flaky chocolate cake – smitten kitchen






I do know we’re within the midst of the nth heatwave of the summer time and the concept of consuming something however a bowl of chilly cherries or, worse, one thing that requires you flip your oven on sounds about as unappealing as that curiously empty subway automotive [that definitely has no a/c or worse] however belief me once I say that somebody in your good friend group, household, or life has a birthday developing and so they’re hoping that you simply make them this.

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That is the light-weight, semi-collapsed disc of cognac-kissed darkish chocolate I nominate to be your backpocket, arsenal-worthy decadent cake for small however fancy instances. It’s been in my rotation for nicely over a decade — I’ve shared riffs on it in these cupcakes and within the tiny however intense chocolate cake in this guide — as a result of whereas I may by no means get into these dense, nap-inducing bittersweet chocolate desserts of the early aughts, a couple of changes led me to this dream. Right here’s what units it aside:

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Smaller: I do know most traditional folks don’t have 6-inch cake pans of their cookware larder however I’m going to ceaselessly make the argument that you simply want one. In it, you may halve virtually any normal spherical cake and have precisely the correct amount for 4, 6, and even 8 folks with a cake this wealthy. Truffles this measurement additionally bake up shortly, important in summer time months. For those who’re solely shopping for one, get a springform as a result of its larger sides work for each recipe, together with cheesecake.

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Fluffier: Separating eggs and whipping the whites till fluffy solely to fold them again into the batter is a drag of an additional step, so please consider me that I wouldn’t suggest it until it made all of the distinction. It makes all of the distinction right here, it turns a cake that might in any other case have the density of a truffle into one which lifts off the plate. The souffle-like dome deflates because it cools, leaving a tousle of chocolate flakes which can be much more inviting when dusted with powdered sugar.

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Much less Chocolate: Hear me out. My greatest a-ha second when making flourless chocolate desserts was that the extra frequent method of, say 3 eggs to three to 4 ounces of butter and 6 to eight ounces of chocolate didn’t work for me. This method makes use of much less so you may preserve the dreamy crumb however not the borderline-excessive depth. It’s going to transform you too.



6 months in the past: Cauliflower Salad with Dates and Pistachios
1 yr in the past: Plum and Cream Scone Cobbler
2 years in the past: Deviled Eggs
3 years in the past: Pasta with Pesto Genovese
4 years in the past: Frozen Watermelon Mojitos
5 years in the past: Corn Fritters and Bourbon Peach Smash
6 years in the past: Hummus Heaped with Tomatoes and Cucumbers
7 years in the past: Corn, Bacon and Parmesan Pasta
8 years in the past: Tomato and Fried Provolone Sandwich
9 years in the past: Best Fridge Dill Pickles and Grilled Peach Splits
10 years in the past: One-Pan Farro with Tomatoes and Scorching Fudge Sundae Cake
11 years in the past: Bacon Corn Hash
12 years in the past: Entire Wheat Raspberry Ricotta Scones
13 years in the past: Mango Slaw with Cashews and Mint, Thai-Type Hen Legs, Peach Blueberry Cobbler, and Scalloped Tomatoes with Croutons
14 years in the past: Mild Brioche Burger Buns, Blueberry Boy Bait, and Lemony Zucchini Goat Cheese Pizza
15 years in the past: Chocolate Sorbet
16 years in the past: Double Chocolate Layer Cake


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Flaky Chocolate Cake

  • 4 ounces (115 grams) semi or bittersweet chocolate, coarsely chopped or chips
  • 4 tablespoons (55 grams) unsalted butter, diced
  • 1/2 cup (100 grams) granulated sugar, divided
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2 teaspoons cognac or brandy or 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3 massive eggs, separated
  • Powdered sugar for dusting
    Put together your pan: Warmth your oven to 350°F (175°C). Line the underside of a 6-inch springform pan with 2 1/2-to-3-inch sides [I’m using this] with parchment paper and coat the edges flippantly with butter or nonstick spray. For those who’re nervous the springform could also be leaky, wrap the skin of the pan tightly with a bit of foil. Place on a baking sheet.

    Make the batter: Soften the chocolate and butter collectively in a big bowl in a microwave in 30-second bursts, stirring between every, or with the bowl set above a pot of barely simmering water on the range. Take away from warmth and whisk in half the sugar (1/4 cup or 50 grams), the salt, and the cognac. Whisk within the yolks one after the other till easy.

    In a medium-large bowl, beat the egg whites with an electrical mixer till thickened like unfastened whipped cream then progressively add remaining 1/4 cup (50 grams) sugar, beating the entire time, till delicate peaks kind. Spoon about 1/4 of the egg whites into the chocolate combination and whisk them in; this lightens the batter. Add remaining egg whites to chocolate combination, gently folding them in till there aren’t any egg white streaks remaining.

    Bake the cake: Pour into ready pan and bake for 20 to 25 minutes or till the middle is domed, solely strikes barely when the pan is wiggled, and a toothpick inserted into the middle comes out batter-free (some gooey crumbs are positive). Switch to a cooling rack and when you can cool it utterly within the pan, I’m satisfied you get higher flakes on high for those who loosen the springform sides when it’s midway cooled. First run a knife across the sides to loosen the cake wherever it’s caught. The cake deflates because it cools and the middle will sink barely.

    To serve and/or make forward: I want this cake absolutely chilly so I switch it to the fridge to chill the remainder of the best way, about an hour or two. Mud with powdered sugar and serve in small wedges with cream and berries, if you want. Cake retains for per week within the fridge, though that is inconceivable to us, and longer within the freezer.

    Notes / anticipated questions:

  • Can I exploit a non-springform 6-inch cake pan with shorter (i.e. 2-inch) sides? Sure-and-no. Sure, you may. I examined it a number of instances. However the cake mushrooms excessive of the pan, which means that whereas it hasn’t spilled over for me, it nonetheless may. However largely what occurs is that the perimeters of this muffin high change into extra dry and need to break off the cake, and also you don’t get the identical good flaky-topped texture you see right here.
  • Is bittersweet (72%-ish) or semisweet (60%-ish) higher right here? Each work. Whereas I’m not an enormous fan of super-bitter chocolate desserts, since there’s much less chocolate right here than most flourless desserts, it might undoubtedly deal with extra bitter chocolate with out making a bitter cake.
  • Can I beat the egg whites by hand? You can! It’s undoubtedly an enormous arm exercise however I consider in you. (Not me, you.)
  • Can I double this? Completely. For an even bigger cake for larger celebrations, you may bake it in a 9-inch springform. It ought to take 35 to 40 minutes.
  • Supply be aware: Whereas it’s not the place I began with this recipe [I took a flourless chocolate cake I liked, reduced the chocolate and separated the eggs, as I do here], this cake seems to share a lower-chocolate, high-lift camaraderie with Richard Sax’s great Chocolate Cloud Cake — contemplate this a hat tip of appreciation!

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