Chocolate and Parmesan Cake

A salty chocolate truffle is almost impossible to resist. The combination of contrasting flavours molds an intriguing taste where opposites, salty and sweet, become complementary.
Last week I decided to invent my own salty chocolate cake.  What a challenge!

Using chocolate bars with a touch of salt produced a mild result, without the salty twist I had in mind for my cake. Then I thought, why not add one generous tablespoon of a precious sea salt to the chocolate mixture? It turned out with a slightly bitter taste. Eventually I found the solution: Parmesan cheese. It is both salty and mild with its cheesy taste, close to the butter, but far from the chocolate. The perfect element.

I served my new recipe to my friends last Saturday afternoon, with strawberries and blueberries. Nobody detected the secret ingredient, but everybody appreciated the original taste.

Chocolate and Parmesan Cake

200 g 70% dark chocolate
200 g unsalted butter
200 g caster sugar
4 large eggs
Vanilla Extract
60 g freshly grated Parmesan
1 teaspoon baking powder

Serves 8 to 10
Preparation time: 15 minutes
Cooking time: 30 minutes

1.    Melt the chocolate and the butter in a bain-marie, or in the microwave. Stir using a metal spoon and leave to cool.
2.    Preheat the oven to 180°C with fan.
3.    Butter and flour a 22 cm springform cake tin.
4.    Whisk together eggs, sugar and vanilla until you get a thick creamy consistency. It should take ten minutes or so.
5.    Add the chocolate cream to the egg mixture and blend together with a metal spoon.
6.    Incorporate the cheese and the baking powder, mixing gently with a spatula.
7.    Spoon the mixture into the prepared cake tin and bake on the middle shelf of the oven for 30 minutes.
8.    Leave to cool in the tin for 20 minutes, then turn out on to a serving plate.
9.    Serve with berries and single or whipped cream, if you wish.

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