Makes one 9-inch cake
Flourless chocolate cake: The very words convey richness. This version has the light texture of a souffle, due to firmly beaten egg whites. Combining bittersweet chocolate and just a bit of unsweetened, it offers pure, intense chocolate flavor. A drift of whipped cream is the perfect accompaniment.
|Unsalted butter (for the pan)|
|9||ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped|
|1||ounce unsweetened chocolate, chopped|
|8||tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, cut up|
|2||tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into small chunks, at room temperature|
|¾||cup granulated sugar|
|2||teaspoons vanilla extract|
1. Set the oven at 350 degrees. Lightly butter a 9-inch springform pan.
2. In a bowl, combine the bittersweet and unsweetened chocolate. Add the 8 tablespoons of butter. Set the bowl over a saucepan of hot, but not boiling, water. Let the mixture melt; use a rubber spatula to stir it several times. Remove the bowl from the saucepan and wipe the bottom dry. Let it cool to lukewarm.
3. Stir the 2 tablespoons of butter into the chocolate until the butter melts.
4. In another bowl, whisk the sugar and egg yolks for 3 minutes, or until lightly thickened. Blend in the chocolate mixture and vanilla.
5. In an electric mixer, beat the egg whites just until they begin to swell. Add the salt and continue beating until they form firm, not stiff, peaks.
6. With a large metal spoon, stir 4 large spoonfuls of the whites into the chocolate batter. Fold in the remaining whites gently without deflating the batter. There should be no large streaks of whites.
7. Spoon the batter into the pan and smooth the top.
8. Bake the cake for 40 minutes, or until just set. Set the cake on a rack and cool completely. The cake will fall somewhat and settle, and the surface will appear rustic.
9. Release the sides of the pan and leave the cake on its base. Cut the cake into wedges for serving.