Cooking with Didi Conn: Flourless chocolate-bourbon cake A dark chocolate cake that’s light, luxurious and easy to make!
“You’ve heard of death by chocolate? This is rebirth by chocolate…” – Didi Conn
Creating a recipe for a flourless chocolate cake that’s as light as air, yet still rich and chocolaty, has been on my to-do list for a while… and a few weeks ago, I finally got around to it. My husband Marc’s birthday was around the corner, so the timing was perfect.
An experimenting baker’s burden – too much cake to eat. But…
The very first time I baked this cake, it turned out so wonderfully that I didn’t really have any tweaks to make to the recipe. But I wanted to test different ways of lining the mold. Since the cake is incredibly delicate, I had to find an easy way to move it from its mold to a serving platter. This meant testing the recipe a number of times… and that’s a lot of cake for Marc and me to eat on our own!
…enter my good friend Didi Conn!
But, luckily for me, my dearest friend Didi Conn lives right around the corner, and she and her husband David Shire often pop over to be my official “tasters.” Didi liked this cake so much that she immediately said she wanted to make it with me. “And why not shoot a video while we’re at it?” she blurted!
So here you have it. Not only do you get a recipe for one of the very best flourless chocolate cakes you’ll ever taste – you get to make it with Didi Conn!
As light as a soufflé, yet luxurious and intensely chocolaty
The cake turns out unbelievably light (almost like a soufflé); it has a luxurious texture and a rich chocolate flavor that’s hard to resist. And for the best results, I recommend you buy a very good quality chocolate. It’ll make all the difference. (See my suggestions in the ingredient part of the recipe.)
Didi and I have no doubt this recipe will become a standby in your repertoire. May you have as much fun as we did making it and watching your loved ones devour every last crumb of the marvelous cake.
Oh… and for Marc’s birthday? I ended up baking four chocolate cakes!
Food & spirit pairing: Bourbon with flourless chocolate cake
What would be more delicious here than a glass of bourbon?
Flourless chocolate-bourbon cake
serves 6 to 8
active time: 30 min
- 9″ non-stick springform pan
- unsalted butter for the mold
- parchment paper
- 1/4 cup + 2 teaspoons organic sugar for dusting
- Preheat the oven to 350°F (180ºC).
- Step 1: Remove the rim from the springform pan and butter the bottom part of the pan. Cut the parchment paper in a 12″ x 12″ square and line the bottom of the pan. (The butter will help the paper stick to it.) Then place the rim on top of the paper and fasten it. Next, butter the bottom and sides of the pan and dust with 1/4 cup sugar. Set aside.
- Step 2: Melt the chocolate and butter in a double boiler over gently simmering water, stirring continuously until the mixture is smooth. Set aside and keep warm.
- Step 3: Place the egg yolks, half the sugar (1/3 cup) and the vanilla extract in the bowl of an electric mixer. Beat at high speed until pale and thick, about 5 minutes. Reduce speed to low, add the bourbon and continue beating until well incorporated. Add the melted chocolate and continue beating at low speed until just incorporated. (Don’t overdo this step!) Set aside. Place the egg whites in the bowl of an electric mixer and whip at medium speed until frothy. Increase to high speed and gradually add the balance of the sugar (1/3 cup). Continue beating at high speed until firm (but not dry) peaks form. Fold half the egg whites into the egg/chocolate mixture until just incorporated. Then fold in the balance of the egg whites until just incorporated. Pour the batter into the prepared mold and sprinkle the top with 2 teaspoons of sugar. Bake for 35 to 40 minutes, until the cake has risen in the center and is barely set. Let cool in its mold for 45 minutes to 1 hour. To unmold, run a knife between the cake and the rim. Then unfasten the rim and remove it. Grab the parchment paper and gently lift it. Place the cake (with the parchment paper) on a serving platter. Don’t try to remove the parchment paper, or the cake will fall apart.
- Cook’s note: The cake can be made up to 6 hours ahead and kept at room temperature. It is best eaten the day it’s made, but it can be refrigerated for up to 2 days. Bring to room temperature before serving. Serve the cake either at room temperature or lightly warmed (reheat for 5 to 6 minutes at 350°F (180ºC) until just warm).