This is a spectacular and rich dessert from The Silver Palate Cookbook that my friend Robin Kessler introduced us to on our 40th Anniversary. For those of you who are chocolate lovers, this is a must-make! This is a cake in the same way that Cheesecake is a cake – it has the texture of a really dense brownie. It is so rich, it serves 20. In a word, it is DIVINE! We served it with Creme Anglaise a L’Orange, an orange-flavored custard sauce – I’ll post the recipe tomorrow. OMG!!!
1½ cups plus 4 Tbsp (3½ sticks) Unsalted Butter
2 cups Sugar, plus extra for coating the pan
14 oz Bittersweet Chocolate – the darkest you can find (Ghirardelli Bittersweet Chips work)
3 Tbsp cold Water
12 Eggs, separated
1 cup Unbleached All-Purpose Flour, sifted
Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Grease and sugar a 10-inch springform pan and tap out any excess sugar.
Grate or break the chocolate into small pieces if not using chips. Place in the top of a double boiler with cold water. Melt over simmering water, whisking until smooth. Let the chocolate cool slightly.
Beat the egg yolks with the sugar until they are thick and pale yellow and form a ribbon when they fall from the beater. Fold in the warm chocolate. Stir in the very soft butter and then fold in the sifted flour. Mix thoroughly, but gently.
Beat the egg whites until stiff. Stir in a large spoonful of the chocolate mixture into the beaten egg whites. Mix well. Pour this mixture into the chocolate mixture; fold together gently, incorporating the white completely. Be very careful at this stage not to over mix.
Turn the batter into the prepared pan. It will come close to the top of the pan. Set the pan on the center rack of the oven and bake 1 hour and 20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Cool on a rack until cool, then refrigerate until ready to serve.
Take the cake out of the refrigerator and gently remove the rim of the pan. Place on a plate, being careful to keep the cake from cracking. Dust with Confectioners’ sugar and cut into 20 pieces.
Serve with Crème Anglaise a l’Orange, Whipped Cream, or Flavored Whipped Cream if desired.