Flourless chocolate cake is a beautifully rich dessert. You will find it on the menu of many upscale restaurants but it is quite simple to make. Easier than most regular cakes, in fact, because if undercooked it will have a nice fudgy texture unlike the sogginess of an undercooked flour cake.
I like to serve this with crème anglaise. Vanilla and chocolate naturally compliment each other and you get a nice contrast in temperatures and textures.
- 1/2 Cup Heavy Cream
- 1/2 Cup Milk
- 1 vanilla bean, split lengthwise
- 1/4 Cup Sugar
- 3 Large Egg Yolks
- Pinch of salt
- 8 ounces dark or bittersweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
- 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, cut into 1-inch pieces
- 6 large eggs, separated
- 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
- 2 tablespoons dark rum (optional)
Make the Crème Anglaise
- Place cream, milk, and vanilla bean into a medium-sized pot and heat until mixture just comes to a boil. While cream and milk are heating, whisk together eggs, salt, and sugar in a large bowl. Whisk until mixture thickens and becomes pale yellow.
- Remove the vanilla bean. Use a paring knife to scrape off the seeds inside the bean and add back to the cream and milk. Discard the vanilla bean. Slowly add the hot cream and milk to the egg mixture while stirring. Pour the mixture back into the pot and stir gently over low heat. Continue to stir until mixture thickens enough to coat the back of a spoon (about 5-6 minutes).
- Pour into a bowl (preferably stainless steel) and cool immediately. Refrigerate until needed.
Make the Flourless Chocolate Cake
- Preheat oven to 350° F. Butter the bottom and sides of a 9-inch springform pan. Line the bottom of the pan with a round of parchment or waxed paper. Butter the paper.
- Place a double boiler over medium-low heat or make your own by placing a bowl over a pot of gently simmering water. Add the chocolate and butter to the bowl. Cook over low heat, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon or rubber spatula until the chocolate and butter are melted. Whisk until smooth. Remove from heat and stir in the dark rum.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together the egg yolks and 1/2 cup of sugar until thick and light yellow. Fold in the melted chocolate mixture.
- Use a hand or stand mixer to beat the egg whites at medium speed until soft peaks start to form. One tablespoon at a time, beat in the remaining 2 tablespoons of sugar.
- Use a rubber spatula to gently fold the beaten egg whites into the chocolate mixture in 3 additions. Do not over mix.
- Pour the batter into the prepared springform pan. Bake until the cake is puffed and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out with moist crumbs attached about 30 minutes. It's okay if the cake is a little undercooked. Transfer the pan to a wire rack and cool for 10 minutes.
- Using a small sharp knife, cut around the sides of the cake to loosen it. Release the pan side. Invert the cake onto a wire rack. Peel off the parchment paper and cool the cake completely. Wrap in plastic and refrigerate overnight.
- Unwrap the cake and bring to room temperature. Cut into serving sizes and place on dessert plates. Ladle about 2 ounces (1/4 cup) of crème anglaise around the cake so it appears to be in a pool of sauce. Enjoy.