Monday, April 9, 2012

Almost as good as McPhee's

It was a sad, sad day when I realized that us moving away from California's beautiful Central Coast also meant leaving behind my favorite dessert on the entire planet: Ian McPhee's Grill's Chocolate Decadence Cake.  McPhee's is Templeton's fanciest restaurant, and this dessert is positively out of this world.

We actually called our daughter "Lime Sauce" while she was in utero as an homage to that dessert.  And on the day after she was born, someone on Ian's staff gifted my scruffy, unslept husband with a piece of this heaven to take to me in the hospital.  That was a very good day.

It's a flourless chocolate cake served with a lime sauce and a crunchy chocolate garnish thingy on top (that last part I can live without). The menu's exact wording is"Flourless bittersweet chocolate cake with caramel lime sauce."  My mouth is watering just writing that.  And here's a photo of said cake.
At any rate, after resigning myself to the fact that we were moving, I set out to find a recipe for this dessert that I could make wherever we moved to, and after much searching, intermingling of recipes, and experimenting, this recipe is the closest I could come up with.  Ian's has some sort of a smooth glaze on top, which this recipe does not have.  Altogether, it's not as good as Ian's but for a girl now living 5 hours away, it'll have to do...until my next visit! This recipe is mostly adapted from this recipe: torta- xocolata by chef john sedlar

Flourless Chocolate Cake with Lime Sauce

1 1/2 cups heavy cream
1 8 oz package semisweet chocolate squares, broken into pieces (I use Baker’s)
12 oz semisweet chocolate chips (I use Toll House)

Line an 8-inch circular cake pan with a circle of waxed paper or parchment paper large enough to come halfway up the pan's side.

In the top of a double boiler, place the cream and chocolate pieces and stir until the chocolate has melted completely and is fully blended with the cream.

Pour the mixture into the lined cake pan and chill it in the freezer until solid, about 2 hours. Then store in the refrigerator until serving.  To unmold the torte, place a flat platter or plate over the pan then invert it and peel off the paper.  If stuck, replace the pan and dip the pan into warm water.

Cut with a warm wet knife, cleaning after each cut.

Caramel Lime Sauce
1 cup sugar
1 tablespoon water
3/4 cup heavy cream
1/2 cup key lime juice (bottled works fine; I use Nellie & Joe’s brand)

Put the sugar and water in a heavy medium-sized skillet. Heat the mixture over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, until the sugar melts and turns a medium caramel color, 10 to 15 minutes. 

Immediately after all the sugar is melted, add the cream and continue to heat and stir until it is fully incorporated. Remove the pan from the heat and strain out any lumps. Then, stir in the lime juice and let the sauce cool in the refrigerator or freezer.

To serve, cut a SMALL wedge of the cake and place it on a chilled dessert plate, then spoon a puddle of the sauce on the side.  Deeeelicious.

Here's a picture of how this turns out.  I promise you, it's tangy and delicious!

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