Introduction: Flourless Chocolate Torte and Physics!
Hello! This indestructible is all about food and physics. It will guide you through a Food Network flourless chocolate torte recipe while applying physics to it. You will learn and eat delicious chocolate goodness! :)
Step 1: Background of Thermodynamics and Baking
Before you start, here is some background to thermodynamics and baking:
When baking with thermodynamics it’s all about convection heating. Oven coils heat and then a fan blows, circulating cool and warm air. The collected heat stays safe in the oven as the infrared waves bounce around. As the outside of the torte heats first but then as the heat grows inside, there is a buildup of pressure and the temperature within and the torte will rise slightly. At this point, the outside layers of the torte have already cooked and hardened, cracking a bit. This means that there is no room for expansion and the inner layers of the torte will be forced to heat up; this will cause the inside of the torte to cook. Also, this is all a chemical reaction and Conservation of Energy must be remembered. Energy is not created or destroyed. It is simply transferred and moved around.
Link to the recipe used: http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/food-network-kitchens/flourless-chocolate-torte-recipe/index.html
Step 2: Ingredients
You'll need (Recipe from FoodNetwork Magazine):
1 1/2 sticks of butter (cut into small peices plus more for the pan)
12 oz of bitter sweet chocolate (chopped)
1/2 cup sugar
a pinch of kosher salt
unsweetened coca powder, for dusting"
Step 3: Mise En Place, Tempering, and Eggs!
First, you need to preheat an oven to 350 degrees fahrenheit and butter a cake pan (9 inches). Chop the chocolate finely and set out your bowls. It is always good to make sure you have everything orderly and ready to cook before you start cooking.
After that, it is time to melt the chocolate by way of double boiling! This is done by putting a pot of water on the stove so the water simmers. Then, place a bowl, filled with the chopped chocolate and butter, that will just lightly sit on above the water. By doing this, the steam created by the heated water is absorbed by the bowl, therefore gradually melting the butter and chocolate. Make sure you stand by the chocolate as this happens, stirring it often, so it does not burn. This entire process can be called conduction.
While the chocolate is cooling or if you have a very nice friend, wisk in a seperate bowl (or have someone else do this) the eggs, sugar, and salt.
Step 4: Hey Batter, Batter; Hey Batter, Batter... MIX BATTER, MIX!
Now that your beautifully smooth chocolate is melted (if it burned try again, making sure you pay even more attention, you have the right bowls, and the heat isn't too high. Good luck!), gently emulsify half of it into the egg mixture.
Warning: If the choclate is too hot, your eggs will curdle, which means the will cook rapidly. If this happens you'll have chocolately scrambled eggs, and though that sounds kind of tasty, that is not what we want right now.
After you mix half of the chocolate into the egg mixture, 'fold' the rest of the chocolate into it. Then, pour the batter into your prepared pan and put it in your heated oven.
Step 5: Baking and Devouring
Set a timer for 45 minutes and attempt to patiently wait for your torte to bake, ignoring the delicious smell that will waft from your oven. What you are waiting for is for the oven to use its powers of covection and thermodamics that will result in a puffed cake-like substance that will be a very rich displace of chocolatly goodness. After your timer finaly rings, carefully take your torte out of the oven and let it cool. Don't fret if your torte's top has cracked. That only means that the heat built up inside and escaped because too much pressure was created. It may be a bit drier, but it will still be delicious. Then, the moment you have been waiting for, cut it into peices and devour your creation of fabulous physics! :)