This is one of my go-to recipes when I want a special-occasion dessert that delivers a big hit of chocolate. The recipe for this intense chocolate cake comes from my book The Cake Book (HMH, 2006), and its secret ingredient is whipped cream, which replaces butter as the fat and gives it an airy texture. The cake is baked in a water bath, insulating it from direct heat, and making it as creamy around the edges as it is in the center. After baking, the cake is coated with a thin layer of raspberry jam and then a dark chocolate glaze and, finally, drizzled with even more dark chocolate. Use a high-quality chocolate for this cake – it will make all the difference, because there’s so much of it. Needless to say, it’s an ideal choice for New Year’s Eve or Valentine’s Day. Oh, and serve it with some whipped cream or vanilla ice cream (duh)!

Makes one 9-inch cake, serving 10


Flourless Chocolate Cake

  • 10 ounces (283 grams) 70% bittersweet chocolate, chopped
  • ¼ cup plus 2 tablespoons (88 grams) water
  • 2/3 cup (155 grams) heavy cream
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla paste or extract
  • 5 large (250 grams) eggs
  • 1/2 cup (100 grams) granulated sugar
  • 1/4 plus 1/8 teaspoon salt

Raspberry Layer

  • 1/4 cup (77 grams) raspberry jam (not preserves)

Bittersweet Chocolate Glaze

  • 4 ounces (113 grams) high-quality bittersweet chocolate 70%, finely chopped
  • 2/3 cup (155 grams) heavy cream
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla paste or extract

Dark Chocolate Drizzle

  • 3 ounces (85 grams) 70% bittersweet chocolate, chopped


  • Fresh raspberries


Make the Flourless Chocolate Cake

1. Position a rack in the center of the oven and preheat the oven to 350°F. Grease the bottom and sides of a 9-inch round cake pan. Line the bottom of the pan with a round of parchment paper and grease the paper. Set aside.

2. Put the chocolate and water in a medium-size stainless steel bowl and place the bowl over a pot of barely simmering water. Heat, stirring frequently, until the chocolate is completely melted and the mixture is smooth. Remove the bowl from over the pot and set the chocolate aside to cool until tepid. Leave the water on low heat.

3. In the bowl of an electric mixer (or with a hand-held mixer or by hand), beat the heavy cream with the vanilla until firm peaks just begin to form. If you used the electric mixer, transfer the whipped cream to another bowl and clean the mixer bowl. Refrigerate the whipped cream, covered.

4. In the clean bowl of the electric mixer, whisk together the eggs, sugar, and salt by hand. Set the bowl over the saucepan of simmering water, making sure that the bottom of the bowl does not touch the water. Heat the egg mixture, whisking constantly, until the eggs are warm. Transfer the bowl to the electric mixer stand and, using the whisk attachment, beat on high speed until the mixture has tripled in volume, about 3 minutes.

5. Using a rubber spatula, gently fold the cooled chocolate into the egg mixture. Gently fold in the whipped cream.

6. Scrape the batter into the prepared pan and smooth the top; place the pan into a roasting pan. Place the roasting pan in the oven and carefully pour enough hot water (tap water is fine) into the pan so that it comes halfway up the sides of the cake pan. Bake the cake for 45 to 52 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean. Remove the pan from the water bath and place it on a wire rack; let the cake cool in the pan for 25 minutes.

7. Run a paring knife around the edge of the pan to loosen the cake. Carefully invert the cake onto cardboard cake round and place on the wire rack. Cool completely.

8. Once cool, refrigerate the cake for 1 hour.

9. Using a small, offset metal spatula, spread the raspberry jam evenly over the top and sides of the cake. Return the cake to the refrigerator for another hour before glazing.

Make the glaze

10. Place the chocolate in a bowl and set aside.

11. Place the cream in a small saucepan and bring to a boil. Remove from heat and pour over the chocolate. Allow to stand for 1 minute, to allow the chocolate to melt. Gently whisk until smooth and emulsified. Stir in the vanilla extract. (Note: The viscosity of chocolate from different brands varies, even when a percentage is specified, because the amount of cocoa butter is an unknown factor. So, if the glaze seems too thick, whisk in a little hot heavy cream until it is just thin enough to pour. If the glaze seems too thin, whisk in a little melted chocolate until you get a glaze-like consistency.)

Glaze the cake

12. Place the cake (still on a cake round) on a wire rack over a waxed paper or parchment paper (to catch the drips). Pour the glaze on top of the cake spread it evenly over the top and sides, covering it completely. Refrigerate the cake for at least 30 minutes before drizzling it with the chocolate.

Finish the cake

13. Put the chocolate in a medium-size stainless steel bowl and place the bowl over a pot of barely simmering water. Heat, stirring frequently, until the chocolate is almost completely melted. Remove the bowl from over the hot water and stir until the chocolate is completely melted.

14. Pour the melted chocolate into a disposable pastry bag and snip the tip to make a small hole.
Remove the cake from the refrigerator and drizzle the chocolate in diagonal lines over the top. Refrigerate the cake for at least 20 minutes to set the chocolate.

15. Serve the cake with fresh raspberries and whipped cream. The cake is best served at room temperature. When slicing the cake, use a sharp knife that has been run under hot water and dried, and wipe the blade clean between cuts.

Recommended Equipment

Crown 9×4 Cake Pan, Heavy Gauge, Fully Straight Sides

Norpro Grip EZ Cake and Pizza Lifter


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Tish Boyle
Tish Boylehttps://pastryathome.com
Tish Boyle is the Managing Editor of Pastry Arts Magazine, a food writer and cookbook author with expertise in baking, desserts and chocolate. A graduate of Smith College and La Varenne Ecole de Cuisine, Tish has written several dessert and baking books including Chocolate Passion, Diner Desserts, The Good Cookie, The Cake Book and Flavorful. Co-writing credits include Payard Desserts and the Grand Finales series of books.


    • Hi Denis: I have not tried that, but in theory it should work, as long as you bake it in a water bath — that might be the tricky part, because it needs to be insulated from the heat to be creamy….

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