I should have added ULTIMATE FUDGE HEAVEN to the title. This cake is intensely fudgey and moist...without any gooeyness. Thank you, dates. The cake is also quite sneaky. She admittedly looks boring (no frosting), with only a sprinkle of powdered sugar--definitely an air of 'plain Janeness' about her--but after the first bite, you'll be thinking, "oh, now, that's tricky, tricky!"... The cake is just unctuously (great word) chocolate...get there!
I like to do a mix of dark chocolate and semi-sweet. You do your fave. Just make sure you have a solid 7 ounces.
Notes: Neutral oil is grape seed.
CHOCOLATE DATE CAKE
Ingredients: 8 Medjool dates-stones removed, 1 1/2 tbsp. rum, 3 eggs at room temperature-separated, 7 ounces roughly chopped semi-sweet chocolate, 1/2 cup neutral oil, scant tbsp. vanilla extract, 1/2 tsp. sea salt, zest of 1 orange (about 2 tsp.), 2/3 cup sugar, 1 cup almond flour, 1/4 cup powdered sugar.
1. Preheat oven to 350*F. Grease and line a round, 9-inch springform baking pan.
2. Place the dates into a small bowl, and stir in the rum. (Brandy, whiskey, bourbon, etc., also works!) Set aside.
3. Melt the chocolate in a heat-proof bowl in the microwave at half-power in 30-second increments until melty. Whisk in the oil.
4. In a large bowl, add egg yolks followed by chocolate. Whisk well, then stir in vanilla, 1/4 tsp. salt, and the dates.
5. In the bowl of a stand mixer (or with a hand mixer with whisk attachment) whisk the egg whites on high with 1/4 tsp. salt until frothy. Adding the sugar in 3 stages, whip the whites until they form well-formed ribbony streams.
6. Fold the egg whites into the chocolate mixture. It helps to do a large spoonful quickly at first, to loosen it, then the rest, slowly and methodically. Fold in almond flour.
7. Pour batter into prepared pan. Bake for 30-35 minutes, until a tester comes out clean. Run a knife around the edge, cool completely.
8. Remove springform from pan base, place base on a platter. (or if you're good, remove cake from the base as well by doing two inversions with a plate.) Sprinkle over powdered sugar.