that baker girl


Posted on 03 Mar 2013

Filed under Baking, cakes, chocolate



la bête noire, aka the black beast…

… aka heart attack on a plate.

Of all the chocolate desserts I have prepared for my family and friends, this one probably takes the cake when it comes to exclamations of delight after they’ve tasted it. It’s not even a proper flourless cake, more like a really dense, rich, creamy torte, but whatever words you’d choose to describe it, they still wouldn’t do it justice.

It also boasts the shortest list of ingredients I’ve come across in a cake recipe*, and I think its simplicity is what makes it so divine. 


*adapted from Bon Appetit magazine

The beauty of it, of course, is that you can add to it – baking it in a pie shell or adding a cookie crust, drizzling some caramel on top or adding chopped nuts, the possibilities are endless…

The best part is, it’s ridiculously easy to make. All you need is a pot, a whisk and a prepped pan to bake it in. It’s so easy, in fact, that I’ll let a friend take over and show you how it’s done — take it away, PK!

Okay, first off you need to prepare your pan. As always, lining with parchment paper is my preferred method. Place the prepared pan on a couple of sheets of aluminum foil and wrap the outside tightly to prevent leaks, as you’ll be baking the cake in a bain-marie, so get a bigger pan out while you’re at it.

Preheat your oven at 160o C, and get your ingredients ready:

cast of characters

In a small saucepan, add your water and sugar and bring to a boil, on medium heat, for about five minutes.

Take off the heat and start working on the rest of the ingredients: In another pan, allow the butter to melt on low heat, then turn off the stove and throw in the chocolate.

melting the chocolate and butter


Stir until it melts and the mixture becomes homogenous – or, as PK would say, velvet! Just look at that pool of melted goodness.

I’m sure at this stage he had to restrain himself from just diving in and licking the pot clean.

But I digress.

Slowly drizzle in the sugar syrup, all the while stirring with a whisk, and leave to cool slightly.

Now’s the time to put a kettle on for the bain marie.

Next up, the eggs. Carefully crack in one egg at a time, whisking after each addition until they’re well incorporated.

whisking in the eggs

Now pour the mixture into your prepared pan, place it in the larger pan, place both pans on the middle rack of your oven and carefully fill the bigger pan with water – take care not to splash any water into your batter!

ready to bake

And if, by any chance, you happen to have two identical aluminum pans and would like to split the batch between the two, all the better: you can bring your cake along and impress your host and come home to yet more cake waiting for you in the fridge!

Bake for 30-40’, until the sides look set but the center is still wobbly. While the cake is baking, feel free to lick the pot clean, as my friend here has demonstrated.

finger-lickin' good

finger-lickin' good!

Once the cake is baked, let it cool to room temperature and place it in the fridge. This is definitely the kind of dessert that could benefit from an overnight stay in the cooler, so it’s the perfect cake to make ahead if, say, you’re invited to a dinner party the next day. 

the black beast - served!

If this isn’t enough chocolate for you, you can prepare a quick ganache to cover the top of the cake. Just melt equal parts heavy cream and chocolate (I usually go for 200 grams each) and drizzle over the cake. The ganache is definitely not required on top of all this chocolate, but it does give the cake a lovely sheen and makes for prettier presentation.

Thank you PK – couldn’t have done it better myself ;)

Comments are closed.

that baker girl
that baker girl
amazon storeDukan-compatible recipe indextips & tricks for stress-free baking