After a week of working hard and stretching the mind, Saturday is the perfect opportunity to refuel and recharge. For some, this means staying in bed until lunchtime, to others this means cleaning the entire house and catching up on laundry. To me, this means getting outside, indulging in something (preferably coffee or chocolate), and exploring a new place. I don’t always get the chance to put these all together, and I rarely get the chance to do it all with wonderful people at my side, but this past Saturday was a rare treasure. The morning started with a trip to Franklin, accompanied by my dear friends Katie and Alyssa, to enjoy 100 layer donuts made by Five Daughters Bakery. We got there early, but they were already sold out of many flavors, so we were left with the Peanut Butter & Jelly donut. May I say, this was no disappointment, and well worth the drive. Sadly, our appetites overcame us and we didn’t stop to take a picture. I guess that means I need to go back (like I need a reason). After our bellies were filled with sugar, we walked to the Farmer’s Market and enjoyed the cheeses, granolas, handmade soaps and candles, eggs, soups, and baked goods, with a sprinkle of what vegetables were left from the freeze. The local artisans and farmers braved the cold and warmed us with their southern charm.
After we made a few rounds, we headed off to the town square to check out a few stores, and I snagged a Starbucks latte with their latest addition, coconut milk. They made a good move on that one, I highly recommend it. When we finally had enough of the cold, we made our drive back down to Nashville and off to the kitchen I went. My roommate and I had plans to attend a housewarming dinner with some recent friends I met through work. Their company is always a pleasure, and I wanted to try out something new just for them. After much thought and pinterest-searching, I decided on a flourless chocolate cake, because who doesn’t love chocolate? I found this recipe from a beautiful girl from my church, For the Love of the South. Check out her page for amazing recipes and incredible food photography.
Flourless Chocolate Cake
Servings: 9 inch cake (5-6 people)
9 ounces of dark chocolate chips (or milk chocolate chips if it’s one of those days)
1 stick of butter, softened
6 eggs, 4 separated, 2 whole
2/3 cups of sugar, divided in half
2 tablespoons of strong coffee
1 teaspoon of vanilla
Powdered sugar or whipped cream to garnish
1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees
2. In a heatproof container, melt the chocolate chips in the microwave or in a double boiler. Add the softened butter to the warm, melted chocolate chips and stir until smooth. Set aside.
3. In either a stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment or with a hand blender with a whisk attachment, whisk the 4 egg whites until foamy. Once the egg whites become foamy, slowly add 1/3 cup of sugar. Whisk until the whites are glossy and are able to hold their shape. If the whites become dry, alas, you have whisked them too long.
4. In a medium-sized bowl, beat the 4 yolks and 2 whole eggs together with 1/3 cup of sugar and melted chocolate, until combined and smooth. Add a dollop of the egg whites and beat into the chocolate mixture. Then, gently fold in the rest of the egg whites slowly, with a rubber spatula, spooning from the bottom of the mixture and folding over to the top.
5. Pour the batter into a 9-inch spring form pan, or a squared pan like I used, fitted with parchment paper on the bottom and let bake for 25-30 minutes. Mine took around 45 minutes. The cake should look cracked around the edges, but just make sure that the center is no longer wobbly. Let the cake cool in its pan on a wire rack.
6. Serve with whipped cream, or whip up some caramelized bananas like I did. Slice two bananas, put in a skillet over medium-high heat, drizzle with maple syrup or honey, sprinkle with cinnamon, and cook, turning them over occasionally, until soft.