The cake is quite a quick and easy one, given you can whip egg whites, fold them in and have a spring form tin on hand. And of course a good deal of chocolate too, 250 grams / 9 ounces to be precise for this cake! Chocolate, butter, sugar and coffee are melted together, the little bit of flour folded in. Finally whipped egg whites go into the chocolate mixture and then baked. The cake puffs up as it bakes, cracks on the top. While you invert it and cool, it sinks quite a lot. I would say, if you have the patience, you must leave it overnight and by then the cake would have meta morphed into a dense, almost creamy, smooth one. Pour some glaze over it, allow it to set, slice and serve with some softly whipped cream. Its texture being very different from most chocolate cakes, its sure to please most chocolate loving, discerning palates.
Eggs - 5, large, separated ( Yolk - 90 grams, Whites - 150 grams)
Bittersweet chocolate, coarsely chopped - 252 grams / 9 oz ( I used dark compound)
Sugar - 1 cup / 200 grams ( I used super fine)
Unsalted butter, cut into chunks - 5 tablespoons / 70 grams aprox
Coffee or water - 2 tablespoons ( I used 1 tsp instant coffee dissolved in 2 tbsp warm water)
All purpose flour - 1/3 cup - 44 grams aprox
Pure vanilla extract - 1 teaspoon (my addition)
For the optional glaze - Dorie makes a glaze with chocolate, cream and corn syrup. I used ganache.
Procedure : Mise en place. Wash and dry the blades of your hand mixer and the bowl in which you will drop the whites in. If weighing ingredients, making sure your weighing bowl is squeaky clean and free of grease. Separate the eggs and weigh the whites first, next the yolks. Wash, dry the bowl, and weigh the rest. (I always like to have extra eggs on hand while separating, just in case, I do an oops!)
Center a rack and pre-heat the oven to 180 degrees C / 350 F. Grease a 9'' round spring form tin, line it with parchment, grease the parchment, flour the sides of the tin, tap lightly to shake off any excess flour. Place the pan on a baking sheet (or another bigger cake tin) lined with parchment or a silicone mat. I used an 8'' round tin as I do not have a 9'' round tin, used some of the batter to make 4 small cupcakes.
Place the chocolate, butter, sugar and coffee in a heatproof bowl. Place the bowl over a saucepan of simmering water, stir occasionally till the chocolate and butter are melted. If the sugar is still grainy, its fine (mine was). Transfer the chocolate mixture to a large mixing bowl and let it sit for 3 minutes. ( the mixture will cool) Stir in the yolks one by one, using a rubber spatula, add the vanilla. Fold in the flour. Set aside.
Using the whisk attachment of a stand mixer or a hand mixer on medium high speed, beat the egg whites till they hold firm but glossy peaks. Make sure you do not over whip or let the whites dry out. Using the spatula, stir about a quarter of the whites into the chocolate mixture to lighten it. Gently fold in the rest. I used my slotted skimmer for this. (The batter was neither thin nor thick) Scrape the batter into the pan and jiggle the pan from side to side a couple of times to even the batter.
The cake will rise at the edges as well as the center too. The top will firm up, it may crack, mine cracked quite a bit. Bake for 35 to 45 minutes or until the cake has risen evenly, the top firms up and doesn't wobble when tapped. A cake tester or thin knife inserted int o the center should come out just slightly streaked with chocolate. I prefer my chocolate cakes slightly under baked to over-baked ones. Mine took about 40 minutes to bake. Transfer the cake to a cooling rack, let it cool for about 10 minutes.
Run a blunt knife ( like a butter knife) around the edges of the cake, and remove the sides of the pan. carefully turn the cake on to another rack. Remove the pan bottom and parchment paper (this will be hot as you handle, be careful) Invert the cake on the rack and cool to room temperature right side up. The cake may cool as it sinks ( mine did)
Place the completely cooled cake on a rack flat side up. Place the rack over a large piece of parchment or another clean plate to catch the delicious drips. Pour the glaze or ganache on the cake, tilt slightly and carefully, (use a thin spatula to just coax the glaze to the sides only if need ) to coat the cake completely. Allow the glaze to set ( I did not wait, was in a hurry to finish the pics before I went to the bus stop to pick up my daughter). Lift the cake carefully to the serving platter using a giant spatula. Decorate, slice into thin slices and serve with softly whipped cream or even ice cream or crème fraîche if you prefer.
The cake when wrapped airtight, will keep for about 3 days at room temperature or for 2 months when frozen. I have not tried refrigerating the cake and will not do so too as it may change the texture. It tasted better as it sat at room temperature.
The cake was rich, chocolaty, smooth and creamy, mousse-like sort of, with whipped cream and the glaze, its definitely dessert!