If you’re new here, welcome! I’m AmberLee, and Giverslog is my place to share recipes, gift ideas, pretty wrapping ideas, and more. I also own an online chocolate shop, The Ticket Kitchen. Stop by if you get a moment.
Truly, this recipe is an all-time favorite of mine. For that matter, it’s one of my favorite ways to eat chocolate, period. It’s that good. I’ve been wanting to share it forever.
I also wanted to share because this recipe is perfect practice for anyone who would like to try making a chocolate souffle, but isn’t feeling brave enough just yet. You can practice all the souffle tricks, like whipping eggs and folding the batter, and even if you don’t get it just right, you end up with a guest-worthy dessert. Way less pressure. Also, you make it in advance, so you don’t have a whole table full of guests waiting, with bated breath, to see if you’re going to serve them a glorious pouffy souffle or more of a sad dilapidated attempt at one (can you tell I’m speaking from experience?).
And when you really get good at whipping and folding, make some macarons.
Let’s get started.
A quick note on chocolate. If you’re making this for a crowd of milk chocolate lovers, you can replace up to half the chocolate with milk chocolate. If everyone’s a dark chocolate lover, go with semisweet, or even darker, bittersweet. I adore it with 70% chocolate. But my fall back for the average dinner crowd is the chocolate combo I listed in the recipe.
Flourless Chocolate Cake
lightly adapted from Williams-Sonoma
Spring form pan (8-inch or 10-inch will work)
Mixer with whip attachment
10 oz. chocolate, finely chopped (I usually go with 8 oz of a semisweet bar, Valhrona if I can afford it, and 2 oz of a milk chocolate bar, usually Guittard or Callebaut)
8 Tbs. unsalted butter, room temperature and cut into cubes for easy melting
4 cold eggs, separated
1 tsp. instant coffee dissolved in 2 tsp. water (optional)
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1⁄4 tsp. cream of tartar
1⁄4 cup granulated sugar
1. Position the rack in the middle of your oven and preheat to 375°F.
2. Grease your springform pan, then cut a circle of parchment paper to fit the bottom. Lay that down and grease over it too. Then sprinkle in a little flour and tap out the excess.
3. Melt your chocolate over a double boiler or in the microwave (see more details than you will ever need about melting chocolate right here). I always melt in the microwave for simple baking. Dump chocolate into a microwavable bowl, preferably not glass because that conducts too much heat. Cook one minute on half power. Remove and stir. Continue cooking for 30 seconds at a time on half power until chocolate is mostly melted. Stir until melted. Add butter and stir until fully combined.
4. Set chocolate aside to cool slightly, about 5 minutes.
5. Whisk the yolks and dissolved coffee (optional) and vanilla extract in a separate small bowl. Pour the yolk mixture over the cooled chocolate and whisk until no streaks of egg are visible.
6. Here comes the whipping and folding. Are you ready? Make sure you have a perfectly clean, dry mixing bowl. Even a particle of grease will ruin any chance of your eggs whipping up. Combine egg whites and cream of tartar. Whip on medium until they are foamy and the cream of tartar dissolves, about 1 minute. Increase the mixer to medium-high and continue beating until the whites form soft peaks, 2 to 3 minutes.
7. Add the granulated sugar half at a time, beating for a few seconds after each addition. Beat until whites are shiny and form stiff peaks, about one minute more.
8. Using a rubber spatula, gently fold about one-third of the beaten egg whites into the chocolate mixture. Spoon the remaining whites on top and fold until mostly combined. Don’t over fold. It’s okay to leave a few streaks.
9. Spread the batter into the prepared pan and smooth the top. Bake 19 to 23 minutes. You’ll know the cake is done when the top looks firm and the middle jiggles only slightly when you give the pan a gentle shake. Transfer your cake to a wire rack and let cool in the pan for 30 minutes.
10. The cake will sink slightly in the middle, that means you’ve done it right. I’ve had to convince more than one dinner guest that this is on purpose. But think about it, moist dense chocolate cake? Of course that’s not a mistake. Run a butter knife along the inside edge of the pan to loosen it, then release the sides and lift them off. Let the cake cool completely, about 1 hour more. Serve sprinkled with confectioner’s sugar or with a dollop of whipped cream or creme fraiche.
I tried to snap a good picture for you of soft peaks. These are actually just a little stiffer than I like them.
Nice shiny stiff peaks.
My favorite way to fold is to gently plunge my spatula into the middle of the mixture, then come up scraping the side of the bowl and lifting the batter. Then I give the bowl a quarter turn and repeat until I’m satisfied. Remember, a few streaks are a okay. It’s better not to overfold.