I love chocolate, the only other person I know that loves it as much as me is my dad. We always go for chocolate birthday cake over vanilla, brownies over sugar cookies, fudge with our ice cream; you get the picture. So this flourless chocolate cake with chocolate ganache is right up my alley and I’m sure his as well! A rich, gooey chocolate cake with a silky chocolate ganache topped with a dollop of sweet whipped cream is really a heaven-sent gift made easily right at home!
Flourless chocolate cake has under 8 ingredients and takes only about 15 minutes to prepare. However, for less frequent bakers there is the use of a double boiler that could confuse some. For those that don’t know, a double boiler is a pot with an inch or two of water that is brought to a simmer. A heatproof bowl (I use a metal bowl) is placed on top of the pan trapping the steam. Since this is indirect heat, the chocolate will melt more evenly and it is less likely to scorch. If the chocolate were to be melted in just a pan, the heat could be too high and the chocolate could seize from the heat. This is why a double boiler is always my go-to for melting chocolate in most recipes (also helpful for pastry cream or other egg based recipes that curdle easily)!
A common mistake that occurs when using chocolate is seizing it. Seized chocolate occurs when water is added to melted chocolate. It will go from a smooth, silky consistency to a grainy paste. Molecularly, the millions of cocoa and sugar particles in chocolate will turn to a syrup making it stick together forming into a lumpy paste. Chocolate has cocoa butter in it, so when fats such as heavy cream or butter are introduced, it will not seize. Think of water and oil, they never combine completely, that’s how chocolate is with water. Chocolate can seize from two things: water or high heat. If the chocolate is seized from water addition it can still be used; the texture will be compromised but the taste will not!
A quick history of flourless chocolate cake! Flourless chocolate cake hails from Capri, Italy. There are tons of different stories on how it was created, but the one thing most of the stories have in common is that it was created from a mistake. A baker somehow forgot to add flour to the cake and baked it anyway, resulting in rich chocolate-y goodness! I’m sure glad that mistake was made! Flourless chocolate cake is also very popular in Jewish households during Passover since the use of leaveners is prohibited.
Fourless Chocolate Cake
- 8 ounces unsweetened chocolate, chopped
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter
- 3/4 cup + 3 tablespoons sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 3 large eggs
- 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Grease an 8 inch round cake pan.
- Prepare a double boiler: place a medium sized pan over medium heat (read second paragraph for information on double boilers).
- Place chopped chocolate and butter in a medium bowl and place it over the pan (let the water simmer). Stir the chocolate mixture as it melts, remove from heat when chocolate is melted (it’s ok if there are a few little bits of chocolate left).
- Add the sugar and vanilla to the chocolate and butter, mix with spatula until combined (if the chocolate is still super hot let it cool before the next step).
- Add eggs and salt, mix until fully incorporated, the mixture will thicken.
- Add the cocoa powder and fold into chocolate mixture.
- Pour the batter into the prepared cake pan and bake for 20 minutes until middle is no longer liquid.
- Let cool.
- 1/2 cup heavy cream
- 1 cup semi-sweet or bittersweet chocolate, chopped
- Measure chocolate into a medium bowl.
- In a small saucepan scald the cream.
- Pour the hot heavy cream over the chocolate. Let sit for 10 seconds, then using a spatula, mix the ganache (it’s ok if the ganache looks broken it will come together!)
- Pour ganache over top of the cooled chocolate cake.
- 1/3 cup heavy cream
- 2 tablespoons confectioner’s sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Add all ingredients to a bowl, whisk until medium peaks form. (I do it by hand, it only takes a few minutes)
- Pipe rosettes on each slice of cake!
Gooey, fudgey, yummy, all the adjectives that end in y describe this piece of perfection!