This French chocolate cake resembles a cross between a lava cake and a brownie. Because there are five eggs in the batter to provide structure, the cake works well gluten free. It’s deliciously gooey when warm, so I recommend heating the leftovers in the microwave before eating.
Adapted from Baking: From My Home to Yours
Yield: 9″ cake
- 5 large eggs
- 9 ounces bittersweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
- 1 cup sugar
- 5 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into chunks
- 2 tablespoons coffee OR water
- 1/3 cup gluten-free OR all-purpose flour
- Pinch of salt
- 4 oz bittersweet chocolate, coarsely chopped OR semisweet chocolate chips
- 1/2 cup heavy cream
- 2 teaspoons agave nectar OR light corn syrup
- Center a rack in the oven and preheat the oven to 350ºF. Butter a 9-inch springform pan, line the bottom with parchment paper, butter the paper, dust the inside of the pan with flour, and tap out the excess. Place the pan on a baking sheet lined with parchment or a silicone mat.
- Separate the eggs, putting the whites in a mixer bowl or other large bowl and the yolks in a small bowl.
- Set a heatproof howl over a saucepan of simmering water and add the chocolate, sugar, butter, and coffee OR water. Alternatively, you can combine them directly in a small nonstick pot over very low heat, and stir constantly to make sure the chocolate doesn’t burn.
- Stir until the chocolate and butter are melted; the sugar may be grainy and that’s fine.
- Transfer the bowl to the counter and let the mixture sit for three minutes.
- Using a rubber spatula, stir in the yolks one by one, then fold in the flour.
- Working with the whisk attachment of the mixer or a hand mixer, beat the egg whites with the pinch of salt until they hold firm but glossy peaks.
- Using the spatula, stir about one quarter of the beaten whites into the batter to lighten it, then gently fold in the rest.
- Scrape the batter into the pan and jiggle the pan from side to side a couple of times to even the batter.
- Bake for 35-45 minutes (it will be closer to the upper limit for the gluten-free cake), or until the cake has risen evenly. It might rise around the edges and you’ll think it’s done, but give it a few minutes more and the center will puff too. The top will firm (it will probably be cracked) and won’t shimmy when tapped; a thin knife inserted into the center should come out just slightly streaked with chocolate.
- Transfer the pan to a cooling rack and let the cake rest for 5-10 minutes.
- Run a blunt knife gently around the edges of the cake and remove the sides of the pan.
- Carefully turn the cake over onto a rack and remove the pan bottom and parchment paper. Invert the cake onto another rack. If using gluten-free flour, glaze the cake before it cools all the way, because the cake dries out easily and you want the glaze to hold in moisture. If using all-purpose flour, you can cool the cake to room temperature. As the cake cools, it may sink.
- Carefully turn the cooled cake over onto another rack so you’ll be glazing the flat bottom, and place the rack over a baking sheet lined with parchment paper to catch any drips.
- Put the chocolate in a small heatproof bowl.
- Melt the chocolate over a pan of simmering water or in a microwave oven – the chocolate should be just melted and warm, but not hot.
- Meanwhile, bring the cream to a boil in a small saucepan.
- Pour the hot cream over the chocolate and stir very gently with a rubber spatula until the mixture is smooth and shiny.
- Stir in the agave nectar OR corn syrup.
- Pour the glaze over the cake and smooth the top with a long metal icing spatula. Don’t worry if the glaze drips unevenly down the sides of the cake – it will just add to its charm. If using gluten-free flour, try to seal the entire cake with glaze.
- Allow the glaze to set at room temperature or, if you’re impatient, slip the cake into the fridge for about 20 minutes. If the glaze dulls in the fridge, just give it a little gently heat from a hairdryer.
- You can store any leftovers covered in the fridge. Reheat a slice for 10-15 seconds in the microwave to restore its warm gooeyness.