Monday, February 27, 2012

Flourless Chocolate Cake

It feels a little wrong to me to call this "Flourless Chocolate Cake" like it's a special adaptation for celiacs or something. Like it's somehow less than regular cake. It's not. It really should be called "To Die For Ultra Mega Better-Than-Crack Chocolate Cake" or something. It's A-MAZ-ING! And if you're the type of person who feels that most chocolate desserts aren't chocolatey enough then you should make this. Now. With some caramel:
I scaled this recipe down from a larger 10" cake recipe. I wanted something portion-controlled since this is really decadent and easy to eat waaaaay too much of. So I baked it in ramekins. If you don't have ramekins, you could use wide mouth half pint jars or any oven safe bowls with a capacity of around 6-8 ounces. (Wide mouth half pint jars are available by the dozen from places like Ace Hardware, often for less than $10. I'm thinking you could even cool some servings, put the lid on, and freeze for later use. Just a thought.)

The cakes start with 9 ounces of chocolate melted in the microwave. I used dark baking chocolate for extra chocolatey flavor! I highly recommend using dark chocolate, preferably with a decent cacao percentage (60% or more).

Scrape the melted chocolate into a mixing bowl and then beat in the butter a little at a time.
Then you draw a shot of espresso. Or you could just use water. Or water and instant espresso. Or if you're me you draw two shots: one for the cakes and one to drink.

Then you beat in the espresso along with the sugar and salt. And finally you beat in the eggs one at a time.
Then you divide it among the ramekins and bake them over a water bath. Pay no attention to how dirty my oven is and the pizza stone wedged under the water bath.
Twenty-five minutes later and you've got eight chocolatey pieces of heaven. Here's the before and after baking:
The cakes will fall and pull away from the sides of the ramekins after a few minutes out of the oven. No it's not perfectly pretty, but it's part of the plan for maximum fudgy-ness. If you have a problem with the slightly blemished surfaces of the cakes, hide them under whipped cream. Duh! 
Flourless Chocolate Cake
Adapted from this recipe
Serves 8
Total Cooking Time: 45 minutes (20 Active, 25 Baking)


9 ounces bittersweet or semisweet chocolate (Mine's made with dark baking chocolate. Yay more cacao content!)
4 ounces (1 stick, 1/2 cup) unsalted butter
2 ounces (1 shot, 1/4 cup) espresso (or 2 ounces water & 1 tsp instant espresso or just water)
3 ounces (about 6 tablespoons) sugar
1/8 teaspoon salt
3 eggs


1. Move your oven racks to the center and lower positions and place a large pan of water on the lower rack. Preheat the oven to 300 degrees.

2. Melt the chocolate in the microwave in 30 second intervals. Once melted, scrape into a mixing bowl.

3. Cut the butter into small pieces and beat one at a time into the chocolate using a mixer.

4. Beat the espresso, sugar, and salt into the chocolate mixture. Then beat in one egg at a time.

5. Divide the batter among 8 ramekins. Bake on the middle shelf over the water bath for 25 minutes.

6. The cakes will fall after a few minutes out of the oven. It's good warm, at room temperature, or chilled depending on how dense you want the cake to be (my personal fave is room temperature). You can garnish with whipped cream, caramel sauce, etc. but this dessert is awesome all on its own.

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