I am in love with this flourless chocolate cake recipe from Food52 by Sarah Jampel — it's a super-rich dark chocolate cake with an amazingly light texture and a molten top layer of lava-like chocolate. Yes, you read correctly, this cake frosts itself. Can your chocolate cake do that?! Sure, it's delightful with the addition of fresh berries and whipped cream, but this cake can stand all on its own.
The list of ingredients is short and sweet – but not too sweet – with that richness from the chocolate and butter, there's no need to add much else. I made a few minor changes to Sarah's recipe, swapping out sugar for honey, and halving the amount. I also added a bit of cream of tartar to the egg whites, so they whip up without the sugar.
With so few ingredients, this cake is really all about the magic of baking — separating the eggs and putting them back together, and adding chocolate along the way. You make a fluffy, soupy mess and turn it into divine chocolate cake. You will need a few hours — to assemble, bake, cool and bake again, and it's well worth the time.
Here's a photo of the finished cake, from Food52 photographer Julia Gartland, as mine was eaten completely before I thought to take a photo. It really was that good!
photo from Food52 photographer Julia Gartland
Ingredients for one 9-inch cake:
1/2 pound bittersweet or semisweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
1/2 pound (2 sticks) unsalted butter
3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 pinch salt
7 large eggs, separated
- 3/4 cup raw honey or more to taste (I'd use no more than 1 cup total)
- 1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar
Preheat the oven to 350° F. Butter a 9-inch springform pan and line the bottom with parchment paper. Butter the paper.
In a large saucepan over low heat, melt the chopped chocolate and the butter. Add the cocoa powder and a pinch of salt. Whisk until smooth. Set aside.
In the bowl of a stand mixer or in a medium bowl using an electric mixer, beat the egg yolks with all the honey until pale and light, about 3 minutes. Set aside.
In another bowl, using clean beaters, beat the egg whites and cream of tartar until the whites are firm and glossy.
Fold the chocolate into the egg yolk mixture until barely combined. Fold in the egg whites just until no white streaks remain.
Spoon 2 cups of the batter into a measuring cup and refrigerate—this will become your chocolate lava topping.
Scrape the remaining batter into the prepared pan and smooth the top with a spatula. Bake for 25 minutes, or until the cake is puffed and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
Cool the cake completely on a wire rack. Don't panic if the sides of your cake has pulled away from the pan and the center is a bit sunken. This is a crater into which you will pull the reserved batter. At this point, you can cover the cake and refrigerate for up to 2 days.
Remove the belt/girdle of the completely cool springform pan and spread the reserved cake batter over the top of the cake (it will be thick, so be gentle), leaving a 1-inch border around the edge. Refrigerate the cake for at least 1 hour.
Preheat the oven to 400° F. Bake the cake for 10 to 15 minutes, or until a thin crust forms on top and the batter is soft and creamy beneath the crust.
Let the cake cool for 10 minutes, then cut into wedges and serve warm. To store, cover the cooled cake in plastic wrap and keep in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. The pudding-like top will become delightfully mousse-y.