Baking in the winter, especially following the holidays, can be rough. I’m typically trying to avoid most sugar and the lack of daylight makes it hard to document anything anyway.
Before I left for a week in Miami, I knew I needed to make something special…not only for the hubs I was leaving behind, but also our awesome friends who hosted us for Thanksgiving and Christmas.
AND gifted us homemade cassis.
Cassis is black currant liqueur and deeeeelicious. It’s what we added to our Christmas Day champagne and what Joe’s been using to make his magical “Cherry Cokes” ever since.
This stuff is so, so good.
I knew I wanted to use some to make Barefoot Contessa’s Chocolate Cassis Cake…a flourless wonder that she made on one of her shows with Giada.
What could be better than a flourless cake in the higher altitudes? No flour, no leavening…no math.
The key is to whip the eggs hard until they triple in volume and appear pale, pale yellow. Since you don’t have any leavening, it’s the air in the eggs that will allow the cake to rise.
Air bubbles are okay.
The cake is like a dense brownie, and made even better with the cassis ganache that drowns all those flakey bits.
Joe might prefer his ‘Cherry Cokes,’ but this is how I will forever use my cassis.
You don’t even taste the alcohol. Similar to espresso powder or coffee, cassis just makes the cake taste more chocolately.
It tastes nothing like a cake. More like the most dense, truffle-like brownie of all time. Word to the wise: You really need berries or whipped cream to cut through this richness.
Find some cassis. Find some friends. And get to it!
Chocolate Cassis Cake
Source: Barefoot Contessa
12 tablespoons (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter
10 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder, such as Pernigotti
6 tablespoons creme de cassis liqueur
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
5 extra-large eggs (6 large), at room temperature
1 cup sugar
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
For the glaze:
6 ounces bittersweet or semisweet chocolate, chopped
1/4 cup heavy cream
2 to 3 tablespoons creme de cassis liqueur
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
To serve (optional):
2 (1/2 pint) boxes fresh raspberries
1 pint fresh strawberries, hulled and thickly sliced
1/3 cup sugar
1/3 cup creme de cassis liqueur
For the cake, Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Spray a 9-inch round springform pan with baking spray. Line the bottom of the pan with parchment paper and spray it again with baking spray.
Melt the butter and chocolate together in a heat-proof bowl set over a pan of simmering water, stirring occasionally until smooth. Set aside to cool for 5 minutes. Whisk in the cocoa powder, cassis, and vanilla and set aside.
In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment (you can also use a hand mixer), beat the eggs, sugar, and salt on high speed for 3 to 5 minutes, until pale yellow and triple in volume. Pour the chocolate mixture into the egg mixture and carefully but thoroughly fold them together with a rubber spatula. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake for 35 to 40 minutes, until just barely set in the center. Allow to cool in the pan for 30 minutes and then release the sides of the pan. Remove pan from sides of pan and let cool completely on wire rack.
For the glaze, melt the chocolate and cream together in a heat-proof bowl set over a pan of simmering water. Stir until smooth. Off the heat, whisk in the cassis and vanilla. Allow to cool for 10 minutes and spread over just the top of the cake.
Fifteen minutes before serving, toss the berries gently with the sugar and cassis. Cut the cake in wedges and serve with the berries on the side.