Cake Dilema

Editor’s Note:  I’ve since done my dishes.  And cleaned the stove.  (I promise)

If I do my dishes, I can have some flourless chocolate cake.


If I do NOT do my dishes, I’m still going to have some flourless chocolate cake.

This is pretty much the story of my life.

I’m not sure where this recipe came from.  I think I found it somewhere on the Internet about fifteen years ago and printed it out in Windows Notepad.  The same page has basically sat in my recipe shoebox since then.

It’s not that it’s a BAD cake, it’s more a case of this cake occupying a niche that has been rendered irrelevant.  When I want a chocolate cake I make a fluffier old fashioned one.  If I want a dense torte, I’ll make this one.  If I want just pure chocolate goodness, I’ll do chocopots.  This particular cake requires a food processor, which means that I only make it at times in my life when have one.

Now I don’t say this to be glib.  But this cake – really tastes like chocolate. I mean that while the texture and mouthfeel of the cake are going to be dominated by the richness of the egg and butter, the range and depth of flavor is going to be dominated by the quality of the chocolate that you use.  So use the good stuff here.  You want complicated, fruity, acidic notes here, not just raw sweetness.

The method is pretty straightforward. Using a food processor speeds things up.

12 ounces chocolate, much of it should be semisweet, but add at least 4 ounces of high quality bittersweet.  Chopped.
3/4 cup boiling water
1 t espresso powder
6 eggs
three sticks of butter, softened.  Don’t hate
1 T vanilla
1 1/2 C sugar
pinch of salt.

Oven to 350.

Line a 9 by 12 round pan with a round of buttered parchment paper.  Butter the sides of the pan as well.

Place the chocolate, sugar, and espresso powder in your food processor and run it for about 20 seconds until finely ground.

With the motor still running, pour the boiling water through the feed tube and process for another 20 seconds until the chocolate is completely melted.  Scrape down the sides of your bowl with the spatula and process for another few seconds.

Add the butter and pulse until incorporated.   Add the eggs and vanilla and pulse until just combined.

Scrape into the pan, bake for 45-60 minutes- until the edges are puffy and the center is just set.

Allow to cool for 30 minutes in the pan. Extract the cake, invert, and allow to cool on a rack.  Refrigerate for 3 hours before serving, if you can.

11 thoughts on “Cake Dilema

  1. God, that looks good. And it would look even better with a giant blob of vanilla or coffee ice cream melting atop it.

    No hating of 3 sticks of butter from me, but then I still print out my recipes from Notepad.

  2. I kind of adore you for putting up a picture of your dirty dishes. You are like 1923875102395 times more brave than I am. And your kitchen is like 1037510939835 times more clean than mine. So don’t feel bad.

  3. Mmmm…Cake…mmm….Chocolate… cream….mmmm…..

    I don’t feel about my dishes bc you got yours up. Hah. : )

  4. Now this I HAVE to make! Once in a very great while I’ll crave chocolate – and I love a moist cake like this. Now, if I can get your “chocopots” recipe, I’ll be even happier.
    Oh, and * HAPPY NEW YEAR*!!!!

  5. Sara – Thank you, and yes, a good vanilla ice cream is pretty much mandatory. Thanks for visiting!

    Carter – you’re generous with your reassurance, and I appreciate that. But please keep in mind that I had to crop the worst stuff out of that picture. Let’s leave it at that.

    Amy – See above, but chocolate would always work.

    Katrina – I’ll send the recipe privately, I can’t have just EVERYBODY making them. haha.

  6. that looks righteous. alas, i never had the patience for baking. we bought cupcakes yesterday instead. one was called the Baba-Booey, and the other one was called The Elvis. It should have had bacon in it, but it didn’t.

    hope you’re well. it’s been awhile. happy new year.

  7. I love this! As a foodie that has no dishwasher, I totally feel your pain when it comes to cleaning out the sink. I often bride myself with chocolate as well … glad to know I’m not the only one.

  8. Thanks for visiting! Yeah, the dishes are a daily hassle. Fortunately, I have a LOT of dishes. They usually last the week. :)