I believe every girl should have a little black dress in her closet. Something smart, simple and elegant, with great lines. Something that makes you feel fabulous when you pull it on with a pair of heels.
This, my friends, is the little black dress of chocolate cakes.
This dense, rich, flourless chocolate cake is simple, elegant, easy to pull together… and when you serve it, not only do you feel great about yourself, you win the admiration of your guests as well.
I thought Bourbon and Brown Sugar’s week of cakes just wouldn’t be complete without this little beauty from my friend Anne.
I have to say Anne is one of the most accomplished cooks I know…. I’m always a little in awe of her adventurousness and ease in the kitchen. Having the little black dress of cake recipes in her keep is just the beginning. She and her husband are known to throw fabulous parties, some glittering, some casual, always welcoming. I have been at her beach house for “Chipotle night” – an elaborate burrito bar with shrimp, pulled pork and all the fixings… far better than any Chipotle I’ve ever been to… oh, for about 35 people (give or take a dozen). Crowds don’t faze her – she comes from a family of eleven children. At one Fourth of July bash at another friend’s house, when asked to bring a little something for a potluck, she showed up with all the ingredients for a seafood-laden paella, and hung out in the kitchen, casually assembling this huge platter of amazingness while sipping a glass of wine.
There was that unfortunate mishap with the grill and the fire and the beer-can chicken once… but we won’t mention that. Sometimes kitchen adventures can go a bit awry…
So Anne, thanks for the “little black dress.” Love it! It’s a keeper.
Flourless Chocolate Cake with Chocolate Glaze
12 ounces bittersweet (not unsweetened) or semisweet chocolate, chopped
3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, cut into pieces
6 large eggs, separated
12 tablespoons sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/2 cup whipping cream
1/2 cup dark corn syrup
9 ounces bittersweet (not unsweetened) or semisweet chocolate, finely chopped
Preheat oven to 350F. Butter 9-inch-diameter springform pan. Line bottom of pan with parchment paper or waxed paper; butter paper. Wrap outside of pan with foil. Stir chocolate and butter in heavy medium saucepan over low heat until melted and smooth. Remove from heat. Cool to lukewarm, stirring often.
Using electric mixer, beat egg yolks and 6 tablespoons sugar in large bowl until mixture is very thick and pale, about 3 minutes. Fold lukewarm chocolate mixture into yolk mixture, then fold in vanilla extract. Using clean dry beaters, beat egg whites in another large bowl until soft peaks form. Gradually add remaining 6 tablespoons sugar, beating until medium-firm peaks form. Fold whites into chocolate mixture in 3 additions. Pour batter into prepared pan.
Bake cake until top is puffed and cracked and tester inserted into center comes out with some moist crumbs attached, about 50 minutes. Cool cake in pan on rack (cake will fall).
Gently press down crusty top to make evenly thick cake. Using small knife, cut around pan sides to loosen cake. Remove pan sides. Place 9-inch-diameter tart pan bottom or cardboard round atop cake. Invert cake onto tart pan bottom. Peel off parchment paper.
Bring cream and corn syrup to simmer in medium saucepan. Remove from heat. Add chocolate and whisk until melted and smooth.
Place cake on rack set over baking sheet. Spread 1/2 cup glaze smoothly over top and sides of cake. Freeze until almost set, about 3 minutes. Pour remaining glaze over cake; smooth sides and top. Place cake on platter. Chill until glaze is firm, about 1 hour. (Can be made 1 day ahead. Cover with cake dome; store at room temperature.) Garnish with chocolate shavings or leaves. Serve at room temperature.