Dense, moist and chocolate, this flourless dessert is a rich treat
When you think of cracked earth, your mind might conjure a bone dry riverbed in an old John Ford Western. This flourless cake is the exact opposite — dense, moist and chocolate. Gluten-free never had it so good. With a pound of bittersweet chocolate, it pairs perfectly with espresso or a nice red wine. It’s rich, so small slices, please. And it’s great to share for parties or a small gathering of friends.
Cracked Earth Cake
1 pound bittersweet chocolate, chopped into small pieces
1 stick unsalted butter
9 large eggs, separated
3⁄4 cup granulated sugar
Confectioners sugar for dusting
Preheat oven to 350 F. Butter a 9-inch springform pan.
Put the chocolate and butter into the top of a double boiler or heatproof bowl and heat over — but not touching — about 1 inch of simmering water until melted.
Meanwhile, whisk the egg yolks and sugar in a mixing bowl until light yellow in color. Whisk a little of the chocolate mixture into the egg yolk mixture to temper the eggs, then whisk in the rest of the chocolate mixture.
Beat the egg whites until stiff peaks form, and fold into the chocolate mixture.
Pour into the prepared pan and bake until cake is set, the top starts to crack and a toothpick comes out with moist crumbs clinging to it, 20 to 25 minutes. Let stand for 10 minutes, then remove sides of pan. Serve dusted with confectioners sugar at room temperature.
Phil Newton is a Galveston baker/cook. He’s the owner/operator of Stiglich Corner with partner Cindy Roberts.