At Madrid Fusion 2008, Ferran Adria demonstrated a black sesame cake baked in a plastic cup in the microwave. It took 40 seconds.
As a card carrying member of the National Society of Cake Whores, the technique tickled my C-spot. Recreating it in chocolate is...well...let's just say it's good. Toe-curling, basking-in-the-afterglow good.
OK, now that I've regained my composure, let me tell you why this cake has me purring. If you've ever made a sponge cake, souffle, or any hot egg foam, you have witnessed first-hand the unfolding and bonding of egg protein molecules. If your attempts have been successful--Congratulations! (maybe you would like to join the NSCW?). If you have failed, it may be because you didn't follow one of the many rules: overbeating, under beating, introducing fat, sugar, salt, acid at the inappropriate time, folding, not stirring, cooking too slow or too fast.
Reason #1 why I love this cake: Forget all the rules. This is egg foam anarchy.
Reason #2: Taste & Texture. Don't let the pale color fool you...it's because of the aeration. While it's true that eggs mask flavor, the taste of chocolate does come through and lingers. And just look at the structure. Have you ever seen air pockets that large in a cake? I haven't, and I've been making them since I've possessed the motor skills required to put a spoon in a bowl and stir. The only thing that can expand a batter like that is yeast. Or Nitrous Oxide and a microwave.
Reason #3: Ease & Speed. This cake goes from pantry to tummy in less than 10 minutes. The lengthiest part is melting the chocolate. If you use the microwave for that step, it's even faster. How can instant gratification be bad when it's this good?
makes 12-15 individual cakes
Add 42 g. flour, followed by 210 g. melted, semisweet chocolate. Mix just until blended.
Pour mixture through a fine mesh sieve.
Pour into a whipped cream charger. Fill only halfway. You will have enough batter left to make another batch. Charge with 2- N2O cartridges. Shake firmly 2-3 times. Dispense foam into a 9-oz. plastic cup, stopping when it is 1/3 filled.
Place cup in microwave. Set to bake at 900watts (for standard 1000w microwaves, set at 90% power or power9). Set timer to cook for 40 seconds. Watch it rise before your eyes.
Unmold and dig in.