This simple dark chocolate cake will have you cracking up

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Almost flourless chocolate cake

Active time:15 minutes

Total time:55 minutes

Servings:6 to 8

Active time:15 minutes

Total time:55 minutes

Servings:6 to 8


Rich yet light, this dark chocolate cake is also nearly flourless and can also be made gluten-free. It’s a one-bowl wonder that’s been shared among bakers for over 20 years. I stumbled upon it in 2004 while buying “Je Veux du Chocolat! by Trish Deseine at Paris Charles de Gaulle airport.

The original recipe is called “Nathalie’s Fudge Chocolate Cake” on page 14, and a photo on page 15 shows a rather simple, albeit dense, chocolate cake with one slice removed.

Deseine’s top note explains that it is one of her most popular recipes and has many fans, including several professional pastry chefs. There’s no specific indication of where or when the recipe originated, but it was introduced to an American audience in August 2004 when blogger and author Molly Wizenberg wrote about it. She called it “Kate’s Winning-Hearts-and-Minds Cake”. Indeed, it is so simple, so good and so easy to love that it will surely win your heart.

As the name suggests, it is a variation of a chocolate fondant, or chocolate cake made from a mixture of chocolate and butter which, although it does contain some flour, is designed to melt on the tongue.

Start by melting equal amounts of butter and chocolate in a bowl. Stir in a little sugar, followed by the eggs, beating well after each. Finally, stir in a tablespoon of flour and a little salt. (To make it gluten-free, use a gluten-free flour mix, cornstarch, or potato starch in place of flour.) As you whisk, the batter will go from silky to grainy to thick and finally, after a few minutes of whipping, will become shiny and glossy like satin.

After baking for about 25 minutes, the cake will come out slightly cracked and spotted on top. Let it cool until just warm before slicing and serving. It needs no accompaniment, but a dollop of whipped cream and a few raspberries offset the deep chocolate flavors and add a fresh note to every bite.

Almost flourless chocolate cake

Use good quality dark chocolate for best results. If you like bittersweet chocolate, use chocolate containing at least 70% cocoa. If you prefer a sweeter cake, use a chocolate containing about 60% cocoa.

Storage: Store at room temperature for up to 2 days.

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  • 7 ounces (200 grams) dark chocolate (60 to 70 percent cocoa solids; see main note)
  • 14 tablespoons (7 ounces / 200 grams) unsalted butter, plus more for greasing the pan
  • 1 1/4 cups (250 grams) granulated sugar
  • 5 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon fine salt
  • Whipped creamTo serve
  • Fresh raspberries, for serving (optional)

Place a rack in the middle of the oven and preheat to 375 degrees. Lightly butter an 8 or 9 inch round cake pan. Line the bottom of the mold with a circle of parchment paper and butter the paper.

In a large bowl placed over a saucepan with a little simmering water – don’t let the bottom of the bowl touch the water – melt the chocolate and butter together. (You can also melt the chocolate and butter in the microwave on HIGH in 30 second increments, stirring in between.)

Remove the bowl from the heat and whisk in the sugar until incorporated. The mixture will look grainy.

Add the eggs, one at a time, beating each one well into the batter before adding the next. The dough will look a bit slimy; It’s good.

Finally, whisk in the flour and salt until the batter is thick and shiny. Transfer the batter to the prepared pan and bake for 25 to 27 minutes, or until the top is shiny and slightly crackled. It should wobble slightly in the center.

Transfer to a wire rack and let cool in the pan for 20 minutes before inverting onto a plate and peeling off the parchment paper, then flipping it upside down. The cake will deflate a little as it cools; it’s normal. Cool until just warm or completely cool before slicing and serving with whipped cream and berries, if desired.

Per serving (1 slice), based on 8

Calories: 491; Total fat: 33g; Saturated fat: 19g; Cholesterol: 171mg; Sodium: 124mg; Carbohydrates: 45g; Dietary fiber: 2g; Sugar: 40g; Protein: 6g

This analysis is an estimate based on the available ingredients and this preparation. It should not replace the advice of a dietitian or nutritionist.

Adapted from “I Want Chocolate!” by Trish Deseine (Marabout, 2002).

Tested by G. Daniela Galarza and Ann Maloney; questions by e-mail to [email protected].

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