I've read about chocolate cakes before that claim to be "better than sex." And I've thought, "Seriously? Apples and Oranges, people." But I think I found a chocolate cake that would easily fit the category because it's better than just about anything. Apples, oranges - you name it. Winner, hands down.
This cake is super easy to prepare and no matter how you slice it (no pun intended) turns out looking like it was professionally made. It's thick, fudgy and decadent - and guess what? It's magic cake with NO CALORIES.
I knew I needed a dessert for Mom's birthday that would surpass the usual TCBY cake that we decimate every year, not moments after the candles are extinguished. The first challenge was the fact that it needed to be a cake that would travel well on a 2 hour train and then keep throughout a day of errands in the backseat of Mom's car. The second challenge, well, does my general indecisiveness count as a challenge?
David Lebovitz calls it Chocolate Idiot Cake - assumingly because it's "only an idiot could ruin it." I have a sneaking suspicion though that David is implying that if you don't try this cake, you're simply put, well, an idiot.
Flourless Chocolate Cake aka Chocolate Idiot Cake
10 ounces bittersweet or semisweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
7 ounces butter, salted or unsalted, cut into pieces
5 large eggs, at room temperature
1 cup white sugar
1. Preheat the oven to 350F (175 C).
2. Butter a 9-inch (23 cm) springform pan and dust it with cocoa powder, tapping out any excess. If you suspect your springform pan isn't 100% water-tight, wrap the outside with aluminum foil, making sure it goes all the way up to the outer rim.
3. Melt the chocolate and butter in a double boiler (or microwave), stirring occasionally, until smooth. Remove from heat.
4. In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs and sugar, then whisk in the melted chocolate mixture until smooth.
5. Pour the batter into the prepared springform pan and cover the top of the pan snugly with a sheet of foil. Put the springform pan into a larger baking pan, such as a roasting pan, and add enough hot water to the baking pan to come about halfway up to the outside of the cake pan.
6. Bake for 1 hour and 15 minutes (*or longer, mine baked almost 1 hour and 45 minutes). You'll know the cake is done when it feels just set, like quivering chocolate pudding. If you gently touch the center, your finger should come away clean.
7. Lift the cake pan from the water bath and remove the foil. Let cake cool completely on a cooling rack.Serve thin wedges of this very rich cake chilled or at room temperature, with creme anglaise, ice cream, or whipped cream.
My favorite part of making this cake was chopping the semi-sweet chocolate. I bought two big Ghiardelli baking bars and used a big bread knife to chop on a cutting board. I made a fantastic mess (as I usually do when I cook). Though there are times that certainly call for a box of Betty Crocker super-fudgey brownie mix, there are also instances where I prefer to make the whole recipe, start to finish, without taking short-cuts such as using pre-chopped chocolate chunks or baking bits.
What's your favorite part of baking? Do you take typical "short cuts" when you're baking something from scratch?