Ooey and Gooey Double-Baked Chocolate Cake

February 3, 2016


Author Notes: From Food & Wine by way of Dana Treat comes the easiest way to get all the best parts of the molten chocolate cake with none of the stress.

For this cake, you make a standard batter from melted butter, chocolate, sugar, and eggs, then pour most of it into a springform pan and bake for 25 minutes. That right there is good enough to serve on its own, but the real hoorah comes when you then take the reserved batter, spread it over the top of the cake, and give it an additional 15 minutes in a higher temperature oven, until it's just barely baked.

The result is a firm, dense bottom—the chewy, feels-like-food element that many flourless chocolate cakes lack—that acts as a crust-like container for the melting, pudding-like top. Nothing will break or burst or turn to goo or go terribly wrong. Success is (practically) guaranteed. And when you put it in the refrigerator, the bottom layer will become brownie-like, the top like mousse.

Sarah Jampel

Makes: one 9-inch cake (serves 8 to 10)

Ingredients

  • 1/2 pound bittersweet or semisweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
  • 1/2 pound (2 sticks) unsalted butter
  • 3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 pinch salt
  • 7 large eggs, separated
  • 1 1/3 cups sugar, separated
In This Recipe

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350° F. Butter a 9-inch springform pan and line the bottom with parchment paper. Butter the paper.
  2. In a large saucepan over low heat, melt the chopped chocolate and the butter. Add the cocoa powder and a pinch of salt whisk until smooth.
  3. In the bowl of a stand mixer or in a medium bowl using an electric mixer, beat the egg yolks with 2/3 cup of the sugar until pale and light, about 3 minutes. Set aside.
  4. In another bowl, using clean beaters, beat the egg whites until soft peaks form. Gradually add the remaining 2/3 cup of sugar and beat until the whites are firm and glossy.
  5. Fold the chocolate into the egg yolk mixture until barely combined. Fold in the egg whites just until no white streaks remain.
  6. Spoon 2 cups of the batter into a medium bowl and refrigerate—this will become your ooey-gooey topping.
  7. Scrape the remaining batter into the prepared pan and smooth the top with a spatula. Bake for 25 minutes, or until the cake is puffed and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
  8. Cool the cake completely on a wire rack. Don't panic if the sides of your cake has pulled away from the pan and the center is a bit sunken. This is a crater into which you will pull the reserved batter, after all. At this point, you can cover the cake and refrigerate for up to 2 days.
  9. Remove the belt/girdle of the completely cool springform pan and spread the reserved cake batter over the top of the cake (it will be thick, so be gentle), leaving a 1-inch border around the edge. Refrigerate the cake for at least 1 hour.
  10. Preheat the oven to 400° F. Bake the cake for 10 to 15 minutes, or until a thin crust forms on top and the batter is soft and creamy beneath the crust.
  11. Let the cake cool for 10 minutes, then cut into wedges and serve warm. To store, cover the cooled cake in plastic wrap and keep in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. The pudding-like top will become delightfully mousse-y.

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Reviews (48) Questions (0)

48 Reviews

Valerie November 14, 2018
I'm a little obsessed with this recipe – or rather, its result. It's almost identical to Gateau Marcel, a Danish cake (by a French chef, hence the name), which skips the final bake and just keeps the cake in the fridge for 4 hours before serving. It finishes with a dusting of cocoa powder or a dark chocolate glaze.<br /><br />I recently quartered this cake for my 8" springform (and smaller cake needs) and it worked perfectly. Used 2 small eggs, kept the oven temp the same and scaled the first bake down to 12 minutes and the second to 5. I stored the batter in the fridge but didn't return the cake to the fridge before the second bake and it came out beautifully.
 
Heather June 27, 2018
I don't ha e a nine inch cake pan only 13x9 would I just double the recipe of i make this?
 
Carla May 1, 2017
what adjustments would I make to do this as individual small cakes? Just less cooking time?
 
sdillon May 1, 2017
Yes, less cooking time and a low oven temp - I would suggest just testing it every so often to see when it seems done. It's easy to come out too wet in the middle if the oven temp isn't high enough but somehow I doubt that would be much of an issue with small cakes.
 
Carla May 25, 2017
Thanks!
 
Elizabeth D. February 14, 2017
Has anyone tried reheating this cake? Did you use the oven or microwave it? Does the top become gooey again or did it ruin the cake?
 
Lisa L. February 10, 2017
So what are the chances that this cake will be completely ruined if I let it sit in the fridge for 4 days instead of (the "maximum") 3?
 
Author Comment
Sarah J. February 10, 2017
Definitely won't be ruined (don't throw it away!!!), but the texture might be a little different: denser, harder, fudgier. I'd definitely eat it anyway... :)
 
Fresh F. January 22, 2017
This was a uge hit! We are a homeschooling family, and used this recipe in our Culinary Class Friday. My kids are 6, 4, and almost 2 and they all took part! They were able to learn about the techniques of separating eggs and the various stages of the peaks. From counting and measuring, to folding, hand and stand mixing, and baking twice, they learned so much! They served it for their friends and all LOVED it, thank you!
 
Mayra January 22, 2017
Awesome cake! Easy, delicious and beautiful! Thank you for sharing <3
 
Kitchen W. January 17, 2017
Can I use a hand mixer? I have no stand mixer.
 
SelEatsIt January 17, 2017
I used a hand mixer, no problem
 
sdillon January 5, 2017
Can one make this as 2 cakes and layer it (with care)? I'll make sure it's fully cool first of course... but is it too fragile? Will it fall apart in the process? Any tips or suggestions? Was going to put some chopped strawberries & sugar in the middle, sliced strawberries on top and glaze it with some chocolate glaze for a birthday cake tomorrow.
 
Author Comment
Sarah J. January 5, 2017
It's too fragile to layer, I think, UNLESS you freeze both layers first, but then you're going to compromise some of the ooey-gooey texture (it'd still be delicious, but more fudgy-cold-dense than ooey-gooey-puddingy). Does that make sense?
 
Author Comment
Sarah J. January 5, 2017
This chocolate cake might fare better: https://food52.com/recipes/66538-tara-o-brady-s-cinnamon-walnut-mud-cake
 
sdillon January 5, 2017
That's an interesting idea! Maybe I can make the upper layer ahead and refrigerate it overnight then freeze it tomorrow for an hour and try then. Any suggestions on detaching it? Parchment paper is just going to cause problems I have a feeling.
 
sdillon January 5, 2017
Need I freeze BOTH layers? Is refrigerating the lower layer enough or could it potentially get crushed by the semi-frozen upper layer?
 
Aditi June 14, 2016
Great flavor and easy enough for a 'fancy' cake. My cake got a bit black on the sides and top, so maybe my oven was too hot. If I were to make it again, I plan to bake the bottom less (I don't think the toothpick needs to come out clean), bake the top less (10 minutes), and possibly add a little coffee powder.
 
michelle April 3, 2016
This is just fantastic. A keeper, the best chocolate cake I've ever had! My friend described it as a very very soft brownie. The top crust is ever so delicate and the cake underneath is lovely molten goodness.
 
Jesse P. March 10, 2016
Made this last night. So good. I actually think I liked it better today after it sat in the fridge for the night and set up a bit more.
 
Esther February 28, 2016
I never bake with a springform pan so I'm a bit confused, when it says to butter the pan I should put a circle of parchment paper on the bottom, and butter the exposed metal sides and the bottom parchment paper circle? Also, the two stick of butter are for the batter to be melted with the chocolate, and I should use more butter for the lining, right?
 
Caroline February 26, 2016
This is a cake that could be served for Passover! It's flourless.
 
Megan February 17, 2016
This was great! So tasty and worked perfectly for me. Seems like a perfect dessert to serve at a dinner party because everything but the final bake can be done ahead and the result is so warm and gooey and delicious- a crowd pleaser. I'll be making this again!
 
Author Comment
Sarah J. February 17, 2016
Hooray! So, so glad to hear that.
 
Deb K. February 13, 2016
I just made this for my sons' birthday. I followed the instructions exactly (but added a tablespoon of home-made vanilla extract. Amazing! I love the idea of making two 6" cakes - I'll have to try that.
 
ezachos February 13, 2016
Oh! Happy Valentine's Day! I split this between 2, 6" spring forms (somehow, smaller cakes mean less binging). They took 5 extra minutes on the first bake. The extra batter filled the sunken crater except for that 1/2" rim, looked pretty--not perfectly smooth, but very attractive. And the taste. Whoa.
 
gina February 13, 2016
I am contemplating making this recipe as individual cakes in 5" springform pans. Other than not as much gooey area overall would there be any other drawbacks?
 
Melissa B. February 11, 2016
I decided to make this last night, but did not read all the way through about the cooling and waiting etc. I didn't have time for that so just cooked the whole thing and ate. Amazing! Just had the last piece with ice cream ?
 
SelEatsIt February 8, 2016
This is a great receipe! My family loved it...
 
Author Comment
Sarah J. February 9, 2016
Glad to hear it! Hooray!