Recipe of the Week: Chocolate Fallen Souffle Cake

How can we resist a chocolate recipe just before Valentine’s Day? It may be a cliché, but we don’t care. This is not a difficult recipe and it looks quite beautiful. Just think of how impressed the object of your desire will be with your effort. The cake has an interesting mix of texture with a soft, dense chocolate on the inside and a crisp crust. You can make it ahead of time and serve it at the appropriate moment. Be sure to use a good quality chocolate. And champagne would be nice too.

Chocolate Fallen Souffle Cake

12 oz. fine quality Fair Trade bittersweet chocolate (not unsweetened), chopped
1 ½ sticks (3/4 cup) unsalted butter, cut into tablespoon pieces
1 ½ tsp vanilla
¼ tsp salt
¾ cup sugar
5 large eggs, separated and at room temperature for 30 minutes
¼ cup all-purpose flour

1. Put oven rack in middle position and preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Butter a 9 inch springform pan and line bottom with a round of parchment or wax paper, then butter paper.
2. Melt chocolate and butter in a large metal bowl set over a pan of barely simmering water (or in a microwave-safe large glass or ceramic bowl in a microwave at 50 percent power for 4 – 5 minutes) stirring frequently, then cool completely. Whisk in vanilla, salt and 6 tablespoons sugar. Add yolks one at a time, whisking well after each addition. Whisk in flour.
3. Beat whites with a pinch of salt in a bowl using an electric mixer at medium high speed until they hold soft peaks, then add remaining 6 tablespoons of sugar a little at a time, beating, and continue to beat until whites hold stiff glossy peaks.
4. Whisk about one fourth of whites into chocolate mixture to lighten, then fold in remaining whites gently but thoroughly. Pour batter into springform pan, spreading evenly.
5. Bake until a wooden pick or skewer inserted in centre comes out with moist crumbs adhering, 35 to 40 minutes.
6. Cool cake in pan on a rack 10 minutes. Remove side of pan and cool cake completely. Invert cake onto rack and remove bottom of pan, discarding paper, then invert cake onto a plate.

Serves 8-10 (or 2 every few hours)

You can also serve this with ice cream, or whipped cream, and it is quite pretty with a sprinkle of icing sugar. This can be made up to 1 day ahead and kept, wrapped in plastic wrap, at room temperature.

This recipe is from Gourmet Magazine, February 2004