This is an improvisation on a cake from my Gourmet cookbook—I use a bit less sugar, for a richer flavor, and beat the egg whites for much better structure. This is wonderful for dinner parties or a quickie hostess gift, and children adore it. For the latter group, I like to cut out a shape (recently I used a trumpet for a Music Man cast party), lay it in the center of the cake held down with dimes, then sift powdered sugar over it. Carefully remove the paper pattern and, voilà, a themed cake. You can halve this recipe and make in an 8-inch cake pan for smaller groups. —Jestei
Test Kitchen Notes
A delicious flourless chocolate cake is perfect for Passover and beyond. This recipe doesn't get much easier and features ingredients that you probably already have and need to use up. All you need is some chocolate, butter, sugar, eggs, cocoa powder, and sea salt. For the best results, though, you should seek out the highest-quality bittersweet chocolate you can find; it'll make all the difference in the final taste and texture. To make the cake, you don't even have to use the stovetop, as you can melt the butter and chocolate pieces in the microwave. Doesn't get much more convenient than that. Once the butter and chocolate are melted, just whisk in the sugar, then add the egg yolks, cocoa, and salt. You don't have to use a stand mixer to beat the egg whites, but that makes this step go the fastest—you can definitely use an electric hand mixer or the power of your own arm if you'd like (it's a good workout!). It'll make the cake super light and fluffy, and well worth the extra step.
If you want to go a little fancier with the toppings (even though a light dusting of powdered sugar is always a classic choice), you could also make some homemade whipped cream and decorate the cake with fresh fruit. You could also serve with a scoop of vanilla ice cream. Or garnish with fruit peels shaved into ribbons for a creative presentation. The possibilities are endless—let us know how your cake works out in the comments below. —The Editors
- Prep time 10 minutes
- Cook time 45 minutes
- Serves 10 to 12
(2 sticks) unsalted butter, plus more for the pan
high-quality bittersweet chocolate
1 1/4 cups
large eggs, separated
Dutch-processed cocoa powder
Powdered sugar, for dusting
- Place a rack in the middle of the oven; heat to 350°F. Generously butter a 10-inch springform pan. Line the bottom with parchment paper; butter the paper.
- Chop the chocolate into small pieces and transfer to a small saucepan. Melt with the butter over very low heat, stirring frequently, until smooth. (You can also do this in the microwave.) Pour into a large bowl and whisk in the granulated sugar. Let cool for 5 minutes, then add the egg yolks, one at a time, mixing to fully incorporate before adding the next. Sift the cocoa and salt over the chocolate mixture and whisk to combine.
- In the large bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, beat the egg whites at high speed until peaks form but are not yet stiff. Gently fold into the chocolate mixture.
- Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake for 35 to 40 minutes, until the cake forms a thin crust on the top. Remove the cake before its sides start to pull away from the pan.
- Let cool for 10 minutes. Invert onto a plate, then reinvert onto a wire rack. (I have also served this right from cake pan, sides removed. Sue me.)
- Let cool completely before sifting the powdered sugar over top.