flourless chocolate cake

I'm pretty sure this dessert is a complete misnomer since there's really nothing cakey about it. But I suppose flourless chocolate slab doesn't sound as appetizing. Despite its lack of cake-like features, it's still damn delicious. And although it may seem like overkill to top a decadent chocolate "cake" with chocolate ganache, it's not. Serving this with some fresh fruit, like raspberries, helps cut the richness and add some varied texture, so I definitely recommend it.

Like making cheesecake or flan, this recipe calls for baking with a water bath. Kind of a hassle, but a necessary one. I use my roasting pan and start boiling a kettle of water when I start gathering my ingredients. A springform pan is also super helpful for this recipe. And, yes, I gave myself a little headache with the stenciled powdered sugar logo, but it was all self-inflicted. More pictures of that below.

Flourless chocolate cake with chocolate ganache

Makes 9" cake, serves 12


For the cake
8 chilled eggs
1 lb bittersweet or semisweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
16 Tbsp (8 oz) chilled butter, cut into 1/2" slices
1/4 cup brewed coffee, room temperature
Confectioners sugar for decorating (optional)

For the chocolate ganache
1/2 cup heavy cream
8 oz bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped

What to do

1. Prepare the cake pan and water bath. Line the bottom of the springform pan with parchment and grease the sides.Wrap the outside of the springform pan with aluminum foil and place it in a roasting pan. Boil water in a large pot or kettle (easier for pouring). Preheat the oven to 325°F.
2. Make the cake. Using a stand mixer with a whisk attachment, whip the eggs on medium speed until they have doubled in volume, about 5 minutes. Set a heat-proof bowl over a saucepan filled with about 1 inch of water on medium-high heat. Add the chocolate, eggs, and butter and melt until smooth. Add the whipped eggs in about 1/3 at a time, slowly folding them into the chocolate until you have a homogenous mixture. Pour into the prepared springform pan, level the surface with an offset spatula, and place the roasting pan (with the springform pan inside) into the oven. Pour the boiling water into the roasting pan until it is about halfway up the springform pan. Bake for about 18-22 minutes. The top should just form a crust (like a brownie crust) but should still be a bit jiggly (or the internal them is 140°F. Remove the springform pan from the oven and let cool on a wire rack for a couple of hours. Run a knife around the edge and invert the cake onto a serving plate. 
3. Make the ganache. Heat the cream to boiling point in a small saucepan over medium heat. Place the chopped chocolate in a medium bowl. Add the cream to the chocolate and let stand for a few minutes. Then stir until the mixture of smooth. Let it cool for a few minutes, then spread over the top and sides of the cake with an offset spatula, making it as smooth as possible. Cool in the refrigerator overnight. 
4. Decorate with powdered sugar (optional). I made a stencil using paper and a exacto knife pen. Place the stencil where you want it, dust with confectioners sugar, then carefully lift the stencil off the cake. 
5. Eat (less optional)


Of course I made this harder than it needed to be, but life is nothing without challenges, amiright? Actually making the paper stencil was fun and reminded me of laboring with an exacto knife during architecture school. Oh, the memories. Except this time I didn't cut myself.  Huzzah!

the 'gram