The greenery had begun to blanket the patio at Il Pizzaiolo just in time for Table Magazine’s gatherings issue. The concept, as I mentioned in Part One, was an Italian style dinner amongst friends. Though the entire meal felt very natural from its pacing to the conversation, there was a little bit of sunshine trickery beyond the frame…
The food, however, was all real, including my dessert contribution.
Flourless Chocolate Espresso Cake with Candied Lemon Mascarpone Topping
Flourless Chocolate Espresso Cake
3 Tablespoons organic unsalted butter, plus more for pan
6 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped
6 large local eggs, separated, at room temperature
1 cup pure cane sugar
3 Tablespoons instant espresso powder
1/4 teaspoon coarse salt
1 Tablespoon pure vanilla extract
Make the cake: Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter bottom of a 9-inch springform pan, and line with parchment cut to fit.
Melt butter and chocolate in a heatproof bowl set over a pan of simmering water.
With a mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, beat egg yolks with 1/2 cup sugar until thick and pale, about 3 minutes.
Add espresso and salt, and beat for 1 minute.
Add vanilla and chocolate mixture, and beat for 1 minute.
In a clean bowl and with a whisk attachment, beat egg whites until foamy. Slowly add remaining 1/2 cup sugar, beating until stiff peaks form (this took a really long time, an occurrence which could probably be explained by science)
Fold whites into chocolate mixture in 3 additions. Pour batter into prepared pan.
Bake until set, 40 to 45 minutes. Let cool completely in pan on a rack. Remove pan sides. Carefully lift cake with a spatula, and remove parchment.
Candied Lemon Slices & Syrup
3/4 cups pure cane sugar
1/3 cup water
2 lemons, thinly sliced
Place the sugar and water in a large saucepan over medium heat and stir to dissolve the sugar.
Add the lemon slices and bring to the boil.
Cook for 12-15 minutes or until the syrup has thickened and lemon slices are translucent.
Remove the lemons and set aside.
Set aside 2-3 Tablespoons of the syrup for the mascarpone topping. Pour the remaining syrup over the cake.
Whipped Mascarpone Topping
1/2 cup mascarpone
1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
2-3 Tablespoons reserved syrup from candied lemons
Combine all the ingredients in a chilled mixing bowl. Use an electric mixer to beat until well combined and fluffy.
Use a spatula to spread the whipped topping over the cake. Arrange the candied lemon in a circular pattern.