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A Week of Chocolate Valentines for
Bon Appétit — Day 6

From Canal House Cooks Every Day (Andrews McMeel, 2012)


serves 8

Like most chocolate lovers, we think that if you are going to the trouble of cooking with chocolate rather than just eating it in its pure and heavenly state, you better make it really good. If memory serves us, we first had this cake at Maida Heatter’s Miami house overlooking Biscayne Bay. No one can bake like Maida—she just has the touch. And this flourless chocolate cake was no exception. It had a crisp sugary crust that collapsed over its rich mousselike filling. Maida got the recipe from pastry chef Mark Allen, of the long-gone New York City restaurant Foodworks. He learned to make the cake at the Culinary Institute of America. And now we make it. Good recipes pass round and round, year after year. Every time we make this cake, we think of wonderful Maida.

8 ounces unsalted butter,
at room temperature (plus some
for greasing the pan)

1 cup granulated sugar,
plus ¼ cup for the pan

10 ounces semisweet or
bittersweet chocolate, chopped

¼ cup espresso or
very strong black coffee

8 eggs, separated
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
¼ teaspoon salt
Powdered sugar

Preheat the oven to 300°. Grease a nonstick tube or bundt pan liberally with butter. Sprinkle the ¼ cup of sugar into the pan and shake to coat the bottom and sides with the sugar. Some sugar will fall to the bottom of the pan, that’s just fine.

Heat the chocolate and coffee together in a heavy small saucepan set over a larger pan filled with simmering water over medium heat, and whisk until melted and smooth. Remove from the heat and set aside to cool for about 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, beat the butter with ¾ cup of the sugar in the bowl of a standing mixer or with an hand mixer on medium speed until pale yellow and very fluffy, about 5 minutes. Beat in the egg yolks one at a time, beating until very fluffy, about 5 minutes. Add the vanilla. Fold the cooled melted chocolate into the batter. Set aside.

In a clean bowl with clean beaters, beat the egg whites and salt together on medium speed until frothy, about 1 minute. Continue beating, gradually adding the remaining ¼ cup of sugar, until the whites are thick and hold a peak, about 5 minutes. Fold one-third of the whites into the chocolate batter, then fold in the remaining whites in 2 batches, taking care not to deflate the batter. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake for 2 hours. The cake will rise, then fall.

Cover the pan with a serving plate, turn the pan over, and unmold the cake onto the plate. It may collapse and look a bit messy, but that’s the nature of this cake. Serve warm, dusted with powdered sugar, if you like.




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