There is one thing in life that never seems to disappoint: chocolate! This weekend I was in the mood for a decadent chocolate dessert. One of my favorites is a rich flourless chocolate cake.
Fun fact about me: Cakes aren’t my favorite dessert. In fact, they’re not even really tempting. That may sound a little bizarre, given that I make a lot of cakes. But I see it as a positive—I make plenty of cakes without eating all of the leftovers.
On the other hand, rich decadent chocolatey desserts are what I crave the most. Desserts like moist chocolate chip cookies, dense brownies, and chocolate pies are at the top of my list, along with a flourless chocolate cake.
A flourless chocolate cake is not like most cakes. I’m sure you’ve already guessed why; there is no flour included in the recipe. This dessert is traditionally composed of eggs, sugar, butter, and cocoa. Sounds simple, right? Technique is usually critical in desserts with so few ingredients. Don’t over mix the ingredients and have them at the proper temperature.
When I’m baking, I always start by measuring all of my ingredients before mixing. Once my ingredients are measured, I’ll begin melting my chocolate bars. There are two methods to choose from when melting chocolate. The first one is to place the chocolate in a microwave-safe bowl and melt it in the microwave with short 30-second bursts, stirring between each burst just until the chocolate is melted. The second method is to melt the chocolate in a double boiler. Place about a cup of water in a small saucepan. Bring the water to a simmer and place the chocolate in a heat-proof bowl on top of the small saucepan. The bowl should fit snuggly on top of the saucepan, keeping its base above the water. Keeping your water at a gentle simmer, stir the chocolate just until it’s melted. Remove the bowl from the heat once the chocolate is melted. You do not want to burn the chocolate. This will cause the chocolate to separate.
The second step is to stir in the butter. Then whisk the sugar into the melted chocolate, followed by the cocoa powder, coffee, and salt. In a separate bowl, add the vanilla extract to the eggs and give them a quick whisk. Slowly add the eggs to the chocolate mixture just until well combined. That’s it for your cake ingredients. It’s so simple!
Next, spray an 8-inch round cake pan or spring form pan with non-stick baking spray. The spring form pan will help you to easily release the cake from the sides of the pan, but a cake pan will work if you don’t have a spring form pan. Just be sure to properly prepare it with non-stick baking spray. A very helpful tip is to line the bottom of your cake pan with a round sheet of parchment paper that is the same size as your pan. In this case, the parchment paper should be 8 inches round. Once the pan is prepared, pour the cake batter into the pan and place it in the oven (preheated to 350) and bake for 30 minutes. Finally, I like to add a dusting of powdered sugar and some whipped cream to the cake. Check out the recipe below and give it a try if you are a chocolate lover like I am!
- 8 ounces of semisweet chocolate
- 1 stick of butter
- Pinch of salt
- ½ cup of packed brown sugar
- ¼ cup granulated sugar
- 4 eggs
- 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
- 2 tablespoons of brewed espresso
- ½ cup of cocoa powder
- Powdered sugar (optional)
- Preheat oven to 350 and line a baking sheet with parchment paper
- Melt semisweet chocolate in the microwave or a double boiler.
- Stir in room temperature butter and a pinch of salt
- Whisk in brown sugar and granulated sugar.
- While continuously whisking, add eggs and vanilla extract to the batter.
- Whisk in the cocoa powder
- Place in the oven and bake for 30-35 minutes.
- Allow the cake to cool completely.
- Remove from the pan
- Sift powdered sugar over the cake