Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Chocolate Decadence - The Eighties Most Iconic Dessert

This “flourless” chocolate cake was all the rage in the 1980’s, and looking back, it all makes sense. As I vaguely remember, the decade celebrated decadent overindulgence, and this dessert is that, and more. By modern standards, this cake is ridiculously rich. In fact, some of you may find it too intense, but most true chocolate fiends will be in heaven.

This was invented by chef Narsai David, in Berkeley, California, and while close to the original, I bumped up the ingredient amounts a bit, so we can use a standard 9-inch pan.  Also, he doesn’t use cayenne. By the way, if you don’t use the same chocolate I did (milk, white, etc.), I can’t tell you what will happen, because I don’t know.

I dusted the buttered pan with flour, because that’s how Mr. David does it, but my sources in the pastry world tell me that cocoa may be a better choice, since it won’t leave a light film. Doesn’t bother me, but I have to write something for these posts. 

Be careful not to overcook this. It goes for a relatively short time in a hot oven, so while mine took about 14 minutes, you should start checking around 13. The top will be just barely set, with a jiggle below the surface. If it’s really soupy, then leave it another minute and check again.

This is best served very cold. It’s easier to cut, and I enjoy the texture more than at room temp. As I mentioned, stay tuned for the raspberry sauce video, which I’ll post on Friday. That will give you plenty of time to practice both for Valentine’s Day. I hope you give this a try soon.  Enjoy!


Ingredients for one 9-inch cake pan (this is extremely rich cake, so you can easily get 12 to 16 servings):
18 ounces semi-sweet chocolate (62% cacao)
10 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon sugar
1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon flour
5 large eggs, room temp, or slightly warm for best results
tiny pinch of cayenne and salt
- serve with ice-cold fresh raspberry sauce

* Bake at 425 F. for probably 12-15 minutes depending on the oven, until just barely set, with a jiggle below the surface. The cake will firm up as it cools.

TIP: If you want to remove your cake from the pan for presentation, just set it in a pan of hot water for a minute, and it will pop right out. 

56 comments:

Jenny said...

This looks wonderful!
3 questions though:
1. How long would this keep in the fridge?
2. If not very long, would it be possible to freeze it?
3. Just wondering, what does the cayenne do? Do you actually taste it?
Thankyou!

Chef John said...

1. Not sure!
2. Yes!
3. As I said in video, it brings out the flavors!

xdestitutex said...

OMG! What an amazing desert. My chocolate loving girlfriend would probably dive right into the batter if i let her :D
But i won't because i have thi great idea to suprise her with this on valentines day.

But there are three question left:
First: When do you think you'll be able to post this awesomelooking raspberry sauce recipe? I really need to try that out beforehand ^^ (no suprises here on valentines day ^^)

Secondly: Is there any substitute for the raspberry sauce? Like plain whipping cream or something similar? I'm just asking 'cause raspberries are pretty expensive epecially when you life on a student budget and i probably can't afford good and tasty chocolate AND raspberries ^^

And last but not least:
Is it possible to use chocolate with less cocoa in it? I'm not that much of a fan of chocolate and i definitely have to eat that cake too. I'm referring to chocolate that has... maybe 40% cocoain it? Or is the percentage of cocoa that crucial for the decandent taste? ^^

THanks in advance fo your anwers and thanks for this fantastic blog(i just discovered) and the awesome recipes!

xdestitutex said...

OMG! What an amazing desert. My chocolate loving girlfriend would probably dive right into the batter if i let her :D
But i won't because i have thi great idea to suprise her with this on valentines day.

But there are three question left:
First: When do you think you'll be able to post this awesomelooking raspberry sauce recipe? I really need to try that out beforehand ^^ (no suprises here on valentines day ^^)

Secondly: Is there any substitute for the raspberry sauce? Like plain whipping cream or something similar? I'm just asking 'cause raspberries are pretty expensive epecially when you life on a student budget and i probably can't afford good and tasty chocolate AND raspberries ^^

And last but not least:
Is it possible to use chocolate with less cocoa in it? I'm not that much of a fan of chocolate and i definitely have to eat that cake too. I'm referring to chocolate that has... maybe 40% cocoain it? Or is the percentage of cocoa that crucial for the decandent taste? ^^

THanks in advance fo your anwers and thanks for this fantastic blog(i just discovered) and the awesome recipes!

Aureal :) said...

Hey Chef John!! Greetings from Malaysia :D I wanted to ask , instead of raspberry sauce , can I substitute it with something else? Because it's very hard to find raspberries here.

Michael Mitchell said...

Wow this looks awesome can't wait for the raspberry sauce video.

Would it be possible for some metric conversions in the future? :D

Chef John said...

xdestitutex, Thanks, but please read the post. All your answers are there.

Sandi Kubich said...

I loved the 80's and even more so the decadence cake w/ Raspberry Coulis I served many of these working in some of the nations finest country clubs and mind you i ate my fair share...I am not a baker but I am so inspired by this video that yes yes yes I am taking it on...we own a small restaurant in the Sierra Nev. Mountains I think I am even going to change my planned Valentines Menu to feature this desssert which by the way featured your Sexy Fish Stew thank you again for the inspiration

Brad said...

Hi chef John, I have rasberry framboise sauce. Would that work as the sayce

Peggy Manfredi said...

Just checked on You Tube and you have surpassed one million subscribers, presently @ 1,000,063. Congratulations! You + You Tube, an amazing collaboration! Love it! Love you!

Azi said...

I remember versions of this from back then and this looks better, but as far as intense chocolate cakes go i have only one thing to say:
La Bête Noir ...

I'm looking forwards to seeing your take on it! (mine is a 64% base w/ a 70% top). What's the next choclaty day on the calendar?

Gsweb8 said...

I literally clapped at the end of this video...and there was no one around. Superb.

xdestitutex said...

Hey John,
you're totally right... i only watched the video and mised the additional information in your post. I'm deeply sorry for the troubles :)

But one question remains: Although i'm pretty sure the raspberry sauce is THE thing to eat with the cake,any suggestions about a substitute.SInceyou already knowhow the cake tastes you're the only guy i can ask :)

mattjeast said...

Hi Chef John! My wife is gluten-free (insert groan here). Since the amount of flour is so minimal, would it be better to eliminate the flour altogether or seek out another option? I've had success in things like pancakes using rice flour, but sometimes that will negatively impact the texture or overall flavor in other dishes. Any ideas?

Cristina Moldovan said...

Hi Chef John,

I just finished to prepare this super desert, but I think I did something wrong in the preparation.

Should I leave the melted chocolate and butter to cool before I add the egg mixture? Because I haven't, and even if the melted chocolate was warm, but not hot, when I added the eggs mixture, after I finished mixing the batter looked grainy :-( and not smooth like in the video :-(

In the oven all the butter rose on top and it got burned (the tray was in the middle of the oven 220 degree C).

Where did I went wrong?
Thanks.
Cristina

PJ said...

This is very similar to what we called "Death By Chocolate". I got the recipe from Skip Stone at Hippy.com about 15 to 20 years ago.

Unknown said...

We have made and loved MANY of your recipes, Chef John! My daughter and I watch your videos together any time a new one comes out. When we want to make one, we head over to Allrecipes and print out all the instructions since we cannot watch the video and cook at the same time. Plus we can save the recipe to make again! When the recipe is not published at Allrecipes, would you mind writing out more complete directions for us? Or if it is there, include a link to Allrecipes? Thanks!

Scott Croteau said...

Hey Chef John this cake looks great. Do you think this cake would suffer greatly if the tablespoon of flour were omitted? I would like to make this for a group of people which includes a coeliac (genuine one, not one of those "I just dont like gluten" people). If you don't know I'll just wing it and see how it goes. Thanks for your work!

Bob said...

If freezing how long before serving should you take it out of the freezer?

octopusofthesea said...

Reagan/Cake on might be the best one yet.

Elizabeth said...

My new husband doesn't like dark chocolate - could I swap a lesser cacao percentage or will it not work?

Thanks!

UchihaOdy said...

Chef John please help me! I loved this recipe and in 2 days my lomg distance girlfriend is coming to visit for an early valentines day. She's a chocolate lover, so this recipe was a godsent. Only problem is, i dont have the recipe for the raspberry sauce (and i dont know when you will upload it) and from what you said, i take it 's pretty essential.. Please help me out, thanks.

archisauce said...

Chef,
you are saving my broke ass for Valentine's day yet another time. Thank you!

capn_entropy said...

Best yet "you are the x of your y"

Chef John said...

Yes, you can leave out the flour if you have to!

Chef John said...

Cristina, sorry, I'm not clear what you did. You can just leave the choc and butter mixture in a warm spot while you whip you eggs. It's should still be a warm smooth liquid.

Rebecca said...

Can I substitute the cayenne for instant espresso? I have it on hand and don't want to 'schlep to the store.

Josh, Split said...

Hey Chef John, absolutely love your recipes, been following you for years! Was a little annoyed today to see a website stealing your content without linking back or crediting you, thought I'd let you know here. The link is here, they stole your baked potato tricks video essentially http://new.damn.com/using-simple-trick-youll-bake-best-potatoes-life/?utm_source=ipdt&utm_medium=cpc&utm_campaign=bakedipdt

Brandon Caballero said...

So I made this but I feel like it came out more like fudge than cake. Is it supposed to be like that?
When I whipped the eggs it came out much frothier than yours did, maybe that was the problem

Chef John said...

That's normal! It's pretty fudge-like.

Michael McGregor said...

Chef, does the color of pan you use effect cook time? I noted it seemed like you used a dark, non-stick cake pan. Is this the case?

Chef John said...

It could, but i'm not sure by how much. Maybe someone that knows baking better than i can tell us.

Azi said...

America's test kitchen (I.e. kitchen illustrated on pbs) did a test and found it does affect browning. They recommend avoiding dark or shiny pans for baking.

Shmulik said...

Could you weigh the ingredients when posting baking/dough recipes?

Thanks in advance, in behalf of all of us non-amreican metric-users.

Dan said...

WooooooooooW, this was fantastic, accomplished every thing I hoped for with my valentine.

vera sugár said...

I made this for breakfast on Valentine's day and got proposed to in the evening. 100% success rate. Much love for this, Chef John!

Sajjan Sarkar said...

Chef John, I tried this yesterday and like Cristina Moldova ,as soon as I added the 1/4 of the beaten egg mixture to the melted chocolate it got grainy. Maybe I had the chocolate too warm and it started cooking the eggs? Also my cake was nice and flat when I took it out of the over but an hour later it had sagged a little in the middle. I beat the eggs as hard as I could and as long as I could, but i guess it wasnt enough. I think the guess will still taste good though (still chilling it). Thank you Chef!

DianShan said...

Tried it last night. Somehow my eggs didn't get to the pale, whitish thick stage and I'm not sure why. Used an electric egg beaten and it got real fluffy and bubbly and not thick after 5mins. Continued to beat it still but didn't change. Still I went ahead to mix it and baked and it actually turned out ok! Really really rich and chocolatey.

Stepan Stepan said...

Hey Chef John!
I just took the cake out from the oven and it's not wobbling, can even hear a sound while patting it with a spoon.. I also had butter rising while baking. Left it to cool down now, will see what happens. Where could i go wrong while prepairing it?

Stepan Stepan said...

Hey Chef John!
I just took the cake out from the oven and it's not wobbling, can even hear a sound while patting it with a spoon.. I also had butter rising while baking. Left it to cool down now, will see what happens. Where could i go wrong while prepairing it?

Chef John said...

Sounds like overcooking to me, but really not sure.

Chef John said...

Sounds like overcooking to me, but really not sure.

Chef John said...

Sounds like overcooking to me, but really not sure.

Stepan Stepan said...

Thanks! Next time I will put it in the oven for one or two minutes less. After cooling it down over night it actually tastes good, despite being a little dry on top. I will definitely make it again!

The_Masked_Soul said...

Chef..can we use some cocoa powder instead of flour..??

Toral bhansali said...

Hi Chef,i absolutely love this recipe od yours..I've tried the apple pie recipe you made and it turn out well :)..chef I'm a vegetarian and so I'm wondering if i can prepare this cake WITHOUT EGGS? Planning to prepare it for my first wedding anniversary :)..gracias

Toral bhansali said...

Chef i love this recipe of yours..quick question,can i prepare it without eggs? Planning to prepare it for my wedding anniversary :)..thank you

Chef John said...

Sorry, it will not work without the eggs!

Toral bhansali said...

Thank you chef for your reply..is there any other chocolate recipe that you can share which is eggless? Thank you :)

Toral bhansali said...

Thank you chef for your reply..is there any other chocolate recipe that you can share which is eggless? Thank you :)

Chef John said...

Try our chocolate crostini recipe!

Also, we moderate all comments, so you only need to leave your comment once. It takes a while to publish them sometimes. Enjoy!

Tu Tran said...

So I stick strictly to your recipe but in the end, after baking, when I remove the cake, it just collapsed completely. I'm thinking it's either because I beat the egg too hard or I baked the cake too long. Can you tell me exactly what it is?

shermione G said...

I live in the tropics so raspberries are not readily available. Any alternative?

hexdragoon said...

Here is a warning to anyone making this, DO NOT DOUBLE THE RECIPE, it will take far too long.

Barbara in PA said...

Hi Chef John,

Do you think you could add a touch of peppermint extract to make a mint chocolate tarte? I have made this as is, and it is HEAVENLY, but recently had a chocolate mint dessert and immediately thought of this, since a little goes a long way (due to the richness).

Thanks in advance.

Barbara

Mikyla Schuster said...

THIS IS AN AMAZING RECIPE! Thank you Chef John! I am inlove with your videos. Haven't cooked so much in my life. Last night I made your greek lemon chicken recipe accompanied with some tortillas and it came out to well!! Trying this one today ;)