Flourless Chocolate Cake – Naturally Gluten-Free!
This versatile flourless chocolate cake, covered with a dark chocolate ganache glaze, has many things going for it besides its intense chocolate flavor.
Once baked it can be refrigerated for a few days or frozen for several weeks. You can bake it in a heart-shaped pan as we did for Valentine’s Day or, bake it in a round pan any time of year; the baking times will be the same. It is so fancy looking – like it came from a bakery – but super simple to make. Just follow the directions and you will be rewarded with a stunning dessert. You do, however, have to start making the cake a day ahead of serving as it needs to chill in the fridge overnight, so plan accordingly.
No gold powder? Want to leave it stark with a shiny chocolate glaze? No problem; this dessert is dramatic enough without it, as you can see below. But if you are so inclined, the gold powder can be ordered from Amazon or from well-stocked cake decorating stores. And yes, the gold powder is an edible decoration.
You Can Never Be Too Rich or Too Thin
That is an old saying and we mean it, just not the way you are probably thinking. In this case we are referring to the fact that this cake is rich, rich, rich and that to stay within low FODMAP guidelines you must serve small, thin pieces. But fear not! This cake is so rich, you will truly only want a little bit. Promise. A small serving of this cake will seriously satisfy any chocolate cravings.
Buy The Best
The cake itself has three ingredients – chocolate, eggs and butter – and each one of them should be the best. The butter and eggs should be fresh and the chocolate should be high quality. Don’t even think of making this with chocolate chips; they just won’t do. If you are in the States and shopping in the grocery store, look for Ghirardelli or Lindt bars. Chop them up for melting and you will be good to go.
Go for It!
Don’t be put off by the many preparation steps. Each one is easy and the bulk of the prep time for the cake takes place in the fridge overnight.
Heart of Gold Flourless Chocolate Cake
This Flourless Chocolate Cake is naturally gluten-free, easy to make and fancy enough for your most special occasions. It can also be made in a simple round cake pan - it is that versatile!
- 6 large eggs, at room temperature
- 1 pound (455 g) semisweet chocolate (50% to 60%), finely chopped
- 1 cup (2 sticks; 226 g) unsalted butter, at room temperature, cut into pieces
Ganache Glaze & Optional Decoration:
- 1/2 cup (120 ml) heavy cream
- 4 1/2 ounces (130 g) semisweet chocolate (50% to 65%), finely chopped
- Edible gold powder vodka & a small artist’s brush, optional
Preheat the oven to 375°F/190°C. Coat the inside of one 8-inch by 2-inch deep (20 cm x 5 cm) heart shaped cake pan (or round pan) with nonstick spray, line bottom with parchment heart, then spray parchment.
Place the whole eggs, in their shells, in a bowl filled with hot tap water for 5 minutes. Warming the eggs ensures maximum volume when they are whipped.
Place the chocolate and butter in a large heatproof bowl and set over a pot of simmering water or microwave until chocolate is three-quarters of the way melted. Remove from heat source and whisk gently every now and then for a few minutes until chocolate is completely melted and mixture is smooth.
Meanwhile, crack whole eggs into bowl and beat with mixer on high speed until tripled in volume, pale yellow and thick enough to hold a very soft peak.
Add about 1/4 of the egg mixture to the cooled chocolate. Gently combine by hand, using a whisk. It’s OK if streaks of egg remain. Add remaining eggs and fold in, first using the whisk, then finishing with a large silicone spatula. The batter will deflate a bit, but try to retain as much volume as possible. The mixture will look like chocolate mousse. Scrape batter into pan and level with a small offset spatula.
Place the pan in a large roasting pan filled with 1 inch of hot water. Bake for about 12 to 15 minutes. The surface will look dull. If you tilt the pan slightly, the edges will come away from the sides of the pan. Both of those visuals are important and the only way to really tell that it is done. It will still be very soft, like a pudding. Don’t fret. Remove pan from water and cool pan completely on rack. Wrap with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight. (Cake may be frozen at this point up to 1 week; defrost in refrigerator overnight before continuing).
For unmolding: unwrap pan, flip it over (the cake will not fall out) and allow hot tap water to run all over the bottom of the pan. The warmth from the water should loosen the cake from the sides and bottom of the pan. Warm an icing spatula under hot water and blot dry. Run the spatula around the sides of the cake. Apply pressure out towards the pan, not in towards the cake, or you might accidentally shave off some of the cake’s side. Flip the cake over and firmly shake and wiggle the pan back and forth; you are trying to get the cake to release its surface tension with the pan. The cake should slip out. If it doesn’t, repeat the warm water and jiggling steps. Gently lift off the pan completely. Peel off the parchment. Cake is ready to glaze with the chocolate ganache.
For the Ganache: Place cream in a large saucepan and bring to a boil over medium heat. Remove from the heat and immediately sprinkle chocolate into cream. Cover and allow to sit for 5 minutes. The heat of the cream should melt the chocolate. Gently stir the ganache until smooth.
Place cake on rack set over a clean pan. Pour glaze over top of cake and gently spread it evenly and towards edges with an icing spatula and allow it to drip down sides. Use icing spatula to help it spread over the top edges and touch up any bare spots on the side. Any excess that drips onto pan can be re-used. Place cake on display plate and refrigerate at least 1 hour or until glaze is set.
For the Optional Gold Decoration: Place about 1/2 teaspoon gold powder in a small bowl. Add vodka a drop at a time and stir with brush until it is a thin paint consistency. Simply shake the brush over the cake, making random splatters of edible liquid gold paint. Cake may be served immediately or refrigerated up to 3 days in covered container. Serve slices of cake while it is cold; it is best sliced with a thin bladed knife dipped in hot water between cuts. You can serve the cake cold (my preference) or at room temperature.