Finally a chocolate recipe! For those who know me and my love for chocolate probably thought my first blog post would have been a rich chocolate dessert. But here it is – one of my favorites: an indulgent flourless chocolate cake. This cake is popular even among those not too fond of desserts; since it is not too sweet or too “heavy” as an after dinner dessert. Its intense chocolate flavor is from a mixture of melted chocolate and cocoa powder. This cake is simple to make and consists of few ingredients, but that does not take away from the impact it creates – guests are always impressed. It is a crowd pleaser and one of the most requested desserts I serve at dinner parties.
About this recipe
My recipe has less sugar and half the butter of most flourless chocolate cakes; so it is a bit lighter and not as dense in texture, yet rich and moist. If you prefer the cake to be a little denser, you can increase the amount of butter as suggested below (increasing only the chocolate will throw off the balance of the cake texture). I also add a bit of coffee to enhance the chocolate flavor and a bit of vanilla extract. For this recipe I also added chopped almonds for a twist. You can add walnuts, hazelnuts or omit the nuts altogether. I usually use dark chocolate of at least 70-75% cocoa (I prefer 80-85%); I suggest not using anything below 60-65% cocoa or it will be too sweet and you will lose the intensity of the chocolate flavor. Since chocolate is the main ingredient, I suggest using high quality chocolate for best flavor. This recipe is gluten-free if using gluten-free chocolate.
Before serving, I often sprinkle confectioner’s sugar or cocoa powder on top; and sometimes a bit of both. It gives the cake a sophisticated look; otherwise it can somewhat resemble a brownie (which is how a friend has jokingly labeled this cake), but the taste is far richer and the texture more delicate than a brownie, trust me!
Flourless Chocolate Cake
Serves 10-12 people (8-inch/20-21cm cake or 10 individual (2.5in/5cm) cakes)
Prep time: 15 min
Cook time: 20-30 min (depending on size of cake)
Cooking temp: 350°F/180°C
- 4 large eggs at room temperature (not separated)
- 1 cup + 1 TBL (150g) granulated (superfine/caster) sugar
- 6.5 oz (185g) high quality dark chocolate (at least 70% cocoa is best)
- 8 TBL (1 stick of 113g) of butter (if you prefer the cake denser in texture, you can increase the butter by 3-4 TBL /42-57g)
- 1 TBL (7g) unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1/8 tsp instant coffee powder
- ½ tsp pure vanilla extract
- 1 TBL chopped almonds, walnuts or hazelnuts (optional)
- Melt butter in a glass bowl. You can microwave it or set it over a double-boiler (see step below).
- Cut chocolate into pieces and add to melted butter. Best to melt chocolate over double-boiler since using a microwave or direct stove can easily scorch the chocolate if you are not careful and it can change its texture (you won’t be able to use the chocolate once the texture is changed or is scorched/burned).
- Note: To set up double boiler: use a bowl that can be set over a pot or pan. Put enough water in the pot/pan without it touching the bowl. Let the water simmer while placing the bowl on top and constantly mixing the chocolate-butter mixture until melted.
- Add the coffee and cocoa powder to warm chocolate mixture; mix until well dissolved, and set aside (do not let the chocolate mixture cool completely or it will harden).
- In another bowl, whisk eggs with sugar and vanilla extract; set aside.
- Add ½ cup of the warm chocolate mixture to the egg mixture and whisk well. Add another ½ cup of the chocolate mixture (slowly adding the warm chocolate will not allow the eggs to “cook” while mixing them together).
- Line the bottom of the baking dish or ramekins with parchment or wax paper, or use a springform pan (pan with a removable bottom).
- Note: Cut circular piece(s) of the parchment/wax paper to fit the bottom (you can place the parchment/wax paper under the pan and outline the outside borders of the pan with a knife so you know the size of the circle to cut). I usually butter the bottom of the baking dish/ramekins then place the parchment/wax paper on top, this way the paper sticks to the pan. No need to flour the pan.
- If using smaller baking dishes/ramekins:pour ½ cup of cake batter into each 2.5in/5cm ramekin. Do not fill batter to top of ramekin. If using slightly larger ramekins, increase amount of batter slightly.
- Note: This cake does not have baking powder (leavening agent) so it will not rise much. Do not put too much batter into each ramekin or it won’t bake properly.
- Bake the cake for 20-25 minutes (if using individual ramekin dishes) or 30 minutes (if using a larger baking dish). The cake will be done when the top begins to crack (similar to baking a “brownie”).
- Let it cool for 10 minutes. Flip the cake onto a plate and peel off the parchment/wax paper from the bottom. Flip it to a serving platter. If making small individual cakes, place them directly on serving plates.
- Once completely cool and ready to serve, sprinkle confectioner’s sugar and/or unsweetened cocoa powder and serve.
This cake is best served at room temperature or warm with ice cream. It can be made in advance (without the confectioner’s sugar or cocoa powder on top) and stored in the refrigerator (best only 1 day in advance for fresh flavor). If making in advance, leave it at room temperature for at least 1 hour before serving. Enjoy!