I’ve had this cookbook for quite some time now, and have made a couple of recipes from it, but it’s been years since I’ve pulled it off of the shelf. I love a good baking book, and hope to visit her bakery one day, and was excited to have an opportunity to bake up this chocolate cake that is on the book’s cover. I had high hopes – I love a good flourless cake. Plus, I had some in-season berries that were begging to be used. So Fallen Chocolate Souffle Cake it was! Read my notes below to see what I thought of this recipe.
Fallen Chocolate Souffle Cake
Yield: One 10-inch cake
Prep Time: 20 min
Cook Time: 1 hour 5 min
Total Time: 1 hour 30 min
10 1/2 ounces best quality semisweet chocolate
7 tablespoons unsalted butter
8 large eggs, separated
1/2 cup sugar, divided into 2 separate parts
1 teaspoon freshly grated orange zest
1 tablespoon Grand Marnier
Confectioners' sugar, for sprinkling
fresh berries, for serving
1. Place the oven rack in the middle of the oven. Preheat the oven to 350F. Grease a 10-inch springform pan with cooking spray. Cut a round of parchment paper and line the bottom and spray with cooking spray.
2. Place the chocolate and the butter in a bowl set over a pot of simmering water. Melt completely, stirring until smooth.
3. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whip attachment, combine the egg yolks and 1/4 cup of the sugar. Whip until about double in volume. Add in the chocolate mixture and beat to combine. Add in the Grand Marnier. Transfer the mixture to a large bowl. Thoroughly clean and dry the bowl and the whip attachment and return to the mixer.
4. In the clean bowl, whip the egg whites until foamy. Slowly start adding in the remaining sugar. Beat until stiff but not dry peaks form.
5. Fold one-third of the meringue into the chocolate mixture. Gently fold in the remaining two-thirds of the meringue. Pour the batter into the prepared springform pan.
6. Bake until a tester inserted in the middle of the cake comes out clean, about 65 minutes*.
7. When the cake is cool, (the cake will fall as it cools), remove the outer ring of the springform pan. Invert the cake onto a plate, and remove the bottom of the pan and the parchment paper. Gently turn the cake back over onto a serving platter. Dust with confectioners' sugar. Serve with berries, ice cream, caramel sauce or chocolate sauce.
*The recipe states to bake the cake for 65 minutes, but I wish I would have taken mine out at 45-50 minutes. I would start checking it around the 40 minute mark, just to make sure it doesn't overcook.
*I left out the Grand Marnier
Source: The Sweet Melissa Baking Book
This cake was actually quite easy to whip up. Don’t be intimidated by the word “souffle” – there are very few ingredients in this cake, and I’m pretty sure anyone could do the preparation. But I have to say – I was a little underwhelmed. The first problem is that I think the baking time is off. My oven normally cooks pretty spot on, and even with taking this cake out 10 minutes before I was supposed to, it was a bit overcooked and dry. My cake didn’t fall as dramatically as the cover photo, but mostly, I think the cake just wasn’t quite sweet enough. It was just ok with the berries, but later, I tried some with some sweetened whipped cream, and it was much better. I think that it would be great with another sweet addition to it, like a drizzle of caramel sauce or even chocolate sauce. But the cake on it’s own has something lacking.
Did this recipe deserve the cover spotlight?
I’m on the fence with this one. If you are judging just on the cake itself, I’d say that maybe it wasn’t the best recipe. But with some additions, I think this cake has great potential.