Let them eat cake, our birthday cake!

Happy Birthday to us! It’s our one year anniversary here at Eat The Marshmallow and to celebrate, Maki and I would want you to eat cake! Lots of it!

To make it happen, Maki and I are giving you our favorite recipes:

Flourless Chocolate (Torte-like) Cake

I’ve always been a sucker for flourless chocolate cake. At one point, in my youthful, childless days, I made a molten flourless version where I used butter that I made myself. Oh yeah, back in the day, I was hardcore. I stopped making that particular chocolate cake because my husband turned to me one day while taking his last cake bite and said, “You know, I feel like I am eating a heart attack.” (cue the record scratch sound effect) Ok. Message received. Modifications made. To save you all from some concerning health issues, I’m sharing my current favorite and somewhat healthier version, enjoy!

Note, this recipe is in grams because my french aunt gave it to me, use a scale, deal with it. It’s worth it.

Another note– about beets. Beets in chocolate cake are an unsung hero. They pick up floral and earthy notes in the chocolate and give a deeper, more complex flavor to the cake. Additionally, they give the cake a darker, richer look. They DO NOT give a “beet-y, root vegetable flavor” to the cake at all. So, you can stop making faces now. Just trust me. If you don’t tell your children they are eating beets in the cake, they will never know.

Ingredients:

  • 300 grams of good-quality dark chocolate (between 65-70% cocoa solids)
  • 4 large free-range eggs
  • 100 grams of beets, cooked and pureed ( to save time, I use the steamed beets from Trader Joe’s and stick them in the blender until I have a smooth puree)
  • 5 tablespoons of melted unsalted butter
  • 150 g coconut sugar, or sucanat, or golden cane sugar
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • ½ teaspoon almond extract
  • 120 g powdered almonds
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon of sea salt
  • 1 tablespoon good-quality cocoa powder

Directions:

1. Preheat the oven to 350°F.

2. Lightly grease the bottom and sides of a 8″ or 9″ springform cake pan with olive oil or coconut oil or canola.

3. Use scissors to cut out a circle of greaseproof paper, roughly the same size as the bottom of the pann, and use it to line the base.

4.  Gently melt the butter and let it cool slightly. Mix the butter into the bowl with the pureed beets.

5. Break 200g of the chocolate up into small pieces and add to a heatproof bowl.

6. Place the bowl on top of a small pan of simmering water over a medium heat, making sure the bottom of the bowl isn’t touching the water, and allow to melt, stirring occasionally. Or if you have a double boiler, use that to melt your chocolate. Make sure you do so over low heat, you can easily make your chocolate curdle from overheating.

7. Once melted, use oven gloves to carefully remove from the heat and put aside.

8. Separate the eggs, placing the whites into a large clean mixing bowl and adding the yolks to the beet/ butter puree.

9. Use an electric mixer to whisk the egg whites until you have stiff peaks.

10. Stir the sugar, almonds, baking powder, cocoa powder and melted chocolate into the beetroot and mix together well.

11. Use a spatula to fold a quarter of the egg whites into the beetroot mixture to loosen, then once combined, fold in the rest but try not to over mix.

12. Add the mixture to the prepared cake pan and spread out evenly using a spatula.

13. Bake in the preheated oven for around 40 minutes, check at the 30 minute mark and see if your cake has risen.

14. Check if it’s done by sticking a toothpick or fork tines into the middle of the cake, clean the cake’s cooked.

15. Allow the cake to cool slightly, then carefully turn it out on to a wire rack to cool completely.

16. How you serve this is up to you. I like to make a whipped cream with a dash of cardamom, dollop the whipped cream on a slice of cake with some fresh berries. If you have extra melted chocolate, you can drizzle it over top of the cake.

 

Japanese Cheesecake

My dad’s job took us from Tokyo to New York when I was eleven. Everything about our family’s life changed, but my mom’s cooking repertoire didn’t. She continued to make Japanese-style home cooking. Back then she loved to bake, and this simple cheesecake was one of my favorites. It was more like a soufflé than the rich New York-style cheesecake. This recipe was adapted from one I found on food.com.

Ingredients:

  • 7  ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 1⁄4 cup whole milk
  • 1⁄2 cup superfine sugar (I just pulse regular sugar in a food processor)
  • 3 eggs, separated
  • 1⁄4 cup cornstarch (don’t use flour)
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1⁄2 teaspoon cream of tartar
  • 2 1⁄2 cups boiling water

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Spray a 9-inch cake tin with cooking oil spray.
  3. Beat cream cheese with milk to soften.
  4. Add half of the sugar, egg yolks, cornstarch and lemon juice.
  5. Beat until smooth.
  6. Beat egg whites in a separate bowl until foamy.
  7. Gradually add remaining sugar and cream of tartar, to the egg whites, beating on high speed until soft peaks form, about 8-10 minutes.
  8. Gradually fold beaten egg whites into the cream cheese mixture, stirring gently.
  9. Pour into cake pan and smooth the surface.
  10. Place cake pan into a larger roasting pan and place in lower rack of oven.
  11. Pour enough water into the roasting pan to come half way up the side of the cake pan.
  12. Bake 35-40 minutes, until a pick inserted in the middle of the center comes out clean.

Serve with some fresh berries and enjoy!

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