Thursday, March 3

The Diva's Birthday Cake

Back to the Diva's birthday cake. . .

Suffice it to say the Diva likes dessert, especially chocolate, as much as I do. The richer the better. And birthdays are the perfect time to indulge. A flourless chocolate cake from The Joy of Cooking sounded perfect.

Flourless Chocolate Decadence
Makes one 8-inch round cake
Have all ingredients at room temperature, about 70 degrees 

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Grease an 8 x 2-inch round cake pan (not a springform) and line the bottom with wax or parchment paper.

Combine in a large heatproof bowl:
1 pound bittersweet or semisweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
10 tablespoons (1 and a quarter sticks) unsalted butter, cut into ten pieces

Set the bowl in a large skillet of barely simmering water and stir often until the chocolate and butter are warm, melted and smooth. Remove from the heat and whisk in 5 egg yolks.

Beat in large bowl on medium speed until soft peaks form:
5 large egg whites
1 quarter teaspoon cream of tartar

Gradually add, beating on high speed until the peaks are stiff but not dry:
1 tablespoon sugar

Use a rubber spatula to fold one quarter of the egg whites into the chocolate mixture, then fold in the remaining whites. Scrape the batter into the pan and spread evenly. Set the pan in a large shallow baking dish or roasting pan, set the baking dish in the oven, and pour enough boiling water to reach halfway up the sides of the cake pan. Bake for exactly 30 minutes; the top of the cake will have a thin crust and the interior will still be gooey.

Set the cake pan on a rack to cool completely, then refrigerate until chilled, or overnight. To unmold, slide a thin knife around the cake to detach it from the pan. Invert the cake and peel off the paper liner. Reinvert onto a serving platter.

Store in the refrigerator, but remove 1 hour or more before serving to soften.

The cake didn't quite turn out the way I had hoped. As usual I was running behind - I went  to no less than 4 stores to find the gift at the top of the Diva's list, volunteered in Roo's classroom, went to the grocery store, etc., etc. - and didn't make the cake until after I picked the kids up at school.

The melting and mixing went according to plan and so did the baking. The problem started when I was ready to serve the cake. Even though the cake hadn't chilled long enough, I had to serve it. Bad idea. When I tried to remove it from the pan, it had a pudding-like consistency. Not quite what I expected, although it was delicious. After chilling overnight, the cake was lush and dense. But it never did look right since I was too impatient.

Note to self: make the cake the night before.


  1. Ooh....that looks so delicious!!!!

  2. Thank you! It really was great. I need a reason to make another one . . .