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Flourless chocolate torte
It’s always fun to see the menus chefs put out for Valentine’s Day.
One of the busiest days of the year for restaurants, Valentine’s Day isn’t a time for kitchen restraint. Rather, it’s the time to amp up the truffle oil, to be heavy handed with the cream sauce and to break out the Champagne. Everyone out on Tuesday, Feb. 14 is there to celebrate.
That doesn’t mean those of us staying in can’t celebrate. I’ve known for weeks how my Valentine’s Day would be spent — cozy fire, take-out from Stonehorse Market and a chocolate torte.
A flourless chocolate torte is one of my favorite desserts. You can top it with whipped cream or berries — but I love it pure and simple, made with the very best chocolate I can find.
This recipe is based on one from pastry chef Nick Malgieri.
Flourless Chocolate Torte
Serves 10 to 12
1 stick unsalted butter, room temperature
3/4 cup sugar
7 large eggs, separated
8 ounces good-quality semisweet or bittersweet chocolate, melted and cooled
Pinch of salt
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter the bottom of a 9-inch springform pan, then line with a circle of parchment paper.
Beat butter and sugar until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes. Add yolks one at a time, beating until smooth after each addition. Beat in chocolate.
In a clean, dry bowl, beat egg whites with salt until soft peaks form. Stir about a third of egg whites into batter, then, using a rubber spatula, gently fold in remaining whites.
Pour batter into prepared pan. Bake 40 minutes or until risen and center is firm and bounces back when pressed lightly with a fingertip.
Cool cake in pan for 5 minutes, then invert onto a rack to cool completely.
Serve with whipped cream, fresh fruit or raspberry jam, if desired. Or, dust with powdered sugar.
Q&A: Tuck Curren
Chef Tuck Curren and his wife, Kate, grew up in New York but met in Tulsa. Tulsans are lucky for it, because without them we wouldn’t have one of Tulsa’s restaurant jewels, Biga. Now 18 years old, Biga, located at 4329 S. Peoria Ave., is a foodie favorite with handmade pastas, artisan bread and a modern sensibility to classic Italian food.
The Currens have three children, two of whom are in the restaurant business. Daughter Lindsay does catering, son Zach owns Trenchers Delicatessen and another son, Ben, works in Silicon Valley.
Tuck is also a marathon runner, triathlete, golfer and tennis player.
What’s your earliest food memory? I have three: Sunday dinners in New York with the family — salad, big roasts of meat, fresh vegetables and potatoes. Walking into delis for sandwiches. And, eating at Thruway Diner after swim meets as a kid.
Who would you most like to cook for? Lidia Bastianich, the first lady of Italian food.
Thoughts on Tulsa’s food scene? I think it is great — lots of talent and great places to eat. I would put our food against any city.
What music do you play in the kitchen? Usually I come in and they are listening to Mexican music. I will not change it.
What’s in your refrigerator at home? My wife is a great cook. There is always food, but fresh chicken stock is a must, bread from Biga for bruschetta and pasta.
Most memorable meal? Sitting in a bistro in Paris with my wife looking out over the street just loving the food and the Baba Rhum dessert — with a bottle of rum on the table, if you wanted more on the cake.
What was your vision for Biga when you opened? Has it changed over the years? We wanted an Italian restaurant serving all regions of Italy and lots of fresh-made pasta. We have stayed close to that, but it seems guests are more casual now so we are adjusting accordingly.
Where do you eat when you’re not at Biga? We eat at home quite a lot, but we like casual little restaurants: Pho Nhi for Vietnamese, New York Pizza, and we grab sandwiches at my son’s place Trenchers, which are great.
New on the scene
Can’t decide if you want tacos or barbecue for dinner? No worries. Tacocue, a new fast-casual restaurant concept from Jeff Jackson, co-founder of Billy Sims BBQ, combines smoky barbecued meats and Mexican flavors. Meats are seasoned and smoked in pecan wood, then combined for tacos, salads, rice bowls, burritos and quesadillas. Choose from pulled pork, smoked chicken, chorizo, brisket and more. Tacocue will be using those same meats, in combination with eggs, for a daily breakfast menu.
Tacocue is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner at 9701 S. Sheridan Road.