Due to the extraordinary year it’s been, my birthday was a very quiet affair. Where we are, things weren’t super locked down and we were able to have 2 couples over for a visit. I didn’t feel like doing a big dinner, so just had appetizers, Christmas sweets, and cake. Richard Sax’s Chocolate Cloud Cake to be exact. Actually, there ended up being so much food we didn’t get to eat the cake until the next day. This flourless chocolate cake really was like a cloud. It was proclaimed by one of the guests as one of the best cakes they’ve ever had.
I used a bit of the suggested cognac and really noticed the flavor intensify by the next day (in a very good way!) Next time, because I love the taste of raspberries and chocolate, I will try using Chambord!
The center caved in perfectly. When you pull it out of the oven, it will look like a regular fluffy chocolate cake, albeit with the (wanted) crack around the top. As it cools it collapses and makes a crater to hold the mountain of whipped cream.
I actually had planned on making raspberry ripple whipped cream, but was so eager to try the cake and use the pretty sprinkles I had picked up, I forgot.
Flourless Chocolate Cloud Cake
- 8 ounces 225g best-quality bittersweet chocolate coarsely chopped
- 1/2 cup 110g unsalted butter at room temperature and cut into 1-tablespoon pieces
- 6 large eggs
- 1 cup 200g sugar
- 2 tablespoons cognac or Chambord
- Preheat oven to 350°F (175°C), with a rack in the center.
- Line the bottom of an 8-inch (20cm) springform pan with parchment paper. (Do NOT butter the pan and parchment.)
- Melt the chocolate in a heatproof bowl set over but not touching gently simmering water in a saucepan. You can whisk it occasionally to help it along. When it’s melted, remove the bowl from the heat and whisk in the butter until smooth.
- In two small bowls, separate 4 of the eggs. In a large bowl, whisk 2 whole eggs and the 4 egg yolks with 1/2 cup (100g) of the sugar just until combined.
- Slowly whisk in the warm chocolate mixture.
- Whisk in the liqueur.
- Using a handheld mixer in a separate bowl, beat the 4 egg whites until foamy, about 2 minutes. Gradually add the remaining 1/2 cup (100g) sugar and beat until beautifully glossy, soft peaks form that hold their shape but aren’t quite stiff, about 5 minutes more.
- Very gently fold about a quarter of the beaten egg whites into the chocolate mixture to lighten it, then gently fold in the remaining whites. Scrape the batter into the pan and smooth the top.
- Set the pan on a rimmed baking sheet and bake until the top is puffed and cracked and the center is no longer wobbly, 35 to 40 minutes. Be careful not to bake the cake beyond this point.
- Let the cake cool completely on a rack. The center of the cake will sink as it cools, forming a sort of crater—this is good!
- Fill crater with whipped cream.