Flourless Chocolate Passover Hearts

Of the many sweets that flew out of the pastry case at my bakery in Montpelier, flourless chocolate hearts were among the most fleet of confectionary foot.  They'd have hit the display no more than a moment that they'd be swiped from their platter, stuffed into beribboned boxes and rushed out the door.  And at no time was there a speedier sugary exodus than at Passover.

Flourless chocolate hearts have the blessed benefit of being gluten free and unleavened with the bonus that they are delicious no matter the day, holy or otherwise.

Happy Passover!

Flourless Chocolate Passover Hearts

(makes approximately 24 small chocolate hearts or {1} 10" cake)

preheat oven to 350ยบ


10 ounces bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
1 cup dark/high quality cocoa powder (I use Callebaut extra brute or Valrhona)
1 cup sugar (you can replace with one cup agave nectar, the cake will not form a satisfying crust over the top but will still be tender and delicious)
6 eggs
8 ounces/16 tablespoons unsalted butter cut into small pieces
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste (or extract)
3 tablespoon freshly brewed espresso or very strong coffee

right out of the oven


-Over a double boiler, gently melt chocolate, butter and espresso/coffee.

-In the bowl of an electric mixer, whisk together eggs, sugar (or agave), cocoa powder, salt and vanilla.  Scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl to insure that the cocoa powder has not clumped together in a dry mass.  Continue to mix and scrape until you are sure that the cocoa powder is well and truly mixed into the the initial batter.

-With the mixer on low, slowly pour the melted chocolate mixture into the bowl.  If the mixer isn't running, you'll come out with chocolatey scrambled eggs.  Continue to mix until the batter is smooth.

-Spray a heart shaped silicon (or metal ) baking pan or 10" cake pan with non-stick cooking spray (make sure that the spray doesn't contain flour).   My silicone heart mold contains 8 cavities, so I make this in batches.  The batter thickens as it cools, this is normal.  Fill the cavities half way full and bake for 15 to 20 minutes (they should spring back when you poke them and keep an eye on the center of the cake that it's set).  A 10" cake will take 45 to 50 minutes to bake.  It's not uncommon for the cake to settle a bit as it cools.

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