Flourless Chocolate Cake

Servings :

In this post: Everything you need for Flourless Chocolate Cake

There are a handful of recipes that I have in my baking arsenal that never disappoint. This flourless chocolate cake is my “go to” recipe for when I am hosting a dinner party and want a “wow” factor dessert without a lot of effort. The exact opposite is true for my annual Christmas dessert - I usually choose to bake a complicated, multi-step, multi-day confection - hoping to dazzle the family with my baking skills and techniques. This holiday season I was simply too busy to conceive much less create such an epic bake. In a pinch, I revisited my trusty baking arsenal and decided to whip up this cake. As usual, the flourless chocolate cake was elegant, decadent, and a huge success. It was an important reminder that sometimes the simplest dessert, baked with quality ingredients and love, is all you need to impress. It also allowed me to step outside of the kitchen and do what is the most important thing during a holiday - spend precious time with the ones I love.

This cake has several key characteristics that make it a must try. First, it is the perfect make-ahead dessert. When hosting a dinner party, I make this dessert several days before, store it already adorned with its ganache topping in the refrigerator, and simply bring it to room temperature and decorate with raspberries and powdered sugar before serving. This allows me to focus on the rest of the meal prep the day of the party. It also transports easily - making it the perfect dessert to bring to a potluck, holiday luncheon, or even as a surprise gift for a friend. The cake can be served year round for any occasion - big or small. If you are looking for the perfect dessert to bake for Valentine’s Day - this rich, creamy chocolate cake paired with the tangy raspberry sauce is sure to make your special someone swoon!

Perhaps the cake’s most appealing characteristic is its versatility. When preparing, if you are hesitant about flipping the cake out of the pan, then consider substituting an 8 inch springform pan for the round pan. This eliminates the need to flip the cake onto the serving platter. A bonus to using this methodology is the top of the cake will have a slight, natural divet in the center - which makes a perfect area to spread the ganache without it dripping over the sides. If you don’t have an 8 inch round pan (or springform pan), substitute a different sized pan - just be sure to adjust the cooking time of your cake accordingly. A good rule of thumb to prevent the chocolate from burning (creating a bitter taste) is that once you smell the chocolate baking it is time to start checking on your cake. If you are unsure if the cake has cooked completely - use a digital thermometer to test the cake - the thermometer should read 200 F when placed in the center of the cake.

This cake’s versatility is further amplified by the ability to substitute ingredients. If you are a serious chocoholic you can easily substitute equal amounts of bittersweet chocolate chips for the semisweet chocolate chips suggested in the recipe. If you have experienced any of my chocolate based Crumble Crate baking kits, you already know that I adore using black cocoa powder. This ingredient provides a rich color and depth of flavor that is hard to duplicate - in this recipe it provides a perfect contrast to the lighter ganache topping. However, if black cocoa powder is not readily available in your area, feel free to substitute Dutch processed cocoa powder. You will still have a gorgeous, rich cake but the intensity of the color and flavor will not be as severe. In this recipe, the espresso powder is used to enhance the cake’s chocolate flavor - you actually can’t taste the ingredient in the final product. However, if you would like a more mocha styled cake, add an extra teaspoon of espresso powder to your batter. This addition will appeal to the coffee lovers in your life! The ingredients in this cake make it “accidentally” gluten free - a perfect dessert to serve to your gluten intolerant friends and family without sacrificing taste or texture. They will appreciate you thinking of them when you serve a slice of this delicious cake!

A final thought - I love the contrast of the tart raspberry sauce with the rich chocolate. Hence why I usually chose to decorate the cake with a few fresh raspberries and a dusting of powdered sugar. However, if you prefer, substitute strawberries for the raspberries, or skip a fruit based sauce altogether and top the cake with dollops of whipped cream and shavings of chocolate. Alternatively, for a little texture, adorn the top of the cake with sliced almonds. The proper accompaniment to this cake is really whatever flavor you like to pair with chocolate. And for the true chocolic that might mean nothing at all!
Servings: 8 - 10

Ingredients :

Cake
  • 1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
  • 8 tbsps unsalted butter, room temperature (plus more to prepare the pan)
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp espresso powder
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 3 large eggs, room temperature
  • 1/2 cup black cocoa
Ganache
  • 1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream

Instructions:

MAKE THE CHOCOLATE CAKE:
  1. Preheat oven to 375 F.
  2. Grease the bottom and sides of an 8 inch round pan with a knob of room temperature butter. Cut parchment paper to an 8 inch round and place on the bottom of the pan. Grease the parchment paper with the butter. Place the prepared pan on a baking sheet and set aside.
  3. Place the 8 tbsps of butter and 1 cup of chocolate chips in a heatproof medium bowl set over a pan of simmering water. Stir until the mixture is melted, combined, and smooth. Remove the bowl from the heat.
  4. Stir in the sugar, salt, espresso powder, and vanilla extract. Add the eggs and beat to combine. Add the black cocoa powder and stir until just combined.
  5. Pour the batter into the prepared pan. Smooth out the top of the batter with an offset spatula.
  6. Bake for 25 minutes. A thin crust should form on the top of the cake.
  7. Remove the cake from the oven and let it cool in the pan for 5 minutes.
  8. Run an offset spatula around the edge of the pan to loosen the cake. Turn the cake out onto a serving platter. (The top of the cake is now the bottom of the cake). Allow the cake to cook completely prior to decorating with the ganache.
MAKE THE GANACHE:
  1. Place the chocolate chips in a heatproof bowl.
  2. Heat the cream in a saucepan set over low heat until it has not quite reached a simmer. Small bubbles should form around the outer edge of the cream.
  3. Pour the cream over the chocolate chips. Stir to combine and then allow the mixture to sit for 5 minutes. Stir again - at first slowly and then more vigorously - until all of the chocolate is completely melted and the ganache is smooth and shiny.
  4. Pour ganache over the top of the cake. Use an offset spatula to smooth the ganache to the edge of the cake. Allow the ganache to set for several hours before serving the cake.
DECORATE:
  1. Use fresh raspberries and a dusting of powdered sugar to decorate the cake.
  2. Serve with fresh raspberry sauce. (See separate recipe).
  3. Enjoy!

Paula

Crumble Crate is the culmination of years of experimenting with cooking and baking in my home kitchen. Since I was a small child, I found a simple pleasure in creating fresh delicious treats and sharing them with my family and friends. As life became more complicated, the basic task of baking in my kitchen became an even more critical and comforting sanctuary.

I want to share this joy of baking with you so that you too can experience the bliss you feel when you create and share fresh baked goodies with your loved ones. My goal is for us to explore baking together and take the stress out of the process so that you can decompress and learn to find refuge in your kitchen. I can’t wait to begin this baking journey with each of you!