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Chef John's Chocolate Decadence

Rated as 4.89 out of 5 Stars

"This 'flourless' chocolate cake was all the rage in the 1980s. As I vaguely remember, the decade celebrated decadent overindulgence and this dessert is that and more. By modern standards, this cake is ridiculously rich. In fact, some of you may find it too intense, but most true chocolate fiends will be in heaven. Serve with ice-cold fresh raspberry sauce."
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2 h servings 333
Original recipe yields 12 servings (1 9-inch cake)


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  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F (220 degrees C). Butter and flour a 9-inch cake pan.
  2. Melt semisweet chocolate and unsalted butter together in the top of a double boiler over simmering water, stirring frequently and scraping down the sides with a rubber spatula, until chocolate and butter are completely melted and combined. Remove from heat.
  3. Beat eggs and sugar together in a bowl with a whisk or an electric mixer until pale and very thick, 5 to 10 minutes. Sift in flour, cayenne, and salt; whisk to combine.
  4. Pour 1/4 of the egg mixture into chocolate mixture; stir to combine. Pour chocolate mixture into remaining egg mixture and stir until cake batter is combined. Pour batter into prepared cake pan.
  5. Bake in the preheated oven until just barely set, with a jiggle below the surface, 14 to 15 minutes. Cool to room temperature, wrap in aluminum foil, and refrigerate until chilled, at least 1 hour.


  • Cook's Note:
  • If you want to remove your cake from the pan for presentation, just set it in a pan of hot water for a minute and it will pop right out.

Nutrition Facts

Per Serving: 333 calories; 25.2 26.2 5.8 103 43 Full nutrition

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  1. 56 Ratings

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Most helpful positive review

This is the first review that I have written for AllRecipies and the reason that I am commenting now is that Chef John's recipes are practically perfect!

Most helpful critical review

It's the most awful chocolate cake I have made...flat and it falls apart. It isnt the nicest tasting cake either..I would rather stick to other recipes that actually work! Wont make this again!

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Most positive
Least positive

This is the first review that I have written for AllRecipies and the reason that I am commenting now is that Chef John's recipes are practically perfect!

I made this for my Daughter who is gluten intolerant, and I was blown away by this decadent cake. I did exclude the cayenne simply because I was out, and made a granache for the top and served w...

OMG!!! If you are not a chocolate fiend like me then this is definitely NOT for you!!! I cheated a little in preparing this because I do not have a double boiler (it is on my list of things to p...

This reipe lives up to it's name. It is totally chocolate and toally decadent! A chocolate lover's dream cake! We absolutely LOVED it! It was easy to bake and didn't require a water bath. Follow...

FYI 18 ozs chocolate equals 3 cups chips

I only had 16 oz of chocolate in my pantry but I did not even adjust any of the other ingredients at all and it came out like a dream from chocolate heaven. I only had Ghirardelli chocolate whi...

Amazing dish. I followed the recipe exactly except I couldn't get the 62% Cacao chocolate bars. I used some Ghirardelli semi sweet chocolate chips and it was still one of the best desserts I've ...

Made as written. Directions were spot on. Used Ghirardelli Baking Bar Semi-Sweet Chocolate which is about 50% cocoa per their website. Using an electric mixer on high settings, it took about 8 m...

This was AWESOME and simple to make! Will definitely make again. Made exactly as written except melted chocolate and butter in pot over lowest heat since I don't have a double boiler. I was ou...