Flourless Chocolate Cake

I usually add about 1 teaspoon ancho chili powder to the dry ingredients for this cake. The chili adds the tiniest bit of heat, but also adds depth to the cake's chocolate flavor. You can leave out the cinnamon if you prefer, but try it that way once if you've not had this combination—cinnamon's aroma and spicy flavor adds another dimension to chocolate desserts, which are often a little one-note. Other spices—allspice, cloves, black pepper—pair really well with chocolate, so feel free to substitute those! I would start with small amount, about 1/2 teaspoon, and gradually increase so as not to overpower the chocolate.

  • 1 cup (2 sticks) butter, cut into pieces
  • 8 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped (about 1 1/2 cups)
  • 1 1/4 cups sugar
  • 1 cup sifted unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 tablespoon cinnamon
  • 6 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • Raspberry Coulis, for serving (optional)

Preheat the oven to 350°F. Butter a 10-inch springform pan and line the bottom with parchment; butter the parchment. In a heavy saucepan over low heat, melt butter and chocolate, stirring until smooth. Remove the pan from the heat. (Or melt in the microwave at 50% power, stirring at 45-second intervals. Be very careful that the chocolate doesn't scorch. Err on the side of "less melted" and let the mixture stand a minute; the residual heat will do the rest of the work.) In a large bowl, whisk together the sugar, cocoa, and cinnamon. Whisk in the eggs until well blended, then whisk in the vanilla. Whisk in the chocolate mixture. Pour batter into the prepared pan. Bake until a tester inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean, about 45 minutes. Cool the cake completely in the pan on a rack. Run a table knife around the edge of the cake to loosen, then release the pan sides. (Can be made 1 day ahead. Cover and refrigerate; remove from the refrigerator about 30 minutes before serving.) Serve with the raspberry coulis on the side, or create individual dessert plates by decorating them with the sauce, then placing the cake on top.

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