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Fallen Chocolate Cake

This is a Fallen Chocolate Cake.  It’s not a fallen chocolate cake as in maybe it fell from grace, or oops! it fell off the table. It is fallen, as in the center of the cake freely gave itself to gravity after it came out of the oven. While it was cooling the center just sunk down and made this beautiful crater in which to house mounds of whipped cream and berries.  Truly, this cake is no fall from grace; it’s going to be the saving grace for my Fourth of July cookout.  See, I’m not very good at grilled burgers, but since this will finish the meal who will even remember the meat? 

Fallen Chocolate Cake
Serves 8-12
from Bon Appetit

1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, cut into 1-inch pieces, plus more for pan
1/4 cup plus 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar, divided, plus more for pan
10 ounces semisweet or bittersweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
6 large eggs
2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3/4 teaspoon kosher salt or scant 1/2 teaspoon table salt

Assorted fresh berries
Lightly sweetened whipped cream, 1 two 2 cups, optional

A 9-inch-diameter springform pan

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Lightly butter bottom and sides of springform pan and dust with sugar, tapping out excess.

Combine chocolate, oil, and 1/2 cup butter in a large heatproof bowl.  Set over a saucepan of barely simmering water and heat until melted, stirring often.  Remove bowl and set aside.

Separate 4 eggs, placing whites and yolks in separate bowls.  Make sure to not get any yolk into the whites.  To the bowl containing the 4 yolks, add remaining 2 eggs, cocoa powder, vanilla, salt, and 1/4 cup sugar.  Whisk briskly until smooth, especially if there are lumps in the cocoa powder, which there probably are. Gradually whisk yolk mixture into chocolate mixture, blending until incorporated and smooth.

Using an electric mixer with very clean beaters, beat egg whites until frothy.  With mixer running, gradually beat in 1/2 cup sugar; continue to beat until firm peaks form.

In 2 additions, gently fold egg whites into the chocolate mixture, folding just until incorporated and no streaks of white remain. Scrape batter into prepared springform pan; smooth and sprinkle remaining 2 tablespoons sugar over top.

Bake until top is puffed and starting to crack and cake is just starting to pull away from edge of pan, about 30 minutes.  Transfer to a wire rack and let cake cool completely in pan.  Cake can be made 1 day head. Cover in pan and store airtight at room temperature. When ready to serve remove from pan and top with whipped cream and berries.  Serve immediately.

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