I rarely end up baking anything special for holidays. I’ve never really needed to; my mother and grandmother are excellent bakers and are still at the helm of Easter, Thanksgiving, and Christmas celebrations. I would love to take over, but there’s no way I could squish my whole family into my little flat for dinner, unless I made a buffet and we all sat on the floor Arab style.
This year, however, I decided to make a cake regardless. I had something deeply chocolatey in mind. Rich and silky, preferably flourless. A quick search on the Internet produced the recipe for exactly such a cake from baker extraordinaire David Lebovitz. The recipe is adapted from Ready for Dessert and is called “Chocolate Idiot Cake”. It’s not really ganache–there is no cream–but it tastes like richest, dreamiest, chocolatiest ganache ever. Presumably, it’s so easy to make that even an idiot could do it. Because it doesn’t contain flour, it’s gluten free and also suitable for Passover. Another plus!
Even so, I had my doubts, since baking cakes is not really my forte. But this cake was super simple to make, with only four ingredients. The key here is good quality chocolate. I used Callebaut, but Scharffen Berger, Valrhona, or even Lindt are good choices. I used an 8-inch springform pan, but a 9-inch is also fine.
You’ll get at least eight slices out of this one. It’s so rich you’ll want to cut the slices thin–even if you’re a chocoholic like me.
Flourless Chocolate Cake
adapted from David Lebovitz
300 g (10 ounces) good bittersweet or semisweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
200 g butter (7 ounces) butter, cut into chunks
5 large eggs, at room temperature
200 g (1 cup) sugar
1) Preheat oven to 350F (175C). Butter an 8-inch springform pan and dust the bottom and sides with cocoa powder, tapping out the excess. Wrap the outside tightly with aluminum to guard against any leakage, ensuring that it goes up to the rim.
2) In a double boiler, melt the chocolate and butter over medium heat until smooth while stirring occasionally. Remove from heat and set aside.
3) Whisk the eggs and sugar together in a large bowl, then whisk in the chocolate mixture incrementally until smooth.
4) Pour the batter into the prepared pan and cover tightly with another sheet of aluminum foil. Place the springform pan in a roasting pan; add enough boiling water to the roasting pan so that it comes halfway up the side of the cake pan.
5) Bake cake for 1 hour and 15 to 25 minutes, depending on your oven. The cake is done when you can gently touch the centre and your finger comes away clean.
6) Take the cake out of the water bath and remove the foil. Cool on a rack completely before removing the springform. Serve cake at room temperature with a dusting of cocoa powder, whipping cream, or ice cream. The cake may be wrapped and kept in the fridge for up to 5 days.