This versatile flourless chocolate cake covered with a dark chocolate glaze has many things going for it besides its intense flavor and the fact that it happens to be gluten-free. Once baked, it can be refrigerated for a few days or frozen for several weeks. If raspberries are out of season, omit them. No gold powder? No problem, this dessert is dramatic enough without it. You do, however, have to start making the cake a day ahead of serving it. The gold powder can be ordered from Beryl’s or other well-stocked cake decorating stores. While this cake sounds extra fancy – and looks it – it is surprisingly easy to make.
In the image below you can see a slice of the cake made without raspberries.
- 6 large eggs, at room temperature
- 1 pound semisweet chocolate, finely chopped, such as Ghirardelli, Callebaut or any other chocolate not exceeding 60% cacao mass
- 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature, cut into pieces
- ⅔ cup firm, dry, fresh raspberries (optional)
- ¾ cup heavy cream
- 7½ ounces semisweet chocolate, finely chopped, such as Ghirardelli, Callebaut or any other chocolate not exceeding 60% cacao mass
- 1 tablespoon raspberry liqueur, such as Chambord or framboise (optional)
- Edible gold powder
- Small artist’s brush
- For the Cake: Position rack in center of oven. Preheat the oven to 375°F. Coat the inside of an 8-inch by 2-inch round cake pan with nonstick spray, line bottom with parchment, then spray parchment.
- Place the whole eggs in their shells in a bowl filled with hot tap water for 5 minutes. Warming the eggs ensures maximum volume when they are whipped.
- Meanwhile, melt the chocolate and butter in a double boiler or microwave. Stir until smooth, then cool slightly. Have this mixture in a large bowl.
- Crack whole eggs into a bowl and beat with mixer on high speed until tripled in volume, pale yellow and a ribbon forms.
- Add about one-quarter of the egg mixture to the cooled chocolate. Gently fold in using a whisk. It’s okay if streaks of egg remain. Fold in remaining eggs, finishing with a large rubber spatula. The batter will deflate a bit, but try to retain as much volume as possible. The mixture will look like chocolate mousse. Scrape batter into pan and level with a small offset spatula.
- Scatter raspberries evenly over the surface. Use the blunt end of a chopstick or your finger and poke the raspberries into the batter one at a time. You want to submerge them at different levels, and they should not touch the sides of the pan or each other. Place the pan in a larger pan filled with 1” hot water.
- Bake for about 15 to 18 minutes. The surface will look dull. If you tilt the pan slightly, the edges will come away from the sides of the pan. Both of those visuals are important and the only way to really tell that it is done. It will still be very soft, like a pudding. Don’t fret. Cool pan completely on rack. Wrap with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight. (Cake may be frozen at this point up to 1 week; if made without berries it may be frozen for 1 month. Defrost in refrigerator overnight).
- For Unmolding: Unwrap the pan, flip it over (the cake will not fall out) and allow hot tap water to run all over the bottom of the pan. The warmth from the water should loosen the cake from the sides and bottom of the pan. Warm a spatula under hot water and blot dry. Run the spatula around the sides of the cake. Place an 8-inch cardboard on top of the cake. Flip the cake over so that you loop your fingers down around the cardboard, holding it into place. Very firmly shake and twist the pan back and forth; you are trying to get the cake to release its surface tension with the pan. You should feel the cake begin to slip out. If it doesn’t, repeat the warm water and jiggling steps. When it starts to slide down and out of the pan, lower the cake to the table and gently lift off the pan completely. Peel off the parchment. Cake is ready to glaze.
- For the Glaze: Place cream in a large saucepan and bring to a boil over medium heat. Remove from the heat and immediately sprinkle chocolate into cream. Cover and allow to sit for 5 minutes. The heat of the cream should melt the chocolate. Gently stir the ganache until smooth; stir in liqueur, if using. If the chocolate is not melting, place over a very low heat, stirring often, until melted, taking care not to burn chocolate.
- Place cake on rack set over a clean pan. Pour glaze on top and gently spread it evenly and towards edges and allow to drip down sides. Use a small icing spatula to help ganache adhere to sides. Any excess that drips onto pan can be re-used. Place cake on display plate and refrigerate at least 1 hour or until glaze is set.
- For Optional Gold Decoration: Place about ½ teaspoon gold powder in a small bowl. Add vodka a drop at a time and stir with brush until it is of paint consistency. “Paint” greetings or pattern on top of chilled glaze. Cake may be served immediately or refrigerated up to 3 days in covered container. Serve slices of cake cold; it is best sliced with a thin bladed knife dipped in hot water between cuts.
- We like to serve this with lightly sweetened whipped cream on the side. It cuts the richness of the cake.
- This cake uses a basic baking technique that you can read about in Tips & Tricks – Until a Ribbon Forms