Dense, rich, and guaranteed to elicit multiple chocogasms.
1 lb semisweet chocolate, cut into chunks*
1/2 lb unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-in pieces
1/2 t unsalted butter, room temperature (to prep pan)
1/4 C Kahlua**
8 large eggs
1/4 C sugar
1 t vanilla
1/2 t salt
* The quality of the chocolate directly affects the finished product. I have tried this recipe with Hershey's and Baker's chocolates and was extremely disappointed with the result. I highly suggest using Ghirardelli or Scharffen Berger (or other high quality) chocolate for the best results. I have also experimented with a combination of milk and semisweet chocolates.
** I have also substituted strong coffee (increase vanilla to 1 T, add 2 T more sugar), amaretto, Frangelico, or peppermint or orange extracts (using about 1 t and increase sugar by 1-2 t).
1. Preheat oven to 325 F.
2. Prep springform pan: Butter bottom and sides of 9-in springform with 1/2 T softened butter (note: using an 8-inch pan will increase the baking time). Trace and cut a piece of parchment (not waxed) paper and place in bottom of pan. Using heavy-duty aluminum foil, completely wrap around the outside (bottom and up the sides) of the pan to the top. Place in the center of a deep roasting pan. Bring a medium saucepan of water to boil, then simmer.
3. Combine eggs, sugar, vanilla, and salt in a large bowl and beat with an electric mixer until frothy and almost doubled in volume, about 5 to 10 minutes.
4. While eggs are processing, combine chocolate and Kahlua (or other flavoring) in a microwave-safe bowl. Process chocolate at 50 percent power for 2 minutes, at 50 percent power for 2 minutes, stir, add butter, and continue heating at 50 percent power, stirring every minute, until chocolate and butter have melted and are smooth, another 2 to 3 minutes total.
5. Fold 1/3 of egg mixture into melted chocolate using a rubber spatula until no streaks of egg remain. Repeat this process two more times.
6. Place roasting pan on oven rack, then pour batter into the springform. While shielding the batter from splashes, pour enough boiling water into the roasting pan to come about halfway up the sides. Bake until cake has risen slightly and edges are just beginning to set, about 40 to 45 minutes (there should be just the slightest wiggle in the middle of the cake--baking time can vary from 35 - 55 min).
7. Remove cake from roasting pan and cool on wire rack to room temperature. Remove foil, cover, and refrigerate overnight to mellow the flavors.
8. Remove cake from refrigerator about 30 minutes before serving. Remove springform pan sides, invert cake onto a large plate, and peel away parchment paper from bottom. Reinvert cake on another large plate or platter and garnish as desired (powdered sugar or cocoa powder) immediately before serving. To serve, dip knife in very hot water, then dry, before making each cut.
This cake pairs very well with fresh berries, whipped cream, or custard to counteract the intensity.
Will serve at least 12 people.