Today I am sharing a flourless chocolate cake recipe by King Arthur Baking Company. This cake can be eaten on Passover and it’s gluten-free! And it tastes amazing! It is like a super chocolate-y and rich brownie, with a smooth texture.
The original recipe calls for a glaze, which I didn’t make this time. Instead, I sifted powdered sugar over a heart-shaped stencil I made to finish the cake.
This recipe is great for Passover, and also other occasions - it’s really good for the winter holidays, in my opinion, and for any special occasion if you have a chocolate-lover in the house. Slicing it thinly is super delicious since the cake is so rich, and that also means the cake will feed many! It’s also totally appropriate to have a larger piece.
1 cup bittersweet or semisweet chocolate chips —> I used mini semisweet chocolate chips because that is what I had
8 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 to 2 teaspoons espresso powder (optional)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract (optional)
3 large eggs
1/2 cup Dutch-processed cocoa powder —> what is Dutch-processed cocoa powder?
Note: Additional ingredients needed if you are making glaze according to original recipe. If you are stenciling a design like I did, you will need powdered sugar.
To make the cake:
1. Preheat oven to 375F. Trace parchment paper on bottom of 8” round metal cake pan and cut circle to fit bottom of pan. Lightly grease 8” round metal cake pan and parchment circle, laying the circle in the bottom of the pan.
2. Recipe calls for melting chocolate and butter in a microwave, or on the stove over low heat - I did the latter. I started with cold butter, so I let it melt in a pot on the stove on low heat by itself first. When it was partly melted, I added the chocolate chips. Then I let them melt together on very low heat, while I stirred. When the butter and chocolate are completely or almost completely melted, take off heat to stir and melt completely. Transfer melted butter and chocolate to large mixing bowl.
3. Stir in sugar, salt, espresso powder, and vanilla extract. The recipe calls for 1 to 2 teaspoons of espresso powder depending on how strong a mocha flavor you want. Add at least 1 teaspoon to deepen the chocolate flavor. Since I didn’t make the glaze this time, I wanted a somewhat stronger flavor from the espresso powder, so I added a scant 1 1/2 teaspoons of espresso powder. If I had prepared with the glaze, I would have added 1 teaspoon. (If you like a stronger hint of mocha, try 2 teaspoons.) I feel the cake really benefits from at least 1 teaspoon of espresso powder (if you have it) as well as 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract.
4. Add eggs, beating briefly until smooth. Crack eggs into a bowl first, then pour them into the bowl with the chocolate mixture; have the cocoa powder ready. After the eggs, add the cocoa powder and mix to just combine.
Note: If when you go to add the eggs, your melted chocolate and butter have solidified a bit (mine did), stir in mixing bowl over warm oven (it should be preheating) to turn smooth again.
5. Spoon batter into prepared pan. My metal cake pan is 9” wide instead of 8”, so my cake was slightly thinner/shorter than recipe called for.
6. Bake. The recipe says to bake for 25 minutes. I baked mine for 20 minutes since my cake was slightly thinner in a 9” pan, but even so the sides were a little darker than I wanted. I think my oven might’ve been a bit high. —> Keep an eye on cake while it bakes; it is done when the top has formed a thin crust and a thermometer inserted in the center reads 200F.
7. Remove cake from oven and let cool in pan for 5 minutes.
8. When cake has cooled but is still a bit warm, loosen edges carefully with a knife and turn cake out onto dish. The top becomes the bottom, and if it crumbles a bit at the edges that is OK.
Let the cake cool completely before decorating - adding powdered sugar or glazing.
To stencil the cake:
trace or freehand the design of your choice onto heavier-weight paper (sketch paper, card-stock, a file folder, etc.)
use a scissor or craft knife to cut out the design - remember, whatever is empty in the design will show up in sugar on the cake, while the parts of the cake that are covered with the stencil while you’re sifting will be naked in the final design
lay stencil over the cake and sift powdered sugar lightly over/around the stencil (depending on your design)
very carefully lift the stencil off - avoiding sprinkling any sugar in the naked-cake parts of your design
My design has a naked heart in the middle, with the rest of the cake lightly dusted with sugar, so my stencil was simply a heart. After laying the stencil in the middle of the cake, I sifted sugar lightly around the heart - including the sides of the cake, carefully, without moving the stencil. Then I carefully lifted the stencil off.
To serve really neat slices, do as King Arthur Baking Company suggests - use a sharp knife dipped in hot water and wiped dry for each slice, repeating between each slice.
I highly recommend trying this recipe for Passover, or anytime!
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Thanks for reading. And to all celebrating: Happy Passover!