Very few things in life are as decadent as this gateau. I've yet to find someone who does not love it (except for those poor, misguided souls who dislike le chocolat). While this cake can be served on its own, simply topped with powdered sugar, I prefer to glaze it with chocolate ganache and top with an array of berries. The product of which is a stunning presentation sure to wow even the harshest critics. This recipe comes together quickly, easily and has a few different ingredient options so check those out in the notes, along with instructions on freezing it. You can also turn this round cake into a heart-shaped one parfait for Valentine's day.
French lesson du jour:
gateau - cake
le chocolat - chocolate
parfait - perfect
Flourless Chocolate Cake*
1 1/4 cup granulated sugar (250 grams) 8 ounces semi-sweet baking chocolate (such as Baker's premium baking bar), chopped into very small pieces
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, cut into several pieces
3 tsp pure vanilla extract
1/4 tsp kosher salt
1 1/2 tsp espresso powder, optional
5 extra large eggs
1/2 cup dutch process cocoa
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa
Heat oven to 350 degrees. Use cooking spray to grease a 9 inch springform pan, line bottom of the pan with parchment and then spray again. Place sugar in a medium sized bowl.
In a microwave safe bowl, place chopped chocolate and butter. Heat in the microwave at 30 second intervals until fully melted, stirring well at each interval. Pour melted butter and chocolate over the sugar and mix well. Add extract, salt and espresso powder, then combine. One at a time add the eggs, mixing well after each addition. Sift in the cocoa powder and stir until just combined.
Pour batter (it will be thick) into prepared pan and spread evenly. Bake in preheated oven for 25-30 minutes until set and a toothpick comes out with just a few crumbs on it. Allow to cool 5-10 minutes in pan, then release the pan. You can continue to cool on the pan base or invert the cake onto a plate to finish cooling. You can top the cooled cake with sifted powder sugar or serve with ice cream as is. Or, you can glaze it with the ganache recipe below.
Dark Chocolate Ganache
2 ounces (roughly a 1/4 cup) premium dark chocolate chips (Ghirardelli or Guittard work well)
2 ounces heavy cream (1/4 cup)
Place chocolate in a small glass bowl. Warm cream in microwave for about 30-45 seconds. You don't want it boil, just barely hot. Pour the hot cream over the chocolate chips. Let it sit for about 30 seconds and then gently stir to combine. Once fully combined, allow it to sit for about 5 minutes and then pour over the cake using a spatula to smooth the ganache over the top and down the sides. If the ganache is too runny simply add a small handful of chocolate chips to it, heat in microwave for about 10 seconds and stir well. If it is too thick, add a splash of cream and do the same.
If further decorating with fruits, pop the glazed cake in the fridge while you wash, dry well and cut the fruit. Then arrange on the cake as desired and serve immediately or refrigerate until serving.
- You do not have to use a springform pan (although it is very helpful if you have one). You can use a regular 9 inch cake pan, but make sure to grease it REALLY well and use parchment on the bottom.
- I prefer baking bars, but if using chocolate chips for convenience only use a high quality brand such as Ghirardelli or Guittard.
- As noted, espresso powder is optional, but does elevate the chocolate flavor very well without making it taste like coffee.
- If you only have large eggs, use 6 instead of 5.
- You can use one cup of one type of cocoa instead of two half cups of two different types.
- None of these substitutions will alter how absolutely divine this cake tastes. So simply do what is best for you!
This cake freezes incredibly well, both glazed and unglazed. The berries, however, will not freeze as well, so make sure to save that step for just before serving. To freeze, simply place the cake in the freezer on a cake board (or plate you are willing to keep in the freezer) for about 30 minutes until frozen. Then take Press and Seal or Saran Wrap and wrap the cake/board/plate tightly. Put back in the freezer where it can stay for several months. To thaw, place in the fridge for several hours or overnight. If serving cold, it can be cut straight from the fridge. If you'd like it room temperature, allow 1-2 hours on your counter to thaw properly, but remember to remove the saran wrap before putting it out to thaw.
Valentine's Heart Cake
Simply use a sharp knife to cut the cake into a heart shape. Eat all the scraps (no one needs to know), decorate and voila...the perfect Valentine's Day dessert!