Ginger Chocolate Cake
Crème fraîche enriches this flourless cake, and dark cocoa powder bolsters its chocolate flavor. Both fresh and dry ginger add a nuance of heat and spice that show why ginger pairs so well with chocolate. Even though this cake is wonderful on its own, unsweetened crème fraîche dolloped on top and chewy, citrusy clementine confit takes this into a very sophisticated neighborhood.
- Serves: 8 persons
- ¾cup/170 grams unsalted butter (1 1/2 sticks), plus softened butter for greasing the pan
- 12ounces/340 grams bittersweet chocolate (60 percent), broken into small pieces
- ¼cup/25 grams Dutch-processed cocoa powder, plus more for dusting
- 1rounded tablespoon grated peeled fresh ginger
- 1 ¼teaspoons ground ginger
- 1teaspoon vanilla extract
- ½teaspoon kosher salt
- 1(8-ounce/225-gram) container crème fraîche (1 cup)
- 1cup/200 grams granulated sugar
- 1tablespoon ginger liqueur or Cognac (optional)
- 6large eggs, separated
- Clementine Confit, for serving
Step 1Heat oven to 350 degrees. Grease the bottom and sides of a 9-inch springform pan with the softened butter. Line the bottom with parchment and butter the paper.
Step 2Combine the butter and chocolate in a medium bowl, and set the bowl over a pan of barely simmering water. Stir occasionally until mostly melted and remove from heat. Continue stirring until smooth and let cool slightly. Add cocoa, fresh ginger, ground ginger, vanilla, salt, 1/4 cup/55 grams crème fraîche, 1/4 cup/50 grams sugar and the liqueur, if using. Whisk until smooth. Lightly beat the egg yolks in another bowl and whisk into the chocolate mixture until smooth. Set aside in a warm place to keep the mixture loose.
Step 3Meanwhile, use a stand mixer fitted with the whisk or a hand mixer and large bowl to beat the egg whites on medium speed until evenly foamy. Gradually sprinkle in the remaining 3/4 cup/150 grams sugar. Increase the speed to high and continue beating until the egg whites are very billowy and hold a peak.
Step 4Add 1/4 of the whites to the chocolate mixture and whisk until smooth, then scrape into the bowl with the whites. Fold gently until no white streaks remain. Scrape into the prepared pan and smooth the top. Place on a baking sheet and onto the center oven rack.
Step 5Bake until the center bounces a little when you gently shake the pan and a toothpick inserted 1 1/2 inches from the edge comes out clean, 40 to 45 minutes. Cool completely on a rack.
Step 6Remove the ring and slide onto a serving plate from the pan bottom. You can leave the paper in place. Gently pat any crumbling edges back onto the cake. The cake will last well wrapped at room temperature for a few days and can also be frozen.
Step 7When ready to serve, chill a bowl and whisk, and use them to whip the remaining 3/4 cup/180 milliliters crème fraîche. It will thin out at first, then hold its shape. Dust the cake with cocoa powder and slice with a hot knife. Serve each slice with a dollop of crème fraîche and some of the clementine confit.