Once upon a time, I made a flourless chocolate cake.
And it turned out like this:
Super Martha Stewart, right? This is exactly what she pulls out of the oven on a holiday when she is completely responsible for making desert for the main meal.
For years, we will look back on that stupid, ugly, cracked cake and talk about what a wreck it was and how incredibly legit the flavor was, even if presentation was basic. Because life doesn’t always turn out Pinterest-worthy, even when our efforts are.
So, what do you do when you make something that looks a mess but tastes like the Virgin Mary give birth in your mouth? You add more sugar and salt to hide its minor imperfections and nobody gives a damn how it looks after the first bite.
I tweaked the recipe, turned down the heat in my oven, and played with a super-sweet, gooey caramel sauce to bring another layer of texture and flavor to this flourless chocolate cake. I also managed to make a cake that intentionally falls in the middle to create a perfect chocolate goblet for insane amounts of caramel and salt.
Here's a little video! You'll find the recipe below!
Ingredients for Flourless Chocolate Cake
5 eggs, separated
12 oz chocolate chips
½ cup sugar
1 stick butter, cubed
1 tbsp cocoa powder
1 tsp vanilla
Ingredients for Salted Caramel Sauce
2 cups sugar
½ cup water
¼ stick butter, cubed
½ cup heavy cream
2 tsp kosher sea salt
1 tsp vanilla
Directions for Flourless Chocolate Cake
In a double boiler (which is a fancy name for a pot filled with just a little bit of water and a glass or metal bowl that fits on top of it), melt chocolate chips and butter together. Stir frequently. Add vanilla. Remove from heat, and allow to cool slightly while you prepare the eggs.
Crack those eggs. Separate the yolks and whites. With your hand mixer, whip up egg whites. Once a soft peak forms (you read that correctly), add the sugar. Continue whipping until there are very stiff peaks.
Slowly add the egg yolks to the melted chocolate, one at a time, whisking continuously. Add cocoa powder and whisk until smooth.
Gently fold the chocolate and egg yolk mixture into the egg whites. The idea is to keep the egg whites as fluffy as possible and still mix everything thoroughly. I know you can do this.
Pour into a greased springform pan, and bake at 325 degrees for 40-50 minutes. Cool completely. As it cools, the center will fall and create a reservoir.
Salted Caramel Sauce
In a small saucepan, heat sugar and water over medium-ish heat (6/10). DO NOT STIR. I know. It goes against all reason. But trust me on this one.
Sugar will melt and bubble. Let it happen. Like middle-of-the night sex.
In a separate pan, heat the heavy cream just a little bit, on very low.
The sugar will darken, turning a lovely amber hue. It will start to smell just a little caramelized. Also, it should be noted that the difference between amber and burnt-as-hell is about 30 seconds apart. So, once you get the amber color, remove from heat.
Add heavy cream and cubed butter and whisk vigorously. The sugar liquid will bubble when you add the butter and cream, so be a little careful. Add salt and vanilla and whisk.
Pour caramel sauce into the cake’s reservoir. Sprinkle with flaked salt and serve immediately or refrigerate until ready to serve. Be sure to remove the outer ring of the springform pan by sliding a sharp knife along the edge of the cake to make your presentation complete.
And if all else fails, slather a jar of caramel sauce on your cake and call it good.