Alright folks… I’m about to share Bo’s favorite dessert recipe, but first, a bit of a back story.
When Bo and I got married we went to Bahamas for 5 days, then hooked back up with my family in Florida for the annual vacation. We also decided to go out for one really nice dinner to celebrate, something we hadn’t done before. We’re pretty much a roadhouse family most of the time when we go out to eat. We were driving down International Drive in Orlando, went past The Capital Grille, and said “there”.
Fate was sealed.
It was by far, hands down, the best meal either of us had ever had. Every year since then (save the one I missed pregnant with Oliver and lots of complications), we’ve gone back for an anniversary dinner on our trip to Florida. We’ve got a few favorites from the place:
First off is the calamari, lightly dusted and fried, then pan fried with hot peppers and plated with a ton of baby heirloom tomatoes to help cut the heat. Words can not describe how great this is.
Next up is the lobster mac and cheese. Just, indescribable.
I can’t forget the truffle fries (Bo isn’t a fan of these, he doesn’t like anything with truffles, but I don’t mind… more for me).
Dinner is switched up every year, but always a fantastic steak of one kind or another.
Dessert, we always order two things. One is the cheesecake (with a scrumptious crème brulé crust on top). The second is the flourless chocolate espresso cake.
We only get to Florida once a year, and frankly, we could eat this meal at least once a month with no complaints, so I’ve been slowing trying to figure them out, one by one, at home. The calamari is really giving me a run for my money, and so far I’m coming up with a bunch of sorry imposter’s.
The cheesecake is just about there… and I’ve yet to try to copy the mac and cheese, or the fries. One thing at a time I suppose.
The flourless chocolate espresso cake though…that I’ve got nailed, and it’s time to share!
Oh yeah… it’s ridiculously easy too.
Now, a lot of flourless cake recipes will tell you to use a 9” round cake pan, because they have you flip the cake out at the end once it’s cooled. I am not a fan of this. I’ve had too many of these stick a bit to the bottom or the sides. So, get out a 9” spring-form pan and cut a piece of parchment paper to roughly fit the bottom. Set it aside.
Get out a large pot and put the butter, espresso, and sugar in it. Crank it up to medium-high heat and let it all melt down and come up to a boil, stirring occasionally.
While the butter mixture is heating up, get your eggs cracked into a bowl and whisk them until nice and uniform. Look. I didn’t say this was going to be the healthiest thing you were ever going to make. It will be one of the richest, most delicious, chocolatiest cakes you’ll ever have though, so at least you’ll be satisfied with just a little sliver of a piece.
There, butter mixture is looking perfect! You just need it to boil long enough to dissolve all the sugar.
Once the sugar has dissolved, toss in the chocolate and whisk until melted and completely smooth.
Here’s a step I forgot to take pictures of:
Whisk the eggs into the chocolate mixture. Now, a lot of those other chocolate flourless cake recipes will involve tempering the eggs and such. I just use a strainer at the end. I would use one anyways just so make sure, so that there might be 5 or 6 extra little pieces of egg that get caught? Well that’s something I can easily live with to save 5 minutes off my prep time.
Ok, now get the pan ready for a water bath. I always like to wrap my spring-form pans in 2 layers of heavy duty aluminum foil, just in case. Strain in the cake batter to get any little bits of cooked egg out, then get the air bubbles out. Do this by lifting the pan straight up from the counter about an inch or two and dropping it a couple of times, until no more bubbles rise to the surface and pop.
Sit the cake pan in a larger pan (I like to use my roaster), and fill with water 3/4 of the way up the side of the cake pan. Pop it in the oven for about 45 minutes, until a toothpick comes out with a just a few moist crumbs attached. Be careful not to cook it too long… and remember that chocolate cakes are notoriously difficult to judge doneness by color.
Fabulous! See, people like to flip the cake out once it’s cool so that you have a perfectly flat top. I can live with these few bubbles and bumps, that’s what whipped cream is for.
Take the cake pan out of the water bath and let it sit on a cooling rack until it reaches room temperature. Then place it in the fridge for at least 8 hours (go overnight) to completely cool and set. Sorry, it’ll be tough to wait, but it’ll be worth it!
Now, slice it up, top with a bit of freshly whipped sweet cream and some berries if that’s your thing and you’ve got the perfect special occasion dessert. It works fabulously as an “I’ve had a really shitty week at work” cake too. I like options.
I may just have to make this again when we get home, because it looks like we won’t be making it for our dinner this year either. We worry about the kids acting up, and don’t want to risk ruining another couples meal with no family down at the same time as us to baby sit. My stomach is really mad at me for this.
Here’s your printable:
Ultimate Flourless Chocolate Espresso Cake
- 1 lb semisweet chocolate, coarsely chopped (or use chocolate chips)
- 2 cups butter, cut into chunks(1 lb)
- 1 cup freshly brewed strong espresso
- 1 cup brown sugar
- 8 eggs, beaten until uniform
- Preheat your oven to 350ºF with a rack in the middle position.
- Line the bottom of a 9" spring-form pan with parchment paper and wrap the outside with 2 layers of aluminum foil.
- Bring the butter, espresso, and sugar to a boil in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat, stirring frequently until all of the sugar has dissolved.
- Turn off the heat, add the chocolate to the pan, and whisk until completely smooth.
- Whisk the eggs into the chocolate mixture until completely blended and uniform.
- Pour the batter through a fine mesh sieve into the prepared pan. Set the cake pan into a larger pan (such as a roasting pan), and add warm water until it reaches ¾ of the way up the side of the cake pan.
- Carefully place the cake and water bath into the oven and bake for about 45 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out with a few moist crumbs still attached. Be sure to not over cook the cake, so do not judge its doneness by its external appearance.
- Remove the pan from the water bath and let cool on a rack for about 2 hours. Place in the fridge, uncovered, for at least 8 hours (preferably overnight) before serving.
Fantastic served with a raspberry sauce, or whipped sweet cream and berries.