Flourless mocha cake

April 5, 2006

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Makes one 9-inch cake

Since confectioners' sugar contains starch, the sugar is not for the Passover table. During the holiday, sprinkle the top of the cake with a fine haze of unsweetened cocoa powder.


Butter (for the pan)
2 teaspoons instant espresso powder
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon hot water
8 ounces bittersweet chocolate, melted and cooled to tepid
9 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled to tepid
4 eggs, separated
2 extra yolks
2/3 cup superfine sugar
1/8 teaspoon salt
Unsweetened cocoa powder or confectioners' sugar (for sprinkling)
1. Set the oven at 350 degrees. Lightly butter a 9-inch springform pan.

2. In a small bowl, combine the espresso powder, vanilla, and hot water.

3. In a mixing bowl, whisk the melted chocolate and melted butter until thoroughly combined.

4. In a large mixing bowl, whisk the 6 egg yolks and sugar for 2 minutes, or until very lightly thickened. Blend in the espresso mixture and the melted chocolate-butter mixture until thoroughly incorporated.

5. In an electric mixer, beat the 4 egg whites until just beginning to swell. Add the salt, and continue beating until firm, but not stiff, peaks form.

6. Stir 3 large spoonfuls of the whites into the chocolate batter. Use a large spoon or rubber spatula to fold in the remaining whites, combining the two mixtures gently so you don't deflate the batter; no streaks of beaten white should show.

7. Spoon the batter into the pan, smooth the top with the spatula, and transfer to the oven.

8. Bake the cake for 40 minutes, or until gently set. Cool the cake in the pan on a rack; it will fall slightly. Release the sides of the pan, leaving the cake on its base. Sift cocoa powder or confectioners' sugar on top. Cut the cake into wedges for serving.


1 cup heavy or whipping cream
1 tablespoon superfine sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1. Chill the bowl and beaters of an electric mixer. Beat the cream until it forms floppy peaks. Beat in the sugar and vanilla and continue beating until it holds soft peaks. Spoon the mixture onto the slices.

Lisa Yockelson