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Flourless Chocolate Pecan Cake

Sunday, June 28, 2009
Flourless Chocolate Pecan Cake

This cake is one of the first memories I have of my Californian experience. It was back in 1999, I had just graduated from college and I decided to come to San Francisco, unaware of the consequences (because after 10 years I am still here!). To be precise, in the beginning I was staying in Berkeley at a friend's house. And to finance my "vacation", I found a job in a coffeshop on Shattuck Avenue.
It was the dot.com boom era and people were not afraid to spend money. Trendy restaurants and specialty stores were popping up like crazy, young millionaires with no cash flow were competing with each other on who was able to indulge on more daily luxuries, edible and not.
This unusual store opened right in the middle of this euphoric climate. It was a Pastificio, specialized in making fresh egg pasta of any possible flavour and color, Meyer lemon, cocoa, lemon and black pepper, habanero pepper, blueberry, tomato, and 100 other flavours that I don't remember anymore. And people were lining up, ready to pay even $10 for a pound of pasta, something that would not happen today.
Aside from the pasta shop, they had a breakfast counter, and they used to bake bread, sweets and cookies to fall in love with. I've never had a better olive bread or cinnamon roll. Let alone the chocolate chip cookies or the almond paste torte.

A couple of years ago I happened to be in Berkeley and I walked by Shattuck Avenue, hoping to buy a loaf of bread and some dried tomatoes packed in olive oil. But there was no sign of the old Pastificio, it sunk with the economic crisis of the new millennium. What a shame.
Luckily, I was able to save few recipes that I learnt here and there just by watching my "colleagues" at work. This cake, they would make it every day, and it was always a hit, long before the gluten free trend. Back then one would simply say flourless instead.
No flour, but lots and lots of chocolate! : )

Flourless Chocolate Pecan Cake
for a 9" diameter round pan

butter 1 stick (115 gr.)
chocolate with 70% cocoa 120 gr
eggs 3
pecans 200 gr.
sugar 100 gr.
vanilla extract 1 teaspoon
pinch of salt

Melt butter and chocolate in a double sauce pan over boiling water, let it cool down and then fold in the eggs, one at a time, salt, vanilla and sugar. Beat well with the mixer. In the end, add pecans, lightly toasted in the oven and fine ground. Pour the dough in a round pan, buttered and dusted with flour, and bake at 350 for about 40 minutes.
Let it cool on a rack, dust with powder sugar.
Christopher Meyer said... [Reply to comment]

Looks like this will be an all time favorite with kids. It's easy to prepare and makes in less than an hour. I just have to make sure that the kids visit their dentist with their penchant for chocolate these days.

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