This recipe was my first attempt at a flourless chocolate cake, and my reason for picking this recipe via Simply So Good was simple: it had a lot of pictures. Fun fact about me, in general my philosophy on recipes is like Captain Barbosa’s on The Pirate’s Code:
Obviously, this philosophy doesn’t work so well with baking. Baking is more of an exact art, and some people love it for that. I don’t. So, venturing into uncharted baking waters (forgive the continued pirate puns) is a frightening time for me. When I found this recipe for La Bête Noir my fears were slightly assuaged. The step-by-step instructions, with matching photos, make this one a fail-safe for any amateur baker like myself.
La Bête Noir was as beastly as it sounds, and was a hit at our Passover Seder (because it is flour-less, it is Passover-safe!). More importantly it was a hit with my mother, whose birthday was the real occasion for trying my hand at baking a torte. Happy Birthday, Mom!
“La Bête Noir”
Flourless Chocolate Torte
1 cup water
3/4 cup sugar
9 tablespoons unsalted butter, diced
18 ounces bittersweet or semisweet chocolate, chopped*
6 large eggs
* The better-quality your chocolate is, the better your cake will be. I used Ghirardelli 60% cacao chocolate chips. DON’T use unsweetened chocolate.
1 cup heavy whipping cream
8 ounces bittersweet or semisweet chocolate, chopped
1) Preheat oven to 350°F. Butter 10-inch-diameter springform pan, top, bottom, and sides. Cut a round of parchment paper to the size of the springform pan, using the pan as a stencil. Line bottom of pan with parchment round; butter parchment. Wrap 3 layers of heavy-duty foil around outside of pan, bringing foil to top of rim.
2) Combine 1 cup water and 3/4 cup sugar in small saucepan. Bring to boil over medium heat, stirring until sugar dissolves. Simmer 5 minutes. Remove from heat.
3) Melt butter in large saucepan over low heat. Add chocolate and whisk until smooth. Whisk sugar syrup into chocolate; cool slightly. Add eggs to chocolate mixture and whisk until well blended. Pour batter into prepared pan.
4) Place cake pan in large roasting pan (I used a turkey roasting pan). Add enough hot water to roasting pan to come halfway up sides of cake pan. (The cake pan will probably float a little; don’t worry.)
5) Bake cake until center no longer moves when pan is gently shaken, about 50 minutes. Remove from water bath; transfer to rack. Cool completely in pan.
1) Bring whipping cream to a simmer in small saucepan over medium heat. Remove from heat. Add chocolate and whisk until smooth.
2) Pour over top of cake still in pan. Gently shake pan to distribute ganache evenly over top of cake. Refrigerate cake in pan until ganache is set, about 2 hours.