CHOCOLATE OBLIVION: AN ORAL HISTORY OF THE WORLD’S MOST PERFECT DESSERT
How one woman created a better chocolate-delivery mechanism than pure chocolate. http://slate.me/1og3IpZ
- •Rose Levy Beranbaum invented the perfect flourless chocolate torte.It takes just 15 minutes to bake, and uses only three ingredients: chocolate, butter, and eggs.
- •She was inspired by the tortes of famous culinary figures Bonnie Stern and Narsai David.Beranbaum loved their recipes, but was puzzled by the inclusion of a seemingly unnecessary ingredient: one tablespoon of flour.
- •The wily chefs were guarding against against recipe-thievery.As Beranbaum says, “[T]hey would put one unnecessary ingredient in there, so if somebody imitated it, that person would know it was being ripped off without credit.”
- •She’s quick to pay homage to her forebears, saying that “giving credit has to do with the kind of food history that interests me.”
- •In Beranbaum’s version, the outer edge of torte stays soft and moist.She’s also eliminated the tablespoon of flour to make the dessert gluten-free.
- •She says it’s her favorite way to eat chocolate.“[W]hen you have just a chocolate bar, you can’t taste the chocolate until it starts melting in your mouth. But this is just the right texture so the minute you put it in your mouth, the flavors start exploding.”
- •The ‘Chocolate Oblivion’ torte was named in a pique of nomenclatural one-upmanship.Beranbaum’s friend Marcel Desaulniers had just written his book ‘Death by Chocolate’, and they were poking fun at the self-serious dessert descriptions.
- •There are a few key points to remember when making this torte.
- •Use a chocolate no higher than 62%.Higher percentages have more cocoa butter, which causes the torte to stiffen. For a meltier torte, use a lower percentage.
- •Use room temperature butter.Cold butter takes too long to soften, which can cause the top of your torte to crack.
- •Beat the eggs well.This creates the smooth, rich moussey texture.
- •Avoid using the microwave to melt the chocolate.There’s too much chocolate to melt evenly, and the mixture might scorch.
- •Don’t use cheap chocolate.Should go without saying.
- •And that’s about it — check out the recipe and start baking!