The flourless chocolate cake is one of the greatest feats of baking magic ever invented. It’s a chic little showstopper, the kind of thing that makes people go, “It’s so rich, I can only have a teensy slice,” but you’re like, “I’ll be the judge of that, thank you.” It’s exactly the right dessert to chase away the winter blahs, a cake that feels festive when the weather says otherwise. One word of warning: This is a very simple recipe, but it’s also very ingredient and technique specific. There are only 3 ingredients, so pick out the butter, chocolate and eggs you really love. Yes, you really have to whip the eggs for 5 minutes; you really have to use a bain-marie; and you really have to cover it in foil and then remove the foil.
Recipe: 15-Minute Chocolate Cake
Inspired by “Italian Easy: Recipes from London’s River Cafe”
Yields: 12 servings (or maybe 8, no judgment)
Bake Time: 15 minutes
1 pound of chocolate with at least 70% cocoa solids, broken up into pieces (I like Lindt.)
2 1/2 sticks of butter (I’m fond of Kerrygold.)
6 eggs, organic if possible
Preheat the oven to 425°F.
Generously butter a 10-inch springform pan and line the bottom with parchment paper. (No springform pan? You can do this in a cake pan of the same size, but it will be trickier to release.)
Set a medium pan of water to simmer. You’ll be whipping your eggs in a bowl over this water, so fill it about halfway.
In a large microwave-safe bowl, melt the chocolate and butter in the microwave for 1 minute. Stir, then microwave in 15 second intervals until completely melted. (You can do the melting over a simmering bowl of water thing, if you’re inclined; but I never have, and I wouldn’t ask you to try.)
Break all of the eggs into a bowl large enough to fit over the pan of water. Place the pan over the water and beat the eggs until they just start to thicken, about 1 minute or so.
Remove the pan from the heat and beat the eggs another 4-5 minutes, until they’re very light and foamy.
Meanwhile, pour your hot water into a roasting pan.
Fold half of the eggs into the chocolate mixture to combine, then fold in the remainder.
Pour the batter into your springform pan, then cover with a lightly buttered sheet of foil. Gently place the springform pan in the roasting pan, so the water comes about halfway up the sides.
Bake for 5 minutes, then remove the foil and bake for another 10 minutes.
Remove everything from the oven. The cake should be a little wiggly in the center. Remove it from the roasting pan and allow it to cool completely.
Unmold and dust with confectioners sugar, or serve with whipped cream and fruit.
As posted on SALON.COM by Mary Elizabeth Williams.