Brian and I have always gone to his family for Passover Seder and have always brought one of the desserts, traditionally the flourless chocolate cake. Manhattan has no shortage of bakeries offering the Passover-friendly treat at this time of year and we've shopped around for ours at quite a few of the more popular venues. We've learned a few things...we need to order early...we need to pay a lot...we need to prepare ourselves for a very thick, dense, fudge-like creation that will sit like lead in our stomachs after the large holiday meal. Yes, some of the specialty gourmet stores offer a lighter "soufflé" version...at an even more outrageous price.
The result was perfect! It had a gourmet look, an excellent taste and was surprisingly light. The universal opinion was that this cake would be well received any time of the year and the guests devoured every slice while ignoring the other dessert offerings on the buffet table. I used Ghirardelli chocolate, which Brian loves, but any high quality chocolate will work. I've made the cake with plain baking chocolate but with so few ingredients and the chocolate playing such a prominent role, the higher quality chocolate made a huge difference. Enjoy!
7 oz. Semi-sweet chocolate
7 oz. Unsalted butter but extra for greasing the pan
1 Cup sugar
4 Eggs plus 1 extra egg white
1 Teaspoon vanilla
1/8 Teaspoon salt
1 Tablespoon cake meal (or flour if it's not a Passover cake) plus extra for coating the pan
1 Tablespoon confectioner's sugar for dusting
Melt the butter and chocolate in a double boiler or in the microwave and set aside to cool. Separate the eggs and mix the four yolks with the vanilla, salt and half the sugar. Beat until the batter thickens and lightens in color.
Beat the egg whites separately until frothy and gradually add in the remaining half of the sugar. Continue beating until stiff peaks form. Add the cooled chocolate and butter mixture to the egg yolk mixture, add the cake meal or flour and mix thoroughly. Gently fold in the beaten egg whites.
Bake for 40 minutes and allow to cool thoroughly before removing from the pan. Dust the top of the cake with the confectioner's sugar and serve with berries or whipped cream. Makes 8 servings.