I woke up with two pimples (note: don’t trust unmarked beauty store lotion samples, even if they’re free. …Especially if they’re free). I walked into the coffee table and smashed my knee. I cursed, loudly. It was not yet 9am.
I took a cleansing walk down to the farmer’s market, which was nice and cleansing until I ended up just eating a bunch of cheese by the apple stall. Like, a lot of cheese. Fine. Back at home, I attempted a few hours of work — I could at least be a little bit productive.
Apparently not. Work? How about some mindless staring at a computer screen? Good enough?
Holy mackerel. Enough with this day. Time to make some dinner, curl up on the couch and watch the Golden Globes! Tina Fey and Amy Pohler to the rescue!
Amy and Tina were amazing. My dinner? Not. (Note: trying to revive a week-old batch of tomato soup by adding some cubes of day-old sourdough and calling it bread soup? Is gross. Ask Ben. Actually, don’t — I’ve asked him never to speak of it again.)
Alas. Not a terrible, horrible, no-good very-bad day, but one I’d like to put behind me. And did you know? The number one remedy for a day is flourless chocolate cake. It’s true. Really, how could it not be?
Okay. Today is a new day. We’ve got cake. Let’s get after it.
Flourless Chocolate Cake
I’ve made this cake twice now. Once to celebrate Passover, and once to celebrate a fabulous gluten-free birthday. Both times I’ve been hard-pressed not to dive into the thing before it finishes cooling on the rack – the smell of warm chocolate and butter is a hard one to resist, I think you’ll agree. This is where the ramekins come in handy — who’s to know if one little cake swiftly disappears before dinnertime? No one, that’s who.
Adapted from Bon Appetit, October 2002
- 2 sticks unsalted butter
- 8 ounces semisweet chocolate
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 1/4 cups granulated sugar
- 1 cup unweetened Dutch-process cocoa powder
- 1 teaspoon espresso powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 6 large eggs
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a 10″ round springform pan, and line the bottom with parchment paper. Grease the parchment, too. If you want to make individual cakes, you can use 8-10 small ramekins (no need to grease them).
In a small saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat. Once melted, remove from heat and stir in the semisweet chocolate, continuing to stir until chocolate is smooth and fully melted. Add the vanilla extract and stir to combine. Set aside.
In a large bowl, whisk together the sugar, cocoa powder, espresso powder, and salt. Add the eggs and whisk thoroughly until smooth. Add the chocolate/butter mixture to the sugar/cocoa/egg mixture, and whisk until well incorporated. Pour batter into prepared pan (or divide among ramekins, filling each 3/4 full), and bake until a tester comes out with just a few moist crumbs, 40 – 45 minutes (check sooner if using ramekins, they should be done after only 30-35 minutes).
Allow the cake to cool in the pan on a rack (cake will fall a bit in the center). Once completely cool, run a knife around the edge of the pan before releasing cake from springform (if using ramekins, you don’t need to invert them – they can be eaten straight out of the dish). Serve dusted with powdered sugar, alongside fat spoonfuls of lightly sweetened whipped cream or your favorite ice cream (vanilla is good, coffee is better). This cake will keep for a few days well-wrapped in the refrigerator.
Makes one 10″ cake (or 8-10 small ramekin cakes), serves 8-10.