Flourless Chocolate Cake
Looking for a new addiction? This flourless chocolate cake is it! I make it almost daily at home, even after usually making it in some sort of professional capacity for a private dinner, catering or chocolate class. You don’t have to make it daily, but if you wanted to, it’s very simple and easy. Let’s get started!
First, make sure to have all of your things in place, or mise en place. This will ensure a thorough and clean experience. Part of this, is preparing the ramekins to bake the flourless chocolate cake. I use a variety of sizes of ramekins, and have used a variety of other things (coffee cups, traditional baking pans, skillets, etc.) to bake in. To prepare the molds, I use soften butter (or cooking pan spray) to lightly coat the inside of the ramekins. Then, cover the inside of the ramekin with a light coating of granulated sugar, all the way up the sides of the container. This does a couple of things for the cake. First, the ingredients are rather heavy (chocolate, butter, sugar, cocoa powder) with eggs being the only product offering any sort of leavening. The eggs naturally want to expand and rise as they cook, but the denseness of the other products weigh the eggs down. Adding the sugar to the sides of the ramekin, allow for the eggs to almost climb up the side of the ramekin, as if it were using a ladder. Secondly, the light layer of sugar produces a perfect, slightly sweet crust on the exterior of the flourless chocolate cake, mixing nicely with the bitterness of the chocolate.
After we have everything in place, we’re ready to begin baking. The first step is to begin melting the chocolate and butter together in a bowl over a bain marie (which is a pot with about an inch of water, turned on medium heat, producing steam as the primary source of heat). Chocolate is rather temperamental, and will begin separating once it passes about 110 degrees F. This is essential to the quality of the chocolate, therefore we use the bain marie to melt the chocolate only with steam at about 180 degrees of non direct heat.
When these ingredients are fully melted, take off of the bain marie and place to the side. Then, in another bowl, add the eggs and sugar together, whisking vigorously. Place this mixture over the bain marie and continuously stir, while bringing the temperature to roughly 110-120 degrees (should feel like warm bath water). This does a couple of things for the cake: Primarily, it dissolves the sugar into the eggs, leaving the mixture smooth, not grainy. Additionally, it warms the eggs enough to keeping them from causing the chocolate to seize. During this step, I also add in vanilla extract and ground up vanilla bean pods. Vanilla is a perfect partner for chocolate, and the addition of the ground vanilla pods provides an intense aroma and taste. Adding the vanilla into the mixture while the eggs and sugar are heating, allow the vanilla flavor to be evenly dispersed throughout the cake.
After this mixture has warmed, next combine the warm egg and sugar mixture, with the melted chocolate and butter. Stir these together well, then add in the cocoa powder and stir until combined. The cocoa powder gives the cake more denseness, replacing flour.
The cake batter is now complete, and ready to be spooned or piped into the prepared ramekin. I prefer to pipe it in, and go about ¾ of the way up the ramekin, leaving room for it to slightly rise and expand. Once you’ve filled the ramekins, place them into a preheated oven at 375 degrees, and bake for approximately 20-25 minutes. The time may vary depending upon the size of the ramekin or baking pan that you use.
The flourless chocolate cake can be eaten, warm straight out the oven, or later. They last for 2-3 days uncovered in the kitchen, or up to a week in the refrigerator.
3 oz Butter
5 oz Chocolate (54-66% Dark)
3 oz Sugar
2 each Eggs
1/4 cup Cocoa Powder
- Preheat oven to 375 F.
- Prepare molds or baking pans by spraying with cooking spray or brushing in butter. You can also use parchment or wax paper on the bottom of the pan to prevent further sticking.
- Melt chocolate and butter in a bowl over a hot water bath.
- Heat sugar and eggs to approximately 110-120 degrees Fahrenheit over a water bath.
- Mix chocolate/butter and sugar/eggs together.
- Add cocoa powder to this mixture.
- Pipe or pour the ¾ of the way up the mold.
- Bake at 375 degrees, 20-25 minutes, depending upon the size of the ramekin (internal temperature should be 200 F).
Tip #1: Whipped Cream
The flourless chocolate cake is best served warm with vanilla ice cream or whipped cream. I prefer whipped cream, which I prepare by simply whipping a pint of cream, ¼ - ½ cup of powdered sugar, vanilla extract and ground vanilla beans. I whip the cream until it reaches a stiff peak, and then refrigerate until ready for use.
Tip #2: Add in Chocolate Truffles
One of my favorite tips is to add chocolate truffles to the flourless chocolate cake, essentially making it a molten cake in the center. I often use the hand painted chocolates that we make at California Chocolate Company in the center of mine. This also works great for incorporating other flavors into the center of your cake; such has salted caramel, hazelnut praline, etc.