Layers and Layers of Chocolate: Try This Perfect French Take on Flourless Cake

Chef Jean Yves' flourless chocolate cake.
Chef Jean Yves' flourless chocolate cake.

By David Latt

When French pastry chef Jean Yves was looking to create a signature dessert for his Berkshire Mountains patisserie, he wanted something that would satisfy a chocolate-loving upscale clientele.

RELATED: Marshmallow pie improves on the classic Mallomar

He remembered the densely flavored chocolate and thick whipped cream he employed to make rich chocolate cakes when he worked in a German bakery. He applied French patisserie techniques to those ingredients.

RELATED: Chocolate cake with a real kick!

The flourless chocolate cake - topped with cocoa powder, swirls of freshly made whipped cream and hand-dipped chocolate-covered whole almonds - was one of the ways he celebrated his new life and business in Lenox, Mass..

Patisserie Lenox Flourless Chocolate Cake

Use good quality ingredients for better tasting cakes. Avoid butter, cream and chocolates made with artificial ingredients and stabilizers.

Serves 6-8

For the cake

6 eggs

12 ounces of bittersweet chocolate

1 cup of sugar

¾ cup of water

2 cups of whipped cream

¼ cup cocoa powder

10 chocolate-covered almonds or coffee beans or whole berries (optional)

For the ganache

1 cup of heavy cream

1 pound bittersweet chocolate

½ pound of butter

3 cups of whipped cream

1 cup of egg white

2-3 tablespoon granulated sugar

Directions to make the cake

1. Whip 6 eggs and 1 cup of sugar until you reach three times the original volume.

2. Cut chocolate into small pieces, the size of chocolate chips, or use chocolate chips.

3. Pour ¾ cup boiling water over the chocolate, mix to melt the chocolate. Let cool but not harden.

4. Mix the eggs, melted chocolate and whipped cream and gently fold them together.

5. Line two ¼ sheet pans with parchment paper.

5. Divide the mixture and pour into the pans.

6. Cook in a preheated, 350 F oven for 20 minutes.

7. Remove the cake from the oven. It may be a bit jiggly and will look as if it is not done.

8. Refrigerate overnight.

Directions to make the mousse

1. Bring the cream to a gentle boil, pour into the chocolate, mix to melt the chocolate.

2. Mix in the butter to create the ganache.

3. Whip egg whites with 2 tablespoons sugar, until the mixture peaks.

4. Sweeten the whipped cream with one tablespoon sugar.

4. Fold the egg whites into the ganache and mix in 2 cups of whipped cream at the same time.

Directions to complete the cake

1. Place the two refrigerated cakes on a work surface. Pour and smooth out ¾ of the mousse on top of one of the cakes.

2. Flip the second pan so that that cake ends up in the first pan. Remove the parchment from the top of the newly assembled "sandwich" cake.

3. Refrigerate for a couple of hours until the cake is set.

4. Put a large plate, serving platter or cutting board on top of the pan. Flip the pan so the "sandwich" cake slides out of the baking pan.

5. Take off the second parchment paper and smooth out the rest of the mousse on top of the cake.

6. Dust the cake with cocoa powder so the top is completely covered.

7. Decorate with the remaining whipped cream and top with chocolate covered almonds or coffee beans, or berries.


Zester Daily contributor David Latt is a television writer/producer with a passion for food. His new book, "10 Delicious Holiday Recipes" is available from Amazon. In addition to writing about food for his own site, Men Who Like to Cook, he has contributed to Mark Bittman's New York Times food blog, Bitten, One for the Table and Traveling Mom. He continues to develop for television but recently has taken his passion for food on the road and is now a contributor to Peter Greenberg's travel site and the New York Daily News online.


Also fresh on Zester Daily:

Turnips are always welcome at the holiday table

Sugar-free chocolate that's still decadent

Skip pie this year in favor of a light, easy pumpkin bar dessert

Master a simple technique for perfect homemade pickles