This cake is amazing. One of the simplest, most delicious cakes I know how to make. I have never had a bad review, not even the time I accidentally used way too much butter (five ingredients, you’d think I could do it correctly, and yet…) or the time I overbaked it (which you should never, ever do – this is a cake to be underbaked, if anything). It doesn’t have to be iced (it’s perfect as is), it can be eaten warm, it can be eaten cold two days later. In fact, it’s better two days later.
But my favorite thing about this cake is that it’s gluten free. I have no problem with eating gluten, and so I pretty much refuse to learn how to use alternative flours. However, I also have many lovely people in my life with severe intolerances and even Celiac disease, so I have built up a good repertoire of flourless recipes for their sakes. Because everyone should get to enjoy a nice cake every now and again.
A quick public service announcement: with this particular cake I only had to worry about one girl with a gluten intolerance, so I could be a bit more cavalier with my ingredients. However, if you are baking this for someone with Celiac, please be very careful about contamination. Use new butter (if you’ve used the same stick of butter to butter your toast, you have almost certainly contaminated it). Make sure all your ingredients are gluten-free, and if, like me, you have ever used your flour measuring cup in your sugar, get a fresh bag of sugar. And wash your measuring cups thoroughly with soap before using, just in case. It may seem like nothing, but even slight contamination can do very real damage to your poor Celiac friend.
Winning Hearts & Minds (Flourless!) Cake
(Adapted very slightly from Orangette.)
200 grams (7 ounces) dark chocolate (I used 72%), roughly chopped
200 grams (7 ounces) unsalted butter, cut into 1/4-1/2 inch cubes
1 1/3 cups sugar
1 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder
1. Preheat oven to 375 Fahrenheit. Butter an 8-inch round cake pan. Line the bottom with parchment and butter the parchment.
2. Place the butter and chocolate in a double-boiler, or in a heatproof mixing bowl over a pot of simmering water. Heat, stirring regularly, until fully melted. Remove from heat.
3. Add the sugar, mixing thoroughly. Let cool for a few minutes.
4. Add the eggs one at a time, stirring thoroughly after each. Stir in the cocoa powder. Your batter should be silky and, in Orangette’s words, “utterly gorgeous.”
5. Pour batter into the prepared cake pan and bake about 20-25 minutes, until just set in the middle. You’ll want to start checking at about the 20-minute mark, and take the cake out as soon as the middle stops jiggling. Let cool in its pan for about 10-15 minutes, then carefully remove and let cool completely. I would generally cut this into 8 wedges (maybe 10 or 12 if you really want to stretch it) though as you can see from the photos, I cut this one into cubes so it would go further.