Flourless Chocolate Cake
Among cake eaters, there are those who love the flourless chocolate cake in theory, but eschew it for its dense reality. This stereotype-defying version is just for them. It retains the bold interplay of bitter cocoa and sweet sugar that made the dessert famous, but all the heaviness is gone, thanks to some very lofty eggs. When the cake rolls out of the oven, it looks cracked and dry, but don’t fret, the inside will be soft and delicate. Hello, fluffy. In the test kitchen, we all agreed that running the knife through the perfectly light texture was super satisfying.
But what about the topping? Made with mascarpone, heavy cream, and powdered sugar, it too is an airy frolic. We love it for its subtle, milky sweetness and the way it it melts in your mouth with a bite of cake. Sublime.
We’ll definitely be making this flourless chocolate cake for New Year’s Eve. It’s decadent and special, but it’s so lightly sweet — and yes, fluffy — that it won’t sink your chances of staying up to see the ball drop.
For the cake:
½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, cut into 1-inch pieces, plus more for pan
10 oz semisweet or bittersweet chocolate (61%-72% cacao), coarsely chopped
2 Tbsp vegetable oil
4 Large Gelson’s eggs, separated
2 Large Gelson’s eggs
2 Tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
1 tsp vanilla extract
¾ tsp kosher salt
¾ cup, plus 2 Tbsp granulated sugar, divided
For the topping:
1 cup heavy whipping cream, chilled
1/2 cup mascarpone
3 Tbsp powdered sugar
Special Equipment: 9-inch springform pan
To make the cake: Preheat the oven to 350°.
Lightly butter the springform pan and dust it with sugar, tapping out any excess.
In a large, heatproof bowl, combine the butter, chocolate, and oil. Set the bowl over a saucepan of simmering water and heat, stirring often, until melted. Remove the bowl from the saucepan and let it cool for 10 minutes.
In a large bowl, combine the egg yolks, whole eggs, cocoa powder, vanilla extract, salt, and ¼ cup of the sugar, and whisk until the mixture is smooth.
Gradually whisk the yolk mixture into the melted chocolate mixture, blending well.
Using a stand mixer on high speed, beat the egg whites until they’re frothy. With the mixer running, gradually beat in ½ cup of the sugar. Continue beating until stiff peaks form.
Gently fold the egg whites into the chocolate mixture in 2 additions, folding just until incorporated. Transfer the batter to the prepared pan, smooth the top, and sprinkle on the remaining 2 tablespoons of sugar.
Bake until the top is puffed and starts to crack and the cake pulls away from the edge of the pan, 35 to 45 minutes. Transfer the cake to a wire rack and let it cool completely in the pan. The cake will collapse in the center as it cools. Note: The cake can be made 1 day ahead. Cover the pan in plastic wrap and store it at room temperature.
To make the topping: In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat together the whipping cream, mascarpone, and powdered sugar on medium-high speed until soft peaks form.
Remove the sides of the springform pan. Mound whipped cream topping in the center of the cake and serve immediately.
Recipe adapted from: Epicurious