Basically a Brownie Cake

This one-pot deep dark chocolate cake is my favorite kind of cake. Simple. Elegant. Easy and unfussy, yet somehow dramatic, memorable, craveable. The recipe is essentially a brownie recipe (hence the name), though the results are a little more delicate than a proper brownie. Think of it as the ultimate, fudgiest brownie that is better eaten with a fork than straight out of your hand.

I think of this one as a perfect dinner party cake because it hits my three dinner party dessert requirements:

1. It's best made a day or two in advance (though you can certainly eat it a few hours after baking, too!).

2. It's unfussy to make, but incredibly easy to dress up into an elegantly impressive celebration dessert. Dust the top with some powdered sugar and sprinkle of edible flowers. Or add a sweep of creme fraiche and a mountain of fresh berries. If you really want a showstopper, bake two then layer with whipped ganache frosting.

3. And finally, it is rich in flavor, but still light enough to not overwhelm after a big meal.

What more could you ask for? 

Basically a Brownie Cake
Serves 8

8oz unsalted butter (Get the best quality you can find, I like Kerrygold!)
8oz dark chocolate (Get the best quality you can find, at least 72% cocoa), chopped
1 1/3 cups granulated white sugar
2 teaspoons instant espresso powder
1/2 teaspoon flaky sea salt + more for garnish
5 large eggs
1/4 cup all purpose flour

Freshly whipped cream or creme fraiche, for serving

Equipment: 9-inch springform pan, parchment paper, aluminum foil

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Grease a 9-inch round springform pan, then line the bottom with a round of parchment paper. Grease the parchment paper. Wrap the outside bottom of the pan with foil to prevent drips from any gaps in the springform base. (No need to wrap all the way up. It should look like this.)

Place a medium heavy-bottom saucepan over medium heat and add the butter and chocolate, stirring occasionally until melted. Reduce heat to low, add the sugar, then whisk until dissolved (about 1 minute). Remove from heat and stir in the espresso and salt. Pour into a large mixing bowl or the base of a stand mixer, and let cool a few minutes.

Add the eggs, one at a time, beating each one in completely until fully incorporated. Add the flour and stir until smooth.

Pour into prepared pan, sprinkle with a bit more flaky salt, and bake in middle rack for about 25 minutes, or until the center is fully set.

Remove from oven and let cool in pan 15 minutes before removing sides. Let cool completely, then gently remove from parchment lined bottom and transfer to a serving platter. Serve at room temperature or slightly chilled with whipped cream or creme fraiche on the side.

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