I just (finally) made an FAQ page for the blog, and realized after the fact I should have included this question: what’s that chocolate cake you’re always talking about?
This is the one. Over the past year, this has been our go-to chocolate cake around here. I believe that in 2014, it was the birthday dessert of choice for all six of us. Fine by me. It’s easy, delicious, and easily accommodates those with allergies to the big eight. Grown-ups can mix up this batter in ten minutes flat, and kids can do it by themselves.
I’ve adapted this recipe to suit my own reality. In the original recipe, which caps off Molly Wizenberg’s foodie memoir A Homemade Life, Molly specifies using the very best butter and chocolate you can find. I’m sure the cake is wonderful that way, but I’ve never made it like that.
Instead of seeking out (and coughing up the $$$ for) Scharffen Berger, I’ve always used Ghirardelli. Instead of using the European high-butterfat butter that Molly calls for, I most often use plain old grocery store butter. Half of us don’t eat gluten, so I ditched the tablespoon of flour in favor of almond meal or a gluten-free flour blend.
This cake has turned out beautifully every time.
One of these days I want to try making it with good chocolate and European butter–maybe for Valentine’s Day ?–but until then, my everyday version will suit us just fine.
Flourless chocolate cake
adapted from A Homemade Life
- 7 ounces chocolate (I use Ghirardelli 70% bittersweet) (1 cup + 2 1/2 tablespoons)
- 7 ounces butter
- 250 grams (1 1/3 cup) white sugar
- 5 large eggs
- 1 tablespoon almond meal*
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Line the bottom of an 8-inch round cake pan with parchment. Butter the parchment and sides of the pan.
Melt the butter and chocolate gently in the microwave or in a double boiler, stirring regularly. Stir in the sugar and let cool for a few minutes (so you don’t scramble your eggs). Whisk in the eggs, one at a time, stirring well. Stir in the almond meal.
Pour batter into prepared pan. Bake for 20-25 minutes. The cake is done when the center is set and reasonably firm, but not completely set. (The toothpick test won’t work: the toothpick won’t be completely clean, even when the cake is done.)
Let the cake rest in its pan on a rack until it’s cool enough to handle; then invert the cake onto a plate. Let the cake cool completely before serving.
The cake is excellent on its own, or served with a dollop of whipped cream or fresh raspberries.
It’s almost Valentine’s Day, so the kids and I dusted a powdered sugar heart on top. Cute, huh?
Allergy free adaptation:
- Use Enjoy Life chocolate and coconut oil instead of butter.
- Use 1 tablespoon allergy-free flour or flour mix in place of the almond flour.
A note about the measurements:
The original measurements are for the scale, not the measuring cup. I’ve converted them for your convenience, but think about the scale. Cooks Illustrated persuaded me to make the switch to baking by weight five years ago and I’ve never looked back. I adore my scale, and use it every single day–if only to make my coffee.
P.S. I loved Molly’s memoir A Homemade Life: Stories and Recipes from My Kitchen Table. The ebook is $1.99 on Amazon right now. Read it now before her next installment, Delancey: A Man, a Woman, a Restaurant, a Marriage, goes on sale May 6.
And twitterature is happening February 15. Get your posts ready!
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(Because this is a darn cheap way to wow a crowd, I’m linking this up with Thrifty Thursday at Living Well, Spending Less.)