Pièce de résistance
I made a few new food items during Passover, which you can read about here & here, but neither made me as proud as my dessert. I’ve come a long way since mastering my springform pan fears and failures, and decided to try again – this time with a flour-less chocolate cake. I didn’t have a recipe on file, so searched the interwebs and found this one. What could be difficult about eggs, butter, sugar and chocolate? Answer: a water bath for the pan. Scary.
10 ounces (290 g) bittersweet or semisweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
7 ounces (200 g) butter, salted or unsalted, cut into pieces
5 large eggs, at room temperature
1 cup (200 g) sugar
Preheat the oven to 350F (175C).
1. Butter a 9-inch (23 cm) springform pan* and dust it with cocoa powder, tapping out any excess. If you suspect your springform pan isn’t 100% water-tight, wrap the outside with aluminum foil, making sure it goes all the way up to the outer rim.
2. Melt the chocolate and butter in a double boiler (or microwave), stirring occasionally, until smooth. Remove from heat.
3. In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs and sugar, then whisk in the melted chocolate mixture until smooth.
4. Pour the batter into the prepared springform pan and cover the top of the pan snugly with a sheet of foil. Put the springform pan into a larger baking pan, such as a roasting pan, and add enough hot water to the baking pan to come about halfway up to the outside of the cake pan.
Bake for 1 hour and 15 minutes.
You’ll know the cake is done when it feels just set, like quivering chocolate pudding. If you gently touch the center, your finger should come away clean.
5. Lift the cake pan from the water bath and remove the foil. Let cake cool completely on a cooling rack.
Create your own double-boiler to melt the butter and chocolate together. If you want, you can stop here. This mixture tastes mighty good on its own. (Please ignore the messy stove – Passover cooking time.)
Pour the chocolate mixture into your pre-powdered pan. Yum.
Now here comes the scary part – cover the pan with tinfoil, fill a roasting tin with warm water and gently put the chocolate cake into the tin. Didn’t really understand why a water bath was necessary. According to the internet, this method prevents the cake from cracking. Similar to the way cheesecakes often crack in the oven. Come to think of it, this cake didn’t crack at all. Coincidence?
See the foil’s reflection? That’s how you can tell there’s water in the pan.
I tucked the device into the oven and hoped for the best. Except when I removed it an hour later, I discovered this predicament. The cake looked unappealing and water was leaking. Didn’t feel optimistic.
So I followed an instinct and put the cake in the fridge. For some reason, I thought cooling the cake would make it taste better.
The next evening, I served the cake with this disclaimer – I have no idea how this dessert will taste, and it could be bad, but there are always jelly rings if it sucks. (See them in the top picture?) Makes you want to try a piece, right? But you know what happened? The cake tasted great! The top smoothed over in the fridge and developed a mousse quality. I felt so happy and relieved.
Perhaps this dessert will become a new Passover staple in our house. Definitely recommend it if you feel like being adventurous. Enjoy!