Friday, January 8, 2010

Five. Cinco. Cinq. Funf. Five.

Sweetwater Tavern is one of those restaurants that just "gets" it.  They have an incredible menu, the service is always on point and they brew their own beer on-site.  The brewery won two medals at the 2009 Great American Beer Festival, one of the biggest beer competitions in the country:  Crazy Jackass rye ale won a Gold Medal and Wit's End took home a Bronze medal.  Local beer winning national awards...cheers, local brewery heroes!

However, their most widely-known achievement is the Flourless Chocolate Waffle - a warm, gooey confection with a texture that's somewhere between chocolate cake and a fudge brownie.  It's downright dangerous.

Once the dust (chocolate powder) settled (digested) after my first experience, I started to wonder:  how does one even begin to make a flourless chocolate cake?  Isn't flour the foundation?  The building blocks needed to create a good cake?

Not in this case.

Five.   That's how many ingredients it takes.  FIVE.  You're five ingredients away from achieving nirvana.  I received this recipe from Chef Brad Spates at Cookology...and it.  Is. Awesome.

Preheat your oven to 375 degrees.  

Butter an 8 inch round baking pan.  Line the bottom with a round of parchment or wax paper.  

To make it easier, I traced the circumference of the pan on the paper then cut out the circle. 

Pop the paper circle into the pan and butter it.

Chop or break 4 oz bittersweet chocolate into small pieces.  The better the quality of the chocolate, the better your cake will turn out.  I used Ghirardelli, which is mid-grade but easy to find in most grocery stores.

Place the chocolate and 1/2 cup of unsalted butter (1 stick) in a Pyrex or metal bowl and set it over a saucepan of simmering water, making sure the bowl isn't touching the water.  If you already have a double boiler...well, look at you!  (I wish I was that fancy.)


Melt the chocolate and butter, stirring until it's smooth and gloriously silky.


Even spatulas need their beauty rest.

Remove the bowl from heat and whisk in 3/4 cup of sugar.


Add 3 room temperature eggs and whisk well.

Sift 1/2 cup unsweetened Dutch-processed cocoa powder into the chocolate mixture and whisk until just combined.  The whole quality thing applies here, as well.  I used Rademaker (you can find it at Whole Foods) but if all you have is Hershey's, that's fine, too.


Pour batter into pan and bake on the middle rack for 25 minutes or until a thin crust has formed on top.

Mmm.  Just like the opening credits to the Willy Wonka movie.  The good Willy Wonka movie.  Don't get me wrong...I love Johnny Depp.  But we all know Gene Wilder is the real Willy Wonka.


Cool cake on a rack for 5 minutes then invert onto a serving plate.  You can serve it warm or wait for it to cool.  My stomach was running low on patience so I cut a small slice right then and there.

It's wonderful plain.

Or if you want to get crazy, dust a little cocoa powder on top.

If you want to get REALLY padded walls crazy...



Shhhh.  Let's not ruin the moment.

Suggested beer pairings:  Harpoon Leviathan Baltic Porter,  Samuel Smith Oatmeal Stout, Dogfish Head Fort


  1. I have seen the top of the mountain (read: ate the cake), and it was glorious.

  2. You are fabulous, Ali. Just like your beautiful cake.

  3. "Even spatulas need their beauty rest."

    "Mmm. Just like the opening credits to the Willy Wonka movie. The good Willy Wonka movie. Don't get me wrong...I love Johnny Depp. But we all know Gene Wilder is the real Willy Wonka."

    Precious. You.

    (hi mike. see you in march.)

  4. Looks delicious.

    I use the "rule of five" to govern my grocery shopping. It's not exactly what you're talking about here but your post reminded me of it. Any time I'm buying something that isn't produce, meat/dairy, or baked goods (i.e. something that's in a box or package), I check the ingredients to make sure there are less than five involved. The number is somewhat arbitrary but it helps you keep away from highly processed "food-like-things." Of course that's not to say ever recipe should stick to only five ingredients, as that's totally different.

    I wish I had a double boiler. I asked for one for Christmas a few years back and I got some weird contraption that I didn't even know how to use.. but it was most definitely not a double boiler.

  5. verryyyy important question: where did you get the spatula rest?!?! its adorable


    It's dishwasher safe and stain and all of your spatulas, spoons, tongs and chopsticks can get their zzz's :)

  7. I'm totally going to make this over our big snowed in weekend. Can't wait.

  8. Oh man. Great choice for blizzard food.

    Looking forward to hearing what kind of personal spin you put on it.