A splurge

I’ve been dieting. Valentine’s Day marks Day 29 of vigilance, and I am seeing results, although not as quickly as I’d like. (I’d like to wake up tomorrow and be 10 lbs. thinner.) But I didn’t want to let the day for hearts and chocolate and appreciation for my sweetie pass without some treat. (And yes, I wanted it for me, too!)

I’ve been avoiding wheat, so a flourless cake came to mind. Heavy on chocolate and also light on dairy — another item on my avoidance list. I chose this one from many recipes online — we both like spice, and this one had less butter (though more chocolate and sugar) than the other recipe I was considering. I tweaked it a bit — used different kinds of chocolate, rather than only the semisweet called for, used one-third less sugar (next time I’ll try stevia), and added a teaspoon of instant coffee, a trick I learned from Ina Garten (of Barefoot Contessa fame), who swears it makes any chocolate recipe taste better.

The cake is a winner — chocolaty heaven, even though I left it in the oven too long. I looked at it with 4 minutes to go and the top hadn’t cracked at all, but when I checked again (I can’t hear the oven timer from upstairs), it looked like this.

Something trying to hatch?

Fortunately, nothing a few raspberries couldn’t fix — not called for in this particular recipe, but a nice complement. The final texture is a bit dry; when I make it again, I’ll bake it less. But neither of us is complaining too much.

A Valentine’s Day splurge. Compliments of the chef du maison. For my sweetie and me.

All I really need is love, but a little chocolate now and then doesn’t hurt!
~ Lucy (courtesy of Charles Schulz)

Mexican Flourless Chocolate Cake

  • 10 oz. chocolate, roughly chopped (I used a mix of semisweet, dark, and even 2 or 3 ounces of unsweetened baking chocolate)
  • 7 TBS unsalted butter, cut into pieces
  • 5 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
  • 3/4 tsp. chili powder (recipe called for chipotle chili powder, I only had regular)
  • 1 tsp. instant coffee
  • Dash of cayenne pepper
  • Pinch of salt
  • Raspberries to top (optional — I used frozen, thawed a bit)
  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Line the bottom of a 9-1/2″ springform pan with a circle of parchment paper. Grease the sides and the parchment with butter or non-stick cooking spray.
  2. Melt the chocolate and butter together over a double boiler or in the microwave, stirring occasionally until smooth.
  3. Whisk together the eggs and the sugar in a large bowl. Slowly, a bit at a time, whisk in the (cooled) melted chocolate. (Mine looked very grainy at first — like I hadn’t dissolved the chocolate or sugar enough, but it smoothed out).
  4. Add the spices, and adjust to taste, if needed.
  5. Pour the batter into the pan and bake for 22-25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool completely on a wire rack. Top with raspberries, if desired.


  1. mel said,

    Tuesday, February 16, 2010 at 8:22 am

    that looks divine!!! and I love the touch of “heat” in it!!! will have to try it…once I start walking again (I, unlike you, have no chariot).

  2. WritingbyEar said,

    Tuesday, February 16, 2010 at 8:34 am

    Mel, I bet the local Play It Again Sports may have a chariot — lots of people buy them with the best of intentions, but…we all know how that goes. I’m just happy I’ve gotten my money’s worth out of mine (it’s a low-end model, too!).

  3. mel said,

    Thursday, February 18, 2010 at 10:44 pm

    oh, my friend… my sweet hopeful friend who thinks there’s a chance in h**l that I’ll actually climb on one of those even if it’s sitting at the foot of my bed… I’ve already purchased and sold at least 2 of them. I wish I had your dedication. if I made the purchase again, I fear it would only a) trip us up in the tiny basement, and b) become a clothes-drying rack. sigh.

  4. WritingbyEar said,

    Friday, February 19, 2010 at 9:27 am

    Oh, Mel, there has been many the month — even year — that mine collected dust and took up space. I do feel better (mentally and physically) when I use it though. The key is never to stop (remind me I said that).

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