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Melting Chocolate Cake (P)
Source: Kathleen Daelemans, "Cooking Thin"
Serves: 8 to 10

1/3 cup all-purpose flour
1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/3 cup grapeseed or canola oil
6 ounces mini chocolate chips (about 1 cup), plus optional 1/3 cup more
2 tsp. orange liqueur or vanilla extract
1 tbsp. finely grated orange zest
6 large egg whites
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
Confectioners' sugar

Preheat oven to 350°F.

In a medium bowl, sift together flour and cocoa powder and set aside.

Place oil and chocolate chips in a large microwave-safe bowl and microwave on medium until just melted, about 2 minutes. Add orange liqueur or vanilla and orange zest and stir until smooth. Set aside to cool slightly.

Place egg whites in a large bowl and beat with an electric mixer until frothy. With mixer running, add sugar in a slow, steady stream, or about 1 tablespoon at a time. Beat to soft peaks.

Add flour mixture to melted chocolate mixture and stir until incorporated. Using a rubber spatula, fold in one fourth of the egg whites. Once incorporated, fold in remaining egg whites. Very gently fold in walnuts and mini chocolate chips, if using.

Pour batter into a 9" non-stick springform pan. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, or until a crust forms on top and cake is mostly firm, but with a slight wobble in the center. Run a knife around sides of cake, remove pan sides, and cool slightly. Dust top with confectioners' sugar and serve immediately.

Poster's Notes:
To Up the Chocolate: I love to fold in an extra 1/3 cup chopped bittersweet chocolate with the walnuts. When you cut into the cake, the chocolate oozes out ever so perfectly. (The cake is nice without the extra chocolate too.) When I want gooey, I cook the cake about 10 minutes less and serve it almost immediately to enjoy the rich, molten center at its peak.

For the Shortcut Chef: Use a large bowl to melt the butter and chocolate, because you'll be adding the cocoa mixture and egg whites to this bowl. You don't have to do it this way, but you'll end up with fewer dirty bowls if you do.

Posted by Barbara Kaplan

Nutritional Info Per Serving: N/A