By Erin Walgamuth
My sister, daughter and I traveled up to central California a few weeks ago to visit our family. We spent a beautiful Saturday on the lake catching up with relatives and friends. That night we all gathered for a barbeque. It was a beautiful evening, a bit humid with some lightning and sprinkles. We sat around the pool drinking wine, laughing and chatting for hours. It was an evening I will never forget.
Our dear friends Mark and Andrew were there for the festivities and Mark, who is a pastry chef and teacher brought an amazing cake. The couple was married a few years ago and Mark made the cake for their reception. He brought this to-die-for dessert for our gathering as I am gluten intolerant and there is no flour what-so-ever in this fabulous cake…lucky me! The cake is a dense, very chocolaty, not too sweet dessert that does taste like a truffle, yum.
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I made the cake yesterday while my daughter and her friend Sean were hanging out after school. The kids sat at the bar in the kitchen and I served them each a piece. Catherine knew what was coming so she watched Sean as he took his first bite. He put the fork full in his mouth and immediately a huge smile appeared on his face. This is a common reaction when eating this wonderful dessert!
Now, for the best part…the recipe only has three ingredients! Yes, three! I will serve the cake over the holidays as we sit in front of the fireplace and think back to the wonderful evening shared with dear friends and family on that humid night when lightning streaked across the the sky.
Serves 10-12 people
Prep-time about 15 minutes
Cook time is about 40 minutes
Pre-heat oven to 425 degrees
You will need-
8” spring form pan
Cooking spray for pan
Aluminum foil for wrapping and topping pan
11x15 glass baking dish for the water bath or a baking dish large enough to accommodate the 8” pan and water
Pitcher for hot water
2-3qt heavy bottomed pot
Large mixing bowl
3 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips or 18oz of your favorite dark chocolate coarsely chopped (not unsweetened)
1 cup of butter (2 sticks)
6 medium eggs at room temperature
Note-I only had extra-large eggs so I used 5 instead of the 6 medium and the cake was still fantastic. DON’T BE ALARMED, THIS CAKE IS ONLY ABOUT AN INCH TALL.
Spray inside of the spring form pan with cooking spray. Wrap the outside of the spring form pan with foil up to its upper half and press foil around pan snugly, set aside.
Put the butter and the chocolate in the heavy bottomed pot. Turn heat to low and let chocolate melt, stirring occasionally to combine the butter and chocolate. When chocolate and butter are completely melted and thoroughly combined turn off heat and let rest.
Put the room temp eggs in the large mixing bowl. Set the hand mixer on high and beat the eggs until tripled in volume, around 7 minutes.
Stir the chocolate again and slowly add a small amount of the melted chocolate mixture into the eggs and stir to incorporate. Slowly fold in the rest of the chocolate with a spatula and stir until well combined.
Pour the cake batter into the prepared spring form pan. Put the pan into the baking dish and pour very hot water into the pan to come half way up the side of the spring form pan. Place a sheet of aluminum foil loosely over the top of the spring form pan. Carefully place the baking dish with the spring form pan into the pre-heated oven. Bake for 40 minutes.
Remove the baking dish from the oven. Remove the foil from top of the spring form pan. Use oven gloves or hot pads to lift the spring form pan out of the water bath and place on a cooling rack for 20 minutes. Run a knife around the inside of the pan between the cake and the pan and then remove the pan ring. Continue to cool to room temperature. Store any left over cake in an air tight food container in the refrigerator.
Mark serves this decadent dessert with a vanilla sauce and candied pecans or with raspberry sauce. It is also fabulous with a drizzle of caramel sauce or good quality vanilla ice cream.
Erin Walgamuth  has been an assistant Food Stylist for television and print for the past 26 years and writes this column using her own recipes. Check out her other creations in our Hometown Recipe  section.