I turned 24 on January 9, and wanted to make a cake to celebrate. (Yes I made my own :)) I knew it had to be chocolate, and I’ve had my eye on this Chocolate Intensity Cake for a while now. The Daring Bakers made this cake in February 2007 and gave it rave reviews about how rich it was. Perfect!
I am one of those people who has a high tolerance for rich desserts. I’ve never had to stop eating something because it is “too rich.” I remember two years ago when we were visiting David’s family at Christmas and this became the topic of discussion. His cousin’s husband was talking about how he had a big sweet tooth and loved eating chocolate. I told him that I did too, but he still insisted that he could probably eat sweets more than me. David jumped in and told him that he didn’t think anyone could have a bigger sweet tooth than me! That night we went out to dinner and one of the dessert choices was a flourless chocolate cake, which is known to be very rich and chocolaty. He came fairly close to finishing his piece. I finished mine completely AND helped David finished his. They were impressed. I guess I won :)
Flourless chocolate cake has been on my list of things to make, and I thought this would be a good time to try it. I halved the recipe and made it in two 4.5-inch springform pans. This was exactly what I was hoping for. The cake was smooth and chocolaty and was intensified by the glaze. If you are a chocolate lover, you must make this! It was the perfect way to follow our dinner at Soby’s, which is our favorite restaurant.
Chocolate Intensity (from Tish Boyle’s The Cake Book)
Makes one 9-inch cake
8 ounces bittersweet chocolate (preferably 62% cocoa), finely chopped
12 ounces (3 sticks) unsalted butter, cut into pieces
1 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup brewed coffee
6 large eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/8 tsp salt
Preheat oven to 350º F. Butter the bottom and sides of a 9-inch round cake pan. Line the bottom with a parchment round and butter the parchment. (If you’re using a pan with a removable bottom like a springform, make sure to wrap the pan with 2 or 3 layers of foil.)
Place chopped chocolate in a large bowl.
In a saucepan over medium-high heat, stir butter, sugar and coffee until the butter is melted and mixture is boiling. Pour the hot mixture over your chopped chocolate. Let stand for 1 minute then gently stir until chocolate is melted and the mixture is smooth.
In a medium bowl, whisk the eggs vigorously until blended. Whisk in the vanilla and salt. Slowly add about 3/4 cup hot chocolate mixture to the eggs, whisking constantly. (Tempering the eggs with a little bit of the hot chocolate mixture will prevent “scrambled eggs” when combining the two mixtures.) Add the egg mixture to the hot chocolate mixture and whisk to combine well.
Strain the batter through a sieve (to catch any cooked egg bits) and then pour batter into prepared pan. Set cake pan in a large roasting pan and fill the pan with enough hot water to come halfway up the sides of the cake pan. Bake for 35-45 minutes, until the center is shiny and set but still a bit jiggly. Transfer cake pan to a cooling rack and cool for 20 minutes.
Run a thin knife around the edge of the pan to loosen the cake. Place a cardboard round on top of the pan and invert the cake onto it. Remove pan and carefully remove the parchment paper. Refrigerate the cake for at least 2 hours before glazing with chocolate glaze.
6 ounces bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
2/3 cup heavy whipping cream
1 tsp vanilla extract
Place chopped chocolate in a medium bowl.
In a small saucepan, bring the cream to a boil. Remove pan from heat and add the chopped chocolate. Let stand for 1 minute then gently stir until chocolate is melted and the glaze is smooth. Gently stir in the vanilla. Transfer glaze to a small bowl and cover the surface of the glaze with plastic wrap and let cool for 5 minutes at room temperature before using.
To glaze the cake:
Place the chilled cake, still on the cake round, on a wire rack set over a baking sheet. Slowly pour the hot glaze onto the center of the cake. Smooth the glaze over the top and sides, letting the excess drip onto the baking sheet.
Scrape the extra glaze from the baking sheet and put it in a small ziploc bag. Seal the bag and cut a tiny hole in one of the bottom corners. Gently squeeze the bag over the top of the cake to drizzle the glaze in a decorative pattern. Refrigerate the cake at least one hour before serving.