When it comes to food, I always associate February with chocolate. Whether that is because of Valentine’s Day, the absence of summer fruit at the supermarket for making pies and cobblers, or simply because it is my favorite thing to eat in the solar system. Whatever the case, this month I bring you a flourless chocolate cake. Rich, velvety and not too sweet, it is compact and super-quick to throw together. You will need one piece of special equipment, which is a mini springform cake pan — totally worth the purchase, as you will likely be making this cake on the reg. I hope you enjoy this perfect little confection as much as I do. – HK
Tiny but Intense Chocolate Cake by Deb Perleman
•6 Tbsp. butter, plus more for pan
•4 oz. semisweet chocolate
•3 large eggs separated
•1/3 cup light brown sugar
•¼ tsp. vanilla extract
¼ tsp. fine or flaky sea salt
•Pinch of ground cinnamon (optional; I never add this, but imagine it is lovely)
Preheat oven to 350°F. Line a 6-inch round springform pan with a circle of parchment paper. Generously butter sides of pan and the parchment.
In a small saucepan, melt butter over medium heat, stirring for even cooking. Let the water from the butter cook off for a moment or two. Remove from heat and stir in chocolate until melted and smooth. Let cool to lukewarm.
With an electric mixer, beat egg yolks, brown sugar and vanilla together until the mixture thickens. Slowly beat in the chocolate mixture.
With clean beaters, beat egg whites and salt in a separate bowl until firm peaks form. Add cinnamon if desired. Stir one-third of egg white mixture into chocolate mixture. Fold the remaining two-thirds in gently, keeping the batter as light as possible. Pour into prepared pan and bake for 20-25 minutes until puffed on top and a tester comes out clean, or with a few crumbs attached.
Serve with freshly-whipped cream, or with nothing at all.