Everyone needs a foolproof chocolate cake to turn to for birthdays, impromptu dinner parties, and of course, the just-because-day. Chocolate Decadence, adapted from The Joy of Cooking, is just that cake. Chocolate Decadence is simple to make, yet tastes like you slaved away in the kitchen for hours.
This cake is best when used with higher quality chocolate, but if you’re in a pinch, baking with semi-sweet chocolate chips do the trick just fine. The texture will just be a bit smoother when using better quality chocolate. This cake is divine when topped with fresh whipped cream to offset the richness, and a simple raspberry sauce.
1 10-ounce package frozen raspberries, or 1/2 pint fresh
1/4 cup honey
8 ounces seedless raspberry jam
1 tablespoons Grand Marnier, optional
The day before serving, combine raspberries and honey in small saucepan and heat over moderate heat for about 5 minutes. In food processor, beat jam until smooth. Add raspberries and liqueur and process briefly until blended. Let sit overnight in the fridge. When ready to use, stir gently and top thinly-sliced cake pieces with the sauce and a dollop of whipped cream.
Flourless Chocolate Decadence
One 8-inch round cake
Have all ingredients at room temperature, about 70 degrees. Pre-heat over to 325F. Grease an 8×2-inch round cake pan (not spring form) and line the bottom with wax or parchment paper.
Combine in a large heat-proof bowl:
1 pound bittersweet or semisweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
10 tablespoons (1¼ sticks) unsalted butter, cut into 10 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 (you can also melt the chocolate in a microwave as demonstrated in the video above). Remove from heat and whisk in:
5 large egg yolks
Beat in large bowl on medium speed until soft peaks form:
5 large egg whites
¼ teaspoon cream of tarter
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 in 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 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.
Photo: Danielle DeMarco
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