parchment paper. Let cool completely. Cover and refrigerate until very cold, at least 4 hours or overnight.

Glaze the cake with the WARM chocolate glaze, then refrigerate again for at least 2 hours.

Option: As you can see, I have a lot of glaze on my cake. You can put the cake on a wire rack with a plate underneath it, when pouring the glaze on top, and the excess will run through to the plate.

Delicious – every bite!

Are you a chocolate lover?

Have you ever thought about a person, and then a situation like my “napkin” story happened to you?

19 comments on “Hugs & Kisses: Flourless Chocolate Cake!”

  1. Aww…love that you were thinking of your Auntie as you were setting the table. She was most definitely with you!

    This dessert looks amazing…and I love making dessert, it’s the SIDE dishes that get my every time. I’d love to throw a party with main dish and dessert only. ;)

  2. So sweet and special!

    I make a yummy flourless cake as well. Its an old recipe out of Nigella’s first cookbook. But I love that you put expresso in your cake.

  3. THANK YOU for the recipe! Can’t wait to try it for my gluten-free family members :) I had a neat situation like that recently! My grandmother passed away five or six years ago, and I married this summer. I always have a tinge of sadness when I think that my husband will never meet my grandparents. The other night, I had a wonderful dream — in it, I was reunited with my grandmother, who eagerly met my husband and loved him. We all exchanged laughs, smiles, and hugs, her telling us how happy and proud she was. Later that day, I was reminded that it was her birthday, something I had entirely forgotten! What a sweet gift from God the remembrance of a loved one can be!

  4. Oh my….wonderful cake. and Yes, I love chocolate ….maybe a little too much =)

  5. just curious…where in your home is the napkin hutch located?

  6. Yes I have had that happen. I love it when I find something and it brings me back to a memory of a special person.

    A few months ago, Kat made a flourless chocolate cake for a friend of hers who had lost her grandma on her 16th birthday. Kat wanted to do something special for her, so she secretly found out what kind of cake was her favorite. So she made a flourless chocolate cake with cream cheese frosting. It was a big hit.

  7. How special to be able to pull out those napkins and use them!
    I love this recipe! My son was diagnosed with an autoimmune disease this past fall and with it we found out he has five major food allergies. Wheat, soy, chicken, oats and rye! I can make this cake for him and he can have a treat that looks heavenly! He is 11 years old and we really struggle to cook for him and keep weight on him right now since being diagnosed. Treats are almost impossible to find. Everything he eats is from scratch. Good thing I love to bake and cook and I was already used to dealing with my allergy of soy.
    Thanks for sharing this one, I can’t wait to make it for him.

  8. Just the thought of chocolate makes me happy! I have a similar chocolate recipe that I do for our Valentines dinner every year. Mine does not have the espresso in it but it should since coffee enhances the chocolate flavor.I dare not make it more than once a year! I had a question regarding the balcony girls book…I am starting a group for the young girls in our church and I want to use your balcony girls platform…I think it is beautiful and I love the title Balcony girls. I was curious as to how you came up with the name and the meaning behind it? I tried to email you but your site doesn’t respond to the email? I may be doing something wrong. Mine is [email protected] Blessings =O)

  9. Your friends are a lucky bunch! Your table is lovely and the cake, well, it’s a beautiful thing to behold! Your aunt must have thought so too – she made her love for you and what you do known! Carrie (Cares)

  10. Now this looks like a wonderful party. The chocolate cake looks amazing, but the lovely memories you share of about your aunt are priceless. How sweet that a part of her was at that table with you :)

  11. Love the cake-yum!!! And yes, that kind of thing has happened to me before. I think it must be God’s way of letting us know he’s aware of where we are and the feelings we have when we miss someone we love. That’s such a great comfort!

  12. Love your use of the booze cabinet! Cake looks divine, too.

  13. Love the table scape. Isn’t it funny how we remember things, special days, birthdays, days people we love go to be with our Lord…… and we smile. Why? Because we know that this life here on earth is not ours, for we have a home in Heaven with our Heavenly Father. I bring out special things, that I got from my mother, I have 2 brothers, but their wives are not into entertaining or keeping Family things, and I am. So from time to time as I bring out a vase, a plate, or as I put my thank you notes in the wash stand that was my Grandmothers, I stop and remember, and smile, and feel the love that each person had for me. And as my wife and I age and our sons have grown and moved into adulthood we pray that one day they too will appreciate these things that we have to pass on to them. Thank you Sandy for this post, on a snowy day here in Northern California, I too am remembering loved ones
    Blessings to you and yours
    Curtis & Sherrie

  14. Wow…that really looks amazing! I just found your blog after checking out the Relevant conference. Love your pics!!! I wish I could eat the cake through the screen….mmmm :)

  15. So touching that every time you use those napkins you’ll be surrounded by the sweet memories of your Aunt. I’ve never baked a cake from scratch, but I would love to give this one a try! Looks luscious.

  16. This looks wonderful! I’m so thankful for the memories of loving family and friends. Your aunt would be pleased that you are still enjoying the gifts that she gave you.

  17. Since our family has recently gone gluten free this recipe is perfect! Thanks for posting and I loved your story about the napkins. It’s hard losing someone you love so much.


  18. I’m drooling. I think this recipe might also be classified as gluten-free, so it’ll work for me!

  19. YES!!! And the chocolate here is really good! :)

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