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Flourless Chocolate Cake

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The best part about this flourless cake is that it doesn't require any flour alternatives. It's just the perfect cake that happens to have zero flour. Cocoa powder and eggs give it all the lift and structure it needs. Elegant and sleek, this is the cake I make most whenever I'm having dinner guests or need to throw together a quick and easy dessert for a party. It's can be made ahead of time, takes minimal effort, any gluten-free guests can still enjoy, and most importantly it always elicits oohs and aahs when I pour the ganache on just before serving. 

How is this cake gluten-free? Do I need to buy any special ingredients to substitute for the flour?

Nope. The magic of this cake is that it’s naturally gluten-free. It relies on pantry staples such as cocoa and eggs to provide structure and lift, without requiring any specialty ingredients or flour alternatives. That means you can easily make this cake at a moment’s notice, without a trip to the grocery store.

How do I make sure my cake stays soft and fudgy in the center?

The short answer? Don’t over-bake it! To get that soft, fudgy center, your cake should only be in the oven for about 35 minutes. Of course, baking times can vary slightly, depending on your oven, but you’ll be able to tell when it’s done by taking a peek at the cake and poking it gently in the center: You’ll know it’s ready to come out when a matte crust forms on top and the center feels just barely set.

How do I get this cake out of the pan?

This cake has a delicate texture, so we don’t recommend flipping it out of a standard pan. Instead, we suggest baking it in a springform pan with removable sides. That way you can just remove the sides and slide it off the base. If you don’t have a springform pan or prefer to bake in a standard round cake pan, make sure you let the cake cool completely before flipping it out onto a platter or cutting board. At that point, you can leave it upside down. Since it will be topped with ganache, you won’t be able to tell the top from the bottom, and it’s better to serve it upside down than try to flip it again.

What is ganache and how do I make it?

Ganache is a mix of chocolate melted into heavy cream. This may sound super fancy, but it’s actually very simple. To make it, chop your chocolate into even pieces and place it in a heatproof bowl. Warm your cream on the stove over medium heat until almost simmering, then pour it over the chopped chocolate. Let it sit by itself for a minute, then stir the cream and chocolate together until homogenous. And then it’s ready—told you it was easy! (P.S.: if you have leftover ganache, check out these other amazing recipes you can use it in.)

Can I make this cake in advance? How do I store it?

You can definitely bake this cake the day before. We recommend letting it cool in the pan to room temperature before covering it with plastic wrap and popping it into the refrigerator. The day you’d like to serve it, pull the cake out of the refrigerator about 1 hour ahead of time and remove it from the pan. Right before you’re ready to eat, top it with freshly made ganache and serve. Any leftovers can be stored in an airtight container for up to 4 days.

If you love this cake, then you also need to check out our perfect flourless fudge cookies

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Yields: 10 servings
Prep Time: 0 hours 10 mins
Total Time: 1 hour 30 mins
For the cake

Cooking spray

6 oz.

bittersweet chocolate, roughly chopped

1/2 c.

(1 stick) butter, cut into large chunks

1 tsp.

instant espresso powder

1/4 c.

hot water

1 c.

granulated sugar


large eggs

3/4 c.

unsweetened cocoa powder (preferably Dutch process)

For the ganache
1/2 c.

heavy cream

1 c.

semisweet chocolate chips

Raspberries, for serving

  1. Preheat oven to 350° and grease an 8" springform pan with cooking spray. 
  2. Make cake: Place a small saucepan filled halfway with water over medium heat and bring to a simmer. Place bittersweet chocolate and butter in a heatproof bowl and set over the simmering pot, ensuring the water does not touch the bottom of the bowl. Stir until chocolate and butter are completely melted. Turn off heat and remove bowl from saucepan. 
  3. Dissolve espresso powder in hot water. Add sugar and espresso to melted chocolate and whisk until completely combined then add eggs and whisk to combine. Stir in cocoa powder.  
  4. Pour batter into prepared springform pan and bake until just set in the middle and a thin crust forms, about 35 minutes.  
  5. Let cake cool for 15 minutes, then remove sides of springform pan. Let cake cool completely. 
  6. Meanwhile, make ganache: Place heavy cream in a small saucepan and bring to a simmer. Place chocolate chips in a heatproof bowl, then pour hot cream over chocolate chips. Let sit 1 minute, then whisk to combine. 
  7. Pour ganache over cake and smooth with an offset spatula. Place in refrigerator until set, if desired, about 10 minutes. 
  8. Top with raspberries to serve. 

Parker Feierbach
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