This is our all-time favorite dessert. The recipe comes from New York City’s Chanterelle, and was published as a Fallen Chocolate Souffle Cake in Gourmet in the eighties–this was before flourless became all the rage. It was given to me then, when I lived in New York, by my friend Nina, who decades later, coincidentally, has a daughter in the same school in Los Angeles where Emma goes. I make this cake over and over, and every time someone requests the recipe, which is amazingly simple, absolutely foolproof…and fast–I promise. The cake is really rich, and at the same time light like a souffle. You don’t have to be a chocoholic (or a pig) to love it, but even those who are neither…are guaranteed to become addicted. It is–in a word–irresistible.
Note that this is a fantastic Passover cake (as well as for anyone needing a gluten-free recipe)–no flour anywhere. Emma makes a Star of David that fits inside the circumference of the cake, cuts it out, places it on top…and we sprinkle confectioners’ sugar all over; when you remove the star, there’s a perfect star shape on the cake!
8 ounces semi-sweet chocolate, chopped (I like Scharffen Berger, but even Hershey’s works)
8 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped
2 sticks unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
2 T liqueur, such as triple sec, Amaretto or Kahlua (I use Kalua or a coffee liqueur)
9 large eggs, separated, the whites at room temperature
1 3/4 cups sugar
Melt the chocolate and butter in a bowl placed over a pot of boiling water, and stir until smooth. Remove the bowl and let mixture cool–then stir in the liqueur. In a large bowl beat the egg yolks with the sugar until ribbons form (about 10 minutes). In another large bowl, beat the egg whites until they barely hold stiff peaks. Fold one third of the chocolate mixture into the yolk mixture, fold in one third of the whites, and fold in the remaining chocolate mixture and whites in the same manner. Turn into a buttered-and-floured 10-inch springform pan and bake in a preheated 350 degree oven for 25 minutes, or until the edge has puffed (the center will not be set!). Cool, and chill, covered loosely, for at least 4 hours and up to 48 hours. I always make the cake the night before, and I take it out of the refrigerator when we sit down to begin dinner (that’s the consistency I love, but you be your own judge). I serve it with a big dollop of freshly whipped cream, usually without any confectioners’ sugar and sometimes with a bit of cocoa powder.
The Story of Scharffen Berger
John Scharfenberger founded Scharffen Berger Chocolate Maker in 1996 after
selling his interest in his epynonomous winery. The Essence of Chocolate tells
the story of the company beautifully (photos will make your mouth water),
but the recipes do not live up to their main ingredient. It’s a nice gift, though, for
anyone who loves chocolate.