Fallen Chocolate Cake
Published November 1, 1998.
Why this recipe works:
We wanted a fallen chocolate cake recipe with an intense flavor, light texture and an irresistibly runny center. After arriving at satisfactory amounts of butter (1/2 cup), flour (very little), chocolate (a lot), and eggs (four whole eggs plus one yolk), we turned our attention to cooking… read more
We wanted a fallen chocolate cake recipe with an intense flavor, light texture and an irresistibly runny center. After arriving at satisfactory amounts of butter (1/2 cup), flour (very little), chocolate (a lot), and eggs (four whole eggs plus one yolk), we turned our attention to cooking temperature. Four hundred degrees was best, yielding a light, cakelike perimeter around a moist well of intense chocolate.less
Serves 8 to 10
One large fallen chocolate cake can be prepared in either a springform pan or a cake pan with a removable bottom. Do not use a regular cake pan, as the cake will be impossible to remove once baked. To melt the chocolate and butter in a microwave oven, heat chocolate alone at 50 % power for 2 minutes; stir chocolate, add butter, and continue heating at 50 % for another 2 minutes, stopping to stir after 1 minute. If chocolate is not yet entirely melted, heat an additional 30 seconds at 50 % power. Though the cake is best when served warm, within about 30 minutes of being unmolded, it can also be held in the pan for up to two hours before serving.
- 8 tablespoons unsalted butter (1 stick), plus extra for cake pan
- 8 ounces semisweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
- 4 large eggs
- 1 large egg yolk
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/4 teaspoon table salt
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 2 tablespoons unbleached all-purpose flour, plus extra for cake pan
- Confectioners' sugar or unsweetened cocoa powder for decoration, optional
- Whipped cream for serving, optional
1. Adjust oven rack to center position and heat oven to 375 degrees. Generously butter and flour (or use cocoa powder) 8- or 9-inch springform or removable-bottom cake pan; tap out excess flour and position springform on shallow roasting pan, jelly roll pan, or baking sheet. Meanwhile, melt 8 tablespoons butter and chocolate in medium heatproof bowl set over a pan of almost simmering water, stirring once or twice, until smooth; remove from heat. (Or melt chocolate and butter in microwave oven. See instructions above.)
2. Beat eggs, yolk, vanilla, salt, and sugar at highest speed in bowl of a standing mixer fitted with whisk attachment until volume nearly triples, color is very light, and mixture drops from beaters in a smooth, thick stream, about 5 minutes. (Alternatively, beat for 10 minutes using a hand-held electric mixer and large mixing bowl.) Scrape egg mixture over melted chocolate and butter; sprinkle flour over egg mixture. Gently fold egg and flour into chocolate until mixture is uniformly colored. Ladle or pour batter into springform or cake pan. (Can be covered lightly with plastic wrap and refrigerated up to eight hours. Return to room temperature for 30 minutes before baking.)
3. Bake until cake looks puffed, has a thin crust on top, and jiggle slightly at center when pan is shaken very gently, 22 to 25 minutes for 9-inch pan or 27 to 30 minutes for 8-inch pan. Cool cake for 15 minutes, run a paring knife around inside edges pan to loosen cake, and remove pan sides. Sieve light sprinkling of confectioners' sugar or cocoa powder over cake to decorate, if desired, just before serving, and serve warm with optional whipped cream.