A rich, easy-to-make flourless chocolate cake. No separating eggs, no whipping egg whites. Just 4 ingredients and a little time, and you've got a delicious, sophisticated dessert!
Preheat your oven to 350F. Grease the side and bottom of a 9-inch Springform pan, or line the bottom and sides of a 9-inch cake pan with parchment paper.
Wrap a layer of foil around the bottom of the pan and halfway up the sides, to ensure water won't leak into the bottom. Set the prepared pan inside of a larger baking pan. You'll fill the larger pan with water later. Set aside.
Use a double boiler, or place a heat-safe bowl on a small saucepan, completely covering the top. Put a small amount of water in the saucepan, and heat water to a simmer over medium-to-medium high heat.
Add the butter and the chocolate to the bowl, and place the bowl on top of the pan of simmering water. (This can happen as soon as you turn on your burner, or once water is simmering - your choice.) Stir the chocolate mixture occasionally until everything is melted and smooth. Remove from heat.
In a larger bowl, whisk together eggs and sugar. Slowly drizzle in the warm chocolate while you whisk, to keep the eggs from cooking and the chocolate from seizing. Mix until just combined. I usually feel the batter thicken once it's combined.
Pour the batter into the greased pan. Cover the top of the pan snugly with a sheet of foil. Pour water into the larger pan until the water comes halfway up the pan. (I usually use the water from my saucepan, then add some hot tap water as needed).
Place the stacked pans in the oven. Bake at 350F for about 75 minutes. When the cake is done, the top will appear set (slightly dried, not wet). If you touch the cake softly with your finger, it will come away clean or with just a tiny bit of chocolate goo. Cake will be very soft.
Remove the cake from the water bath and the foil. Cool completely, then refrigerate before serving.
This cake relies on the chocolate for flavor, so use something dark and good. I prefer Ghirardelli here.
To melt chocolate in the microwave, heat for 30 second bursts for the first minute, then 15 second bursts. Stir after each one, and repeat until mixture is smooth. For this quantity of chocolate, however, I found the stovetop was slightly more efficient/less energy intensive.
Mix things until they're just combined. You don't need any air mixed in.
Do not skip the water bath! It slows down the cake's baking, and keeps the chocolate from burning.
Do not skip the foil on top! Your cake will overbake if you do. Still delicious with equal parts whipped cream, but not ideal.
This recipe was adapted from David Lebovitz's Chocolate Orbit Cake, in Ready for Dessert.