So since it was my birthday last week, I requested that my friend Michelle make me my favorite cake, a flourless chocolate number with a few hints of Kahlua and espresso. Lucky for me, she complied. It’s actually difficult for me to write about it right now because I have a piece waiting for me in the refrigerator, but I’ll try my best to write a full post without salvating too much. Actually…hold please while I just have a little bit…
…okay, fabulous, now I’m feeling perfectly inspired to write. Michelle made this cake for me last year for my birthday as well and even gave me the recipe, but I only cashed in on it being in my custody once. It was the recipe I was searching for when I made a lesser version, the mini flourless chocolate cake. Though, since finishing the large slice I cut, I’m remembering why I made a mini version…flourless chocolate cakes are the Trumps of dessert. (They’re really rich…get it?). Anyway…
While taste and ingredient quality are important in making this cake, technique is substantial. If you’ve ever baked creme brulee, traditional cheesecake, or custard, you’ll recognize the importance of baking the cake in a larger pan filled with hot water. It may sound odd if you’ve never tried it before, but you’ll need a large roasting pan or cake pan that’s big enough to contain a springform pan and still have additonal space on the sides. I apologize for not having photos of this because I didn’t bake the cake, but they would have been helpful! I’ll describe the technique more below in the “How to Do It” section. Also, on another note, other than Michelle, I’m not sure where this recipe originated from so I apologize for not giving the proper shout-outs to the brilliant baker who came up with the concoction.
So enjoy, with a glass of bold red wine of course, and remember not to take too big of a slice.
Flourless Chocolate Cake
Stuff You’ll Need
Makes 1 8 or 9″ cake
- 1 lb semisweet chocolate, chips or bars
- 8 oz or 2 sticks of unsalted butter, cut into 1/2″ cubes
- 1 nip of Kahlua or other coffee liquer
- 1 Tbsp instant espresso powder
- 8 large eggs
- 1/4 cup granulated sugar
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/2 tsp salt
- Springform pan, 8 or 9″
- Large roasting or cake pan
- Optional garnishes like confectioner’s sugar, cocoa powder, whipped cream, strawberries, or chocolate syrup
How to Do It
- Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F, and grease a springform pan with butter. Grease and line the bottom of the pan with parchment paper.
- Cover the pan underneath and along the sides with aluminum foil, and set inside a larger roasting or cake pan. Set aside.
- Set up a double boiler by bringing a medium saucepan of water to a boil. Combine the chocolate, butter, Kahlua, and espresso powder in a metal mixing bowl, and place it over the boiling water. Stir the mixture constantly as it begins to melt, and continue until it’s smooth and creamy. Set aside to cool.
- Combine the eggs, sugar, vanilla, and salt in a large bowl, and mix with an electric hand mixer or a stand mixer fitted with the whip attachment until the mixture is frothy and almost doubled in volume.
- Fold 1/3 of the egg mixture into the cooled chocolate with a rubber spatula. Repeat twice more until all of the egg mixture is folded completely into the chocolate.
- Pour the batter into the springform pan. Pour enough hot water into the larger roasting pan so that it reaches about halfway up the sides of the springform pan.
- Bake until the cake has risen slightly and the edges are just beginning to set, about 40-45 minutes. Remove the springform pan from the roasting pan, and cool the cake on a wire rack until room temperature.
- Remove the foil and the sides of the springform pan, cover, and refrigerate overnight.
- Remove the cake from the refrigerator approximately 30 minutes before serving to soften, and garnish with any of the optional garnishes. Or enjoy alone.
Tip: When filling the pan with water, be careful not to get any water in the batter. The water will keep the edges and bottom of the cake from overcooking while the rest of the cake bakes evenly. This is the same technique used to bake traditional cheesecakes and individual custard desserts, like creme brulee or pots de creme. It will be easiest (and cleanest) to slide the top oven rack out a few inches, and place the pan (without water) on it. Pour the water in the pan, and carefully slide the rack back into the oven. You’ll avoid spilling water and ruining your batter this way.