For the longest time now I’ve been wanting to make a chocolate flourless cake. I’ve never made one before. I’ve never even eaten one before. The concept really intrigued me, although I just assumed the texture would be very similar to that of a brownie, which it was. But still! I was really excited when I was asked to make one alongside a handful of other desserts for a bridal shower. The shower was Latin themed so they chose a Mexican style flourless chocolate cake. What makes it Mexican? Usually it’s just the addition of chili powder, but there is special “Mexican chocolate” you can purchase.
This cake originally called for 3 tablespoons of ancho chili powder PER cake. I almost died when I saw this. I had never used chili powder in a dessert before so I was pretty skeptical as far as to how much really affects the dessert. But I knew there was no way I would ever put 3 TB in a cake. I settled on just 1 Tb and boy am I glad that I did. Even that had a bite to it! For those of you that aren’t familiar with the “spiced” chocolate sensation, you get the chocolate taste up front and than kind of as an aftertaste a kick of heat. I can’t say that it’s something that I really liked, but to each their own…
The texture of this cake was awesome though! The center collapses and creates this fudgy, dense center, very much like a brownie. Towards the edges where it’s a little bit more risen, it is slightly more cake like, but as a whole this cake is definitely more brownie than cake.
And to balance out the heat and create one fantastic impression, I added a thick ganache to the top. I don’t like my ganache to be super thin. I like a little thickness to mine. I start by adding about half the recommended amount of cream and go from there, never using as much as recommended. I find that if it’s too thin, most of the ganache just pours off. It’s almost wasteful!
- 2 sticks unsalted butter, plus extra for pan
- 8 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped
- ¼ cup unsweetened cocoa powder, sifted, plus more for dusting
- 1 tablespoon ancho chili powder
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 6 large eggs, separated
- 1 cup sugar
- 8 ounces good semisweet chocolate chips
- ⅓ cup heavy cream
- Preheat the oven to 350°F.
- Lightly butter the bottom and sides of a 9-inch springform pan. Line the bottom with parchment paper and butter the paper. Set aside.
- In the top of a double boiler, melt the chocolate and butter over medium-low heat. Remove from the heat and whisk in the cocoa, chili powder, and salt.
- In a bowl, whisk together the egg yolks with ½ cup of the sugar until thick and pale yellow in color. Fold the chocolate mixture into the yolks and mix well.
- In another bowl, whisk the egg whites until thick. Whisking, add the remaining ½ cup sugar gradually and continue to beat to form a light meringue. In several additions, fold into the chocolate mixture, being careful not to deflate the meringue. Gently pour into the prepared pan and bake until the edges are set but the center is still moist and a few crumbs stick to a tester, about 45 minutes.
- Remove from the oven and cool completely in the pan on a wire rack.
- Run a thin, sharp knife around the edge of the cake. Remove the pan sides and gently lift away the cake. Invert onto a cake plate, remove the bottom and peel away the parchment.
- For the Ganache: In a double boiler or microwave, melt together chocolate and heavy cream, stirring until smooth. Use to top cake if desired.
adapted slightly from Emeril Legasse