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Golden Door: Best spa with the yummiest dessert

Enter the Golden Doors to a culinary feast of spa food
Enter the Golden Doors to a culinary feast of spa foodGolden Door

Recipes from Golden Door Cooks at Home: Favorite Recipes from the Celebrated Spa

Warm Flourless Chocolate Cake with Orange Sauce

Normally a flourless chocolate cake is made of lots of butter, chocolate, and eggs—undeniably delicious, but far too many calories and fat for a Golden Door dessert. This version is undeniably delicious, and also guilt-free! Good chocolate will have indicated on its packaging what percentage of cacao, or cocoa bean, solids it contains. Use good-quality chocolate with 60 percent to 70 percent cacao for this cake. Be sure not to let any water at all come into contact with the chocolate as it melts. Water or condensation will cause the chocolate to become grainy and unusable. When preparing this recipe, grate the orange zest for the cakes before juicing the oranges for the sauce. Serves 8

Vegetable oil cooking spray

For the sauce
1 cup fresh orange juice (from 3 oranges)
2 teaspoons cornstarch
1 tablespoon half-and-half
1 tablespoon Grand Marnier

For the cakes
8 ounces good-quality dark chocolate with 60% to 70% cacao, chopped
1 large egg
2 very ripe bananas, sliced (1-1/4 cups)
1/2 cup mashed yam (from 1 small baked, peeled yam) or canned pumpkin
1/4 cup honey
1 tablespoon grated orange zest
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
3 large egg whites
Pinch of kosher salt
1 orange, peeled and separated into segments (see page 51), for serving

Preheat the oven to 350°F. Spray eight 4-ounce ramekins with cooking spray until well coated and place them on a baking sheet.

Prepare the sauce. In a small saucepan, pour all but 1 tablespoon of the orange juice and place over low heat. In a small bowl, stir the cornstarch into the reserved 1 tablespoon orange juice until smooth. When the juice comes to a simmer, whisk in the cornstarch and juice slurry and continue to whisk for 30 seconds until thickened. Remove the pan from the heat and let cool for 15 minutes. Whisk in the half-and-half and the Grand Marnier. Set aside to keep warm or chill; the sauce can be served warm, at room temperature, or chilled.

Make the cakes. Place a bowl over a saucepan filled with a couple of inches of simmering water; the water should not touch the bowl. Place the chocolate in the bowl and let stand until the chocolate is shiny and soft to the touch, about 10 minutes. Stir with a rubber spatula until the chocolate is smooth. Remove from the heat.

Combine the egg, bananas, yam, honey, orange zest, and vanilla in a blender and process until very smooth. Add the banana mixture to the chocolate and stir together until just combined. Set aside.

In another bowl, use an electric mixer to whip the egg whites and salt until they form soft peaks when the whip attachments are lifted up and out of the bowl, about 3 minutes. Carefully fold the egg whites into the chocolate mixture until just incorporated. Do not overmix; it is fine if streaks of white remain.

Spoon the mixture into the ramekins to about 1/4 inch from the top. Bake until the tops are set when a ramekin is gently nudged and the centers are slightly puffed,
8 to 10 minutes. Transfer the ramekins to a cooling rack. When the ramekins are cool enough to handle, run a paring knife around the edges and turn over onto eight dessert plates. The center of the cake should be nice and soft.

Drizzle the sauce around each cake and garnish with orange segments. Serve.

These recipes may be reproduced with the following credit:
Recipes from Golden Door Cooks at Home: Favorite Recipes from the Celebrated Spa
by Dean Rucker with Marah Stets (available online at www.goldendoorboutique.com)