The Chocolate Orgasm Perfected or The Perfect Flourless Chocolate Cake

by Jeff Berkowitz on March 2, 2011 · 22 comments

in chocolate,Desserts,gluten-free

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I have been working on this recipe for about 2 months…my poor family had to endure chocolate cake after chocolate cake. They all said it was wonderful, but I just kept saying it is still not perfect. I finally got it, and then I had to do it one more time to make sure that the first time was not a fluke. It wasn’t! This cake is rich and dark with a sinful texture that floats over your tongue like a chocolate truffle, a heady aroma that makes you understand why cacao beans are sought after the world over and just enough sweetness to end a meal with deep satisfaction. The beginning of flour-less chocolate dreams…

I started making this cake when one of our children decided that they did not want ice cream cake for their birthday. When asked what they would rather have they answered “the flourless chocolate cake you made when you were the chef at !@#$%^” (sorry no free advertising here and I won’t name drop this time either). That was simple, the recipe came from The Gourmet Cookbook edited by Ruth Reichl. In the cookbook she states that this is a very simple recipe and is probably the easiest cake recipe you will ever make, it is made of only 5 ingredients. She is correct, but I had to modify it a little to achieve the quintessential  chocolate cake I was looking for. To start,the original recipe (found on page 739) uses a spring form pan; they are fine if you have and like using them, I do not – I lost the bottom to it and I refuse to buy another. I use a 10X3 inch cake pan for all of my 10 inch cakes. Using a solid bottom cake pan also allows me to cook in a water bath which I feel is important when making a recipe with a lot of eggs like cheese cake or this one. Finally, the original just didn’t have the silky texture that I was looking for so I added some egg yolks and dissolved the sugar in the egg before incorporating them with the melted chocolate. The resulting recipe is still incredibly easy and the cake is divine.


The 5 Ingredients

8 oz 60% Bittersweet Chocolate (chips are easier to weigh)

8 oz unsalted butter

1 cup cocoa powder, sifted

6 whole eggs plus 2 egg yolks

1½ cups sugar

Melting the chocolate and the butter

Preheat the oven to 350°F. Lightly butter the cake pan and place a parchment circle on the bottom of the pan buttering the top of the parchment as well. Melt chocolate and butter in a metal mixing bowl over barely simmering water. Stir occasionally until both the chocolate and the butter are melted and incorporated well. Remove from the heat and add the sifted cocao powder. Stir with a whisk to incorporate well. While the chocolate and the butter are melting beat the eggs slightly and add the sugar. Continue beating the eggs until the sugar is dissolved and the eggs become fluffy and pale yellow in color. Fold the eggs into the melted chocolate in 3 additions, continue to fold until the eggs are well incorporated. Pour the batter into the prepared cake pan and smooth the top. Put the cake pan into a roasting pan and place both on the center rack of the oven.

Adding Cocoa Powder to the Melted Chocolate and Butter

Pour enough hot water into the roasting pan to come at least half way up the level of the cake batter. Bake for 35 minutes, then test with a tooth pick. The cake is done when there is a slight crust on the top of the cake and the tooth pick comes out with moist crumbs on it.

It usually takes 4o minutes in my oven. Cool the cake for 20 minutes on a wire rack, turn the pan over onto a cookie sheet, peel the paper off and turn it over again onto a serving platter. Let the cake cool another 2 hours before serving (try to keep everyone away from it).

Eggs and Sugar Beaten to a Pale Yellow

My understanding is that the cake can be stored in the refrigerator for 3 days, but it never lasts more than 1 day in my house so I don’t know for sure. In the restaurant I made individual cakes like these and they did last at least 3 days, although my recollection is that I had to make them at least every 2 days or so. The ten inch cake can be cut into 16 pieces making the perfect size, large enough to satisfy but not so large that it is overkill. To cut it I dipped a knife in hot water and wiped it clean between each cut. Another way to do it would be with some copper or brass wire which is inexpensive and available at a hardware store.  I served this cake when my sister and brother-in-law came to town with their two boys (we had a nice visit, it was great to see the boys…man they grow fast!) all agreed that it was the best they had had.  I am sure you will love it, Enjoy!

The Finished Heavenly Chocolate Cake

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{ 22 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Jeanne January 12, 2014 at 12:24 pm

My niece took this recipe if your site, Jeff. It is by far the most delicious one I’ve ever had. Omg. So delicious. I can’t wait to make it.


2 Kristi January 13, 2013 at 3:25 pm

I adore this cake – made it several times and it is always a winner. I’m single though – any possibilities of making it into smaller portions (like in cupcake tins) that can be eaten individually than one big cake to store? Or will that mess the texture up when cooking? Thanks for the recipe :)


3 Jeff Berkowitz January 14, 2013 at 10:41 am

Originally I made this recipe in 4 oz aluminum ramekins in the restaurant. They come out perfectly, you just need to adjust the cooking time to about 30 minutes. You can also cut the recipe in half if you wish and freezing the finished product is fine.


4 Barbara September 7, 2012 at 2:25 pm

I have this in the oven baking now! I am making it for my gluten free family. I have tried a few different recipes but they were not as rich and fudge like as the ones I have purchased from bakeries. I can already tell that this recipe surpasses the others that I have tried. It is going to be “good eating” at my house tonight!

Thanks for sharing this wonderful recipe!


5 Alice McElroy July 28, 2012 at 1:34 am

It was mentioned that the cake pan should be 10″ x 3″”. I could not find that size but I found a 10″ by 2″. Do you think this recipe will work with that size?

Thank you.


6 Jeff Berkowitz July 28, 2012 at 8:50 am

Yes, a 2 inch pan should work, but do be careful not to get any of the water from the water bath into the cake.


7 Alice July 28, 2012 at 11:18 am

Thanks Jeff, I’ll try it.


8 Jeff Berkowitz July 28, 2012 at 12:38 pm

Let me know how it turns out.


9 Alice July 30, 2012 at 12:03 am

Hi Jeff,
I’m going to try it next week and I will let you know how it turns out. Thanks you very much.



10 Maureen June 23, 2011 at 12:13 am

Oh my goodness, a cake just for me. I’m very jealous of your family who got to eat all the testing ! Now that their hard work is done, I’ll make this cake and eat every bite in their honor. :)


11 Yuri May 5, 2011 at 11:19 pm

This looks so good! 2 months working on this recipe? Then I should definitely try it. Thank you for sharing this wonderful chocolate cake with us. I will feature this next Monday on my blog 😀


12 Judy March 14, 2011 at 5:50 pm

Finally,what I’ve been looking for! I cannot tell you how much chocolate and eggs and butter I’ve wasted recently trying to achieve this taste and texture. It is bliss pure and simple. Thank you.


13 Jeff Berkowitz March 14, 2011 at 10:20 pm

Wow, I don’t think I have ever heard a better compliment, Thank you!


14 Jenni March 4, 2011 at 3:04 pm

Yeah, I’m with Roberta up there–it really sucks to be your family!

I love the thoughtful tweaks you made to achieve the desired results. It’s posts like this one that really give home cooks insight into how ingredients work and how professional chefs make them work for them. In other words, yum. :)


15 Jeff Berkowitz March 4, 2011 at 4:50 pm

I hope that reading articles like this will encourage more people at home to give it a try.


16 Kathy March 2, 2011 at 9:24 pm

Any substitution suggestions for the butter? My sister’s girls are dairy, wheat and soy intolerant and really love chocolate desserts.


17 Jeff Berkowitz March 2, 2011 at 9:48 pm

I would try coconut oil. I have been doing a lot of baking with coconut oil lately and I really like the texture and mouth-feel of it. Coconut oil is 100% fat so you would only put in about ¾ of a cup instead of the full cup of butter. I would also suggest using 2 fl oz of coconut milk to make up the difference. I am writing this off the cuff, it is what I would try, but I have not tried it yet. If you do before I get to would you let me know how it comes out.


18 Kristen G. March 6, 2011 at 6:38 pm

I made it tonight and it was sooo heavenly delicious. To make it safe for Erica (who is gluten, soy and dairy free), I substituted Earth Balance Soy-Free Buttery Spread for the butter and used Enjoy Life Chocolate chips. I also used Ghiradelli cocoa powder – which is our tried and true soy free cocoa powder.

Thank you very much for the recipe and your family for their sacrifices. It is officially a keeper!


19 Jeff Berkowitz March 6, 2011 at 9:01 pm

I am glad it was a success. That is the best comment ever, thanks.


20 Miriam March 2, 2011 at 8:09 pm

This recipe couldn’t be simpler! I can’t wait to try it. I might just keep it all to myself.


21 Kris March 2, 2011 at 4:54 pm

ooooooh. Can’t wait to try this. YUM!


22 Roberta March 2, 2011 at 3:42 pm

“……my poor family had to endure chocolate cake after chocolate cake.”

Poor? Endure? If I had to taste test chocolate cake for two months I would think I had died and gone to heaven.


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