This is a great classic to have in your repertoire. It's a never fail recipe that's always been my go-to for dinner parties, and so incredibly easy. I love the crackly top and silky interior. It uses only 3 tablespoons of flour, and all I did this time to make it gluten free was to substitute almond flour instead of the all-purpose. It's not as dense and rich as some flourless cakes, so you can actually eat a piece without feeling sick. This one is very moist and slightly fluffy, with a mousse or souffle-like texture.
I don't add any flavoring to mine, and I just do a dusting of confectioner's sugar to top it off. But you can also use it as a blank slate to show off your creativity. You could add vanilla, espresso, liqueurs, even chili powder to add character. You could also top it with fruit, or drizzle it with a raspberry puree. You could also drizzle it with white chocolate for drama. And all kinds of flavored whipped creams would be perfect to go alongside. But I like it best as a pure and simple expression of chocolaty goodness.
For years I made this in cupcake form, but a spring-form, or cheesecake, pan makes it a little more elegant, and this way none of the precious cake gets stuck on the cupcake wrappers! It comes out of the oven puffed up high, but sinks down as it cools. The surface will have large cracks--- and you have to embrace the cracks--- they're part of the aesthetic.
This one's been in the family recipe file for years, I think it may have originally been ripped out of a magazine, but at this point it's a distant memory...
Belgian Chocolate Cake
oven to 325
9 ounces bittersweet (or semi-sweet) chocolate, cut in chunks
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut up
- Put the butter and then the chocolate in a microwave safe bowl. Microwave for 1 minute, then stir. Microwave for another 30 seconds, and stir again. If it's not completely melted, put it back in for another 15 seconds, and stir until the chocolate completely melts.
3 tablespoons almond flour (or regular flour)
5 large eggs, beaten with a whisk until well blended
powdered sugar for sifting on top
- Add the sugar and flour to the chocolate, then the eggs, and blend well. The mixture will thicken. Cover and set aside at room temperature for 30 minutes.
- Pour into an oiled 9 or 10 inch spring-form pan. Bake for about 50-55 minutes, until firm on top and cracks form across the surface. Cool on a rack, then remove the outer ring.
- Sift powdered sugar over the top.
Now I feel so much better for finally having shared. Enjoy it!