Flourless Chocolate Brownie Cake with Whipped Cream

If you're a fudgy brownie person, but crave a little more elegance, this is for you. It's deeply rich with cocoa and easy as pie -- or, really, much easier. It's not finicky in the way some flourless chocolate cake can be, and you can mask any mistakes (though there's not much to go wrong here) with a dusting of fine cocoa powder or powdered sugar. Dollop with whipped cream or creme fraiche when you serve.
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  • Level: Easy
  • Total: 1 hr 20 min (includes cooling time)
  • Active: 30 min
  • Yield: 8 to 10 servings
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Ingredients

Flourless Chocolate Cake:

1 cup (2 sticks) (225 grams) unsalted butter, cut into small pieces, plus more for the pan

1/4 cup (60 milliliters) heavy cream

7 ounces (200 grams) 70 to 78 percent bittersweet chocolate, chopped

5 large eggs

1 cup (200 grams) sugar

1/2 cup (40 grams) Dutch-processed (or alkalized) cocoa powder, plus more for the pan and garnish

1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt

Whipped Cream:

1 cup (240 milliliters) heavy cream (See Cook's Note)

1 teaspoon sugar

Splash of pure vanilla extract

Directions

  1. For the flourless chocolate cake: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F (180 degrees C). Butter the bottom and sides of an 8- or 9-inch (20- or 23-centimeter) springform pan and dust it with cocoa powder. Tap out any excess.
  2. Heat the butter and cream in a medium saucepan over low heat. When the butter is melted, add the chopped chocolate and stir frequently until melted and smooth.
  3. In a separate bowl, whisk together the eggs, sugar, cocoa powder, and salt until even and a bit frothy, whisking for 2 to 3 minutes. Stir in the melted chocolate mixture until smooth and even.
  4. Transfer the batter to the prepared pan and bake until the cake is puffed and just set through, 35 to 40 minutes. Remove from the oven and let the cake cool for about 40 minutes. Run a knife around the edge and unmold the sides of the springform pan, then transfer the bottom of the pan to a plate or platter (don't try to remove the whole cake from the springform; it may crumble). Sift cocoa powder over the cake before serving.
  5. For the whipped cream: If you are not whipping your own cream, you're missing out. Perfect, dollopable cream is an art form worth mastering. To do it: Whip the cream in a metal bowl with a whisk or electric beater until it just holds its shape. Fold in the sugar and vanilla. Test with a spoon -- it should slide right off but still hold some shape. Use a whisk to finish it off, whipping a few times by hand until it just holds soft peaks -- but no further: It should dollop lusciously over any cake or pie.
  6. Serve the cake warm or at room temperature with the whipped cream.

Cook’s Note

Use the best, freshest heavy cream you can find for the whipped cream. Get Ahead: This cake keeps, well wrapped, in the refrigerator for up to 4 days, and freezes fine. You'll lose the distinction of the crackly top layer against the fudgier insides, but it will still be delicious. Bring fully to room temperature before dusting with cocoa or confectioners' sugar and serving with whipped cream or creme fraiche. The whipped cream can be made up to 1 day in advance.

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