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Recipe of the Week: Flourless Chocolate Cake

Gluten-free or not, everybody wins with this decadent delight.
Gluten-free or not, everybody wins with this decadent delight.
Photo by Brooke Viggiano

From classic comfort foods to regional standouts and desserts, we'll be sharing a new recipe with you each week. See the complete list of recipes at the end of this post

This week (just in time for Valentine's Day), we're bringing you the king of all chocolate desserts, the flourless chocolate cake.

The timeless dessert is just what it sounds like -- chocolate cake without flour. Instead, an aerated chocolate custard is made by combining melted chocolate and separated eggs that are beaten until fluffy. The cake's structure is stabilized by heating the starch naturally present in chocolate. Without the addition of flour, you get a much denser, moist and fudgy cake with deeply rich chocolate flavor. The result is nothing short of decadence.

A popular restaurant dessert, the cake has been mastered worldwide. In Italy, it's called torta caprese, after the island of Capri on which it originates. Walnuts or almonds are added to give the cake a hint of nuttiness and texture.

Today, however, we're sharing a recipe for the classic version. This easy-to-follow recipe from domestic goddess Martha Stewart yields a luscious cake that is absolutely perfect for lovers of chocolat.

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This recipe is just a base. Feel free to add a dash of salt, espresso powder, vanilla extract, orange zest or more.
This recipe is just a base. Feel free to add a dash of salt, espresso powder, vanilla extract, orange zest or more.
Image from Breville USA

Classic Flourless Chocolate Cake

  • 6 tbsp unsalted butter, plus more for pan
  • 8 oz bittersweet chocolate (preferably 70 percent cacao), finely chopped
  • 6 large eggs, separated
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar Toppings: powdered sugar, freshly whipped cream, fresh raspberries or chocolate glaze

    Directions

    Preheat the oven to 275 degrees and place a rack in the center. Butter the bottom and sides of a 9-inch spring-form* pan. *A regular baking pan will work just fine, but it's easier to remove the cake from the spring-form pan.

    Add butter and chopped chocolate to a large heatproof bowl and microwave in 30-second increments, stirring each time, until the chocolate is completely melted and the mixture is uniform. Allow to cool slightly before whisking in egg yolks.

    In a separate bowl, beat the egg whites until soft peaks* form. *The mixture should be light and airy. When you turn the whisk upside down, the peaks should just start to hold, but melt back down into themselves after a second.

    Gradually mix in the granulated sugar and continue beating until glossy stiff peaks* form. *The mixture should be thick and heavy. When you turn the whisk upside down, the peaks should point straight up, collapsing very little or not at all.

    If desired, add a pinch of salt (we did) or other flavorings like espresso powder (great for bringing out the chocolate flavor), vanilla extract, chopped nuts or orange zest. Whisk 1/4 of the egg whites into the chocolate mixture, then gently fold in the remaining egg whites.

    Pour cake batter into the prepared pan, smoothing the top with a rubber spatula. Bake until the cake is set in the center and it starts to pull away from the sides of the pan, about 45-50 minutes.

    Set the pan on a wire rack to cool completely, then remove sides of pan.

    Dust the top with powdered sugar and serve at room temperature with freshly whipped cream and raspberries.

    See more Recipes of the Week:

    Recipe of the Week: Coq Au Vin Recipe of the Week: Argentine Chimichurri


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