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Flourless Chocolate Cake

Chocolate lovers will adore this dessert. The edges and top develop a delicately crisp crust while the center remains moist and fudgy.

  • prep: 20 mins
    total time: 1 hour 10 mins
  • servings: 8

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Ingredients

  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, plus more for pan
  • 8 ounces bittersweet or semisweet chocolate, finely chopped
  • 6 large eggs, separated
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • Confectioners' sugar, for dusting
  • Sweetened whipped cream, for serving

Directions

  1. Step 1

    Preheat the oven to 275 degrees with the rack in the center. Butter the bottom and sides of a 9-inch springform pan. Set aside.

      In this step:

  2. Step 2

    Place butter and chocolate in a large heatproof bowl and microwave in 30-second increments, stirring each time, until completely melted. Let cool slightly. Whisk in egg yolks.

  3. Step 3

    In a large bowl, beat egg whites until soft peaks form. Gradually add granulated sugar, and continue beating until glossy stiff peaks form. Whisk 1/4 of the egg whites into the chocolate mixture; then gently fold in remaining egg whites.

      In this step:

  4. Step 4

    Pour batter into the prepared pan, and smooth the top with a rubber spatula. Bake until the cake pulls away from the sides of the pan and is set in the center, 45 to 50 minutes. Cool completely on a wire rack; remove sides of pan. Serve at room temperature, dusted with confectioners' sugar. Serve with whipped cream, if desired.

      In this step:

Source
Everyday Food, January/February 2004

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Reviews (41)

  • Chef Johnnie 11 Jul, 2014

    The cooking temperature was too low. Needs to be at 350+ to get that crispy crust. Unless you are using a confection oven...

  • nolu 15 Apr, 2014

    Thanks Sarah Carey! Made this recipe for a friend's birthday and she and her kids loved it. It was so easy snd fast to make, that I made it again that afternoon for my family---of course they loved it too.

  • Devilsfooddiva 24 Aug, 2013

    Recipe is not the recipe on the TV show. Instructions are problematic: when you write a recipe your readers rely on you to make the instructions clear enough to avoid mistakes on recipes they've never used before, like saying the chocolate/butter mixture should be at room temperature or lukewarm at the very most<-this is the major flopping point. Also, yolk temperature is best controlled by gradually mixing chocolate/butter little by little in the yolks rather than adding yolks to chocolate.

  • bossraines 17 Aug, 2013

    Fast, easy, and always a hit! I use semi-sweet chocolate and follow recipe as written without problems.
    Quite rich, so small pieces are enough.

  • sparkerina 17 Jun, 2013

    I just made this today, for Father's Day. I am just starting to get into baking, so I'm always a bit apprehensive when trying a new recipe. This was so easy to put together and it came out perfectly. Everyone loved it and went back for seconds! I will definitely be making this again!!!

  • elleceephoto 6 Apr, 2013

    SO easy and delicious! Followed the recipe exactly and it turned out amazing. This is one of the best gluten free desserts I have made that still satisfies that cake texture I miss without the using flour. Will definitely be making this again!

  • lontell 25 Mar, 2013

    Excellant-came out perfect and teasted wonderful...easy as can !

  • Ena Rovner 9 Mar, 2013

    After wasting 2 dozens eggs, I had the patience to look through about 20 reviews right here and someone mentioned that this recipe will never work unless the butter and chocolate mixture is cooled to room temp. My 24 yolks CURDLED in the previous 4 attemtps not unlike the omelette recipe :-). To re-iterate, the recipe will work fine if you cool down the chocolate/butter mixture after double boiler. As a side note, I had to downgrade the chocolate from 70% (too intense and bitter) to 45-50% cocoa

  • EdnaNorquay 27 Feb, 2013

    The cake tasted very good but I wondered if the temperature was correct as it never fully set.

  • downeastdonna 9 Feb, 2013

    Yum! I do not have a springform pan, used a brownie type dish instead, we cut slices from the pan so it worked out fine. For the final step, I took the cooled chocolate mixture and mixed it into the egg whites with the mixer set on fold and it came out perfect both times I have made this. Will make again for company.

  • Apple Malch 29 Jul, 2012

    This recipe was very easy to make! It isn't an expensive recipe to make, as it doesn't require much! I would definitely make this one again, I do plan on playing with the butter to chocolate ratio because I found it to be a bit too rich compared to the crusty exterior!
    *Tip: Don't be nervous when you see large air bubbles or the cake expanding too much out of the pan, it will sink down into what the picture looks like!*

  • JB1311 13 May, 2012

    This turned out delicious! I was worried at first because the cake cooked up over the top of the round and did not 'pull away from the sides' like the recipe mentioned, but once it sat and cooled, it sank down into the delicious dense cake I was after. I did a total of 50 minutes baking time. I tempered the eggs, added a little chocolate to the yolks, before mixing them into the chocolate. I served it with a raspberry sauce and it was a HUGE hit! Will make again!

  • bandld 8 Nov, 2011

    Dear noele12,

    If the chocolate mixture were cold it would be hard and very difficult to whisk egg yolks into. I would recommend 1st, melting the chocolate and butter until warm but not liquid hot for the chocolate; stir more and heat less. 2nd, let this mixture sit while you attend to the whites. Then 3rd, whisk in the yolks just before the whites. I have made this recipe several times in varied climates and never had it fail, though it is in nature not a tall cake. Good luck.

  • noele12 12 Aug, 2011

    This recipe is a faliure. dont attempt it. The recipe needs to be re-written to explain that the chocolate mixture needs to be COLD before you mix the egg yolk! I attempted it twice and wasted alot of money. Very dissappointed!!!

  • ExistingBike 14 May, 2011

    Really delicious cake! And one of the few flourless chocolate cake recipes which doesn't include almond meal - perfect for my allergic nephew.

  • fhmrs 19 Apr, 2011

    Excellent recipe. Just added 1 tsp vanilla to original recipe. I can always trust Martha's recipes to turn out well.

  • Gt2BGFree 23 Dec, 2010

    Made this cake at least 50 times, Eggs must be cold to get the soft peaks, try adding flavored chips and it was wonderful..Loved the raspberry chocolate chips, trying dark chocolate mint tomorrow. This recipe is a hit for flour lovers.

  • spotter22 30 Jul, 2010

    i've made this many times. sometimes it looks exactly like the picture and sometimes it doesn't. always tastes great. except for the time i was in a rush and added the eggs to the chocolate when it was too hot, thus cooking the eggs. not so good. I always serve it with a flavored fresh whipped cream. Raspberry is my fav, but you could go any direction with that.

  • leepers 28 Apr, 2010

    Forgot to add in the inclusion of ingredients I wish to test for this recipe is kahlua/irish cream (Bailey's).

  • leepers 28 Apr, 2010

    I like the simplicity of this cake; however, I think that I will add cointreau/grand marnier,(with orange/lime zest) rum, or lavander to this to see how it comes out. I am not too fond of a lot of white sugar (sugar substitutes. excluding fruit-based/honey-based that I have tried are terrible in taste and in its' composition) but , I guess, it is a necessary component of making desserts.....just wish we didn't need so much of it to bake with.

  • arubababe 27 Apr, 2010

    What's the web site for Cook's Illustrated?

  • LovetheUK 27 Apr, 2010

    Have tried two recipes. For a neater looking presentation, no cracks, and foolproof outcome use the recipe from Cook's Illustrated instead. (No messy top. No sugar in the recipe. No guessing - internal temp of 140 is all that's needed.) With a little added coffee or coffee liqueur the chocolate flavor really charges through.

  • Marie_214 24 Feb, 2009

    This cake turned really well. I used 70% dark chocolate bars to give a deep and rich chocolate flavor. I served it alongside a dollop of amaretto mascarpone cream, which gave a smooth finish. It's easy to make and will impress.

  • Tryingsomethingnew 18 Feb, 2009

    This cake is by far one of my all time favorites!

  • Tryingsomethingnew 9 Feb, 2009

    This cake was perfect. It looked just like the picture and was really easy to make.

  • GFE 3 Feb, 2009

    I just posted on a flourless chocolate cake. Mine iss very similar, except you don't have to separate the eggs and there is a lovely glaze. Shirley

  • SanctuaryDesign 16 Sep, 2008

    I've made this recipe a few times now and it's always come out perfect and looks exactly like the photo.
    This time I'm going to sneak in a small amount of cinnamon to see how it is.

    It looks like a much more involved recipe than it truly is and yes, the previous poster said to let the cake cool completely before removing it from the spring form pan, she's correct. It will crack otherwise.

    Best,
    Priscilla
    Sanctuary Design
    Portland, Maine

  • detroiterchick 6 Aug, 2008

    I have made this cake many times and it is always yummy and fudgey, although it typically does not look like the photo above. Make sure to leave plenty of time for the cake to cool completely before removing it from the spring form pan. It will break apart otherwise - not pretty!

  • Alaskastylediva 17 Jul, 2008

    LOVE THIS! I made it with a raspberry sause, amazing. It was wonderful, light, moist and fluffy. the texture it great with the rasberry sauce. My whole office loved it.

  • joannamanvik 10 Jul, 2008

    does the cake really comes out as it looks on the pic?

  • dundeegal2 20 Apr, 2008

    After years of being pretty sick of this dish (very popular in the 80's) I tried it again and we all really enjoyed it and wolfed it down. It was dense but not overly cloying. Made with my teenage son and he has already requested we make it again.

  • vilmajames 3 Apr, 2008

    Very light cake, easy to make. Comes out perfect every time!

  • JWBeas 23 Feb, 2008

    Thank you francinedonnely. I thought I was going a little nuts when I would remember an ingredient on the show that then wasn't included in the recipe online.

  • francinedonnelly 20 Feb, 2008

    The recipe John followed on the show is at pbs.org.
    All of the recipes are there as well.

  • serendipity1212 16 Feb, 2008

    I noticed that the recipe on the TV show is different than this one also. I did a search and I think that the flourless chocolate cake on the epicurious website is closer to the one made on the TV show.

  • sweetnancy 14 Feb, 2008

    My sister made this cake from the watching the TV show last weekend. It was delicious! But upon downloading the recipe I find that the TV recipe is COMPLETELY different from this recipe to print. The ingredients, the technique, the oven temp. NOT THE SAME AT ALL!! WHY? This recipe to print is from Everyday Food issue # 9.
    Can't you print the same as was on TV?

  • SmittenKitten 28 Jan, 2008

    THE best chocolate cake recipe I've ever come across, hands down. Serve with real whipped cream, and I guarantee people will freak out. Always the first to go when there is more than one dessert to choose from!

  • cowgirl_bobbi 4 Jan, 2008

    Donna S served this at Branson. She cut it in 2 inch wedges and set one on end over-lapping the other. She topped with whipped cream and a strawberry. It was very rich.
    You do not need a big piece.

  • lacolazione 23 Dec, 2007

    i've made this numerous times, and it's always been spectacular. the choice of chocolate is very, very important; valrhona is the one i usually use. also, i think that bittersweet works better than semisweet in this particular recipe.

  • lacolazione 23 Dec, 2007

    i've made this numerous times,

  • coastatlast 7 Nov, 2007

    I can't wait to try this out if I refine some of the ingredients to the South Beach diet and see if it will work. Details later....