By Steven Hodge
The following recipe is excerpted from Chocolate All Day (October 17, Penguin Random House Canada) by Steven Hodge and is reprinted with permission.
Flourless Chocolate Cake
Makes: One nine-inch cake
Prep time: 14 minutes
Cook time: 15 to 20 minutes
- 10 ounces (280 grams) dark chocolate, chopped (note: you can substitute milk chocolate for the dark chocolate if you prefer)
- ½ cup (115 grams) unsalted butter, room temperature
- 2 tablespoons + ¼ cup (75 grams) granulated sugar, divided
- 5 large eggs, room temperature
Not only is this one of the easiest cakes to make, it’s also gluten-free, which means just about everyone can enjoy it. I was first introduced to this cake by chef Gianni Picchi while working in an Italian restaurant early in my career. Gianni is retired now, but we still meet weekly for coffee at my pastry shop. This cake is full of chocolate flavor and is super moist. It’s best served warm (not hot) with a dusting of icing sugar, but you can’t go wrong if you add vanilla ice cream, crème anglaise, or whipped cream instead. I’m guessing this cake is so easy to execute because we had to make it on the fly during restaurant service.
- Preheat the oven to 325° Fahrenheit. Spray or line a nine-inch springform pan with parchment paper. Wrap the outside of the pan in aluminum foil in case of leakage.
- Combine the chocolate, butter, and two tablespoons of sugar in a bowl. Place the bowl over a simmering pot of water to create a double boiler and whisk to melt together and fully incorporate the ingredients. Remove from the heat and set aside.
- Separate the eggs. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, whip the egg yolks to full volume, about five minutes, then transfer to a separate bowl. Clean and dry the mixing bowl, then whisk the egg whites and the remaining quarter-cup sugar to stiff peaks, about five minutes.
- Fold the whipped egg yolks into the melted chocolate mixture. Then fold the egg whites into the mixture in thirds, being careful not to lose too much volume.
- Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake for 15 to 20 minutes. Once cooked, the top of the cake will form a crust and crack.
- Remove the cake from the oven and let it cool in the pan. The cake will collapse, so don’t worry that it’s gone wrong! It’s dense and fudgy but also delicate, so don’t flip it over onto a wire rack. Once the cake has cooled, dust it with icing sugar and release the sides of the pan.