Our family prefers a gooey, brownie-like cake over a light and crumbly chocolate cake. We love the taste of good chocolate without fiddling with icing and layers. This moist dessert is a chocoholic's dream, rather like a supermoist, extra-rich brownie that is squishy in the centre.
We actually argued whether this recipe was a mousse or a cake, and decided that since it has some crunchy bits on the outside, it was a cake – after you've tried this recipe, get in touch and tell us how it ranks among your favourites.
The hardest part of the recipe is dealing with the eggs: first, separating them, then beating the whites. To separate the whites and yolks, use your fingers as a strainer, letting the whites slip through your fingers into a bowl then throwing the yolks into a second one. If you get a touch of yellow in the whites, use a piece of the eggshell to remove it.
When whisking, identify soft peaks by lifting the whisk out and judging if the some of the mixture forms a tuft that droops over like the top of an old-fashioned sleeping cap.
Use the best baking chocolate available; Lucy prefers to use a 70-per-cent chocolate from Cacao Barry or Callebaut. Serve with ice cream or whipped cream. Flavour the whipped cream with grated orange zest if you want to add another flavour.
For a fancier presentation, the recipe can be divided up into six individual ramekins that can be served to each guest. Or better, portion it out so you don't eat half of it in one sitting. For even more gooeyness, serve slightly warm. A quick turn in the microwave is good for leftovers.
Fallen chocolate cake
1/2 cup butter
6 ounces (175 g) dark chocolate (over 64-per-cent cocoa)
4 eggs, separated
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
Pinch of salt
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 cup flour
1 cup whipping cream
1 tbsp icing sugar
Preheat oven to 350 F.
Melt butter and chocolate together on low heat in a small heavy pot. Scrape mixture into a large bowl. Stir in egg yolks, sugar, salt and vanilla.
Beat egg whites until soft peaks form. Stir quarter of egg whites into chocolate mixture then fold in remaining egg whites. Gently fold in flour.
Pour batter into buttered ramekins or 8-inch square baking dish. Place ramekins or baking dish in a large, high-sided baking pan. Carefully pour hot water into the pan so water comes half way up the side of ramekins or baking dish.
Bake 25 minutes for ramekins or 35 minutes for 8-inch dish, or until surface is crispy but inside is still gooey and soft. Remove from larger pan to cool.
Whip cream with icing sugar until it forms soft peaks, Serve with mousse.