This is probably my favorite cake recipe of all time. Light, delicious, and rich, just not so easy to make. Garnish with fresh fruit or chocolate swirls.


Recipe Summary

25 mins
40 mins
4 hrs 40 mins
5 hrs 45 mins
1 9-inch layer cake


Original recipe yields 12 servings
The ingredient list now reflects the servings specified
Ingredient Checklist
Bottom Layer:
Second Layer:
Top Layer:


Instructions Checklist
  • Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F (165 degrees C). Lightly grease a springform pan with butter.

  • Place dark chocolate and butter in top of a double boiler over simmering water. Stir frequently, scraping down the sides with a rubber spatula to avoid scorching, until chocolate is melted, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat. Stir in coffee and let cool slightly, about 5 minutes. Whisk egg yolks into the chocolate.

  • Whisk egg whites, brown sugar, and salt in a separate bowl until peaks are the consistency of firm snow. Fold into the chocolate mixture. Pour into the pan and smooth the top.

  • Bake in the preheated oven until firm, about 20 minutes. Cool for 1 hour.

  • Prepare the second layer while the first layer is cooling. Mix water and cocoa powder together in a bowl. Melt dark chocolate in top of a double boiler over simmering water, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat.

  • Whisk cream, mascarpone cheese, sugar, and salt together in a bowl. Add cocoa powder mixture and melted chocolate. Pour over the first layer. Refrigerate until set, at least 30 minutes.

  • Meanwhile, prepare the top layer. Melt white chocolate in top of a double boiler over simmering water, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat.

  • Dissolve gelatin powder in water; let stand for 5 minutes. Heat in a double boiler until melted, 2 to 3 minutes. Mix into the melted chocolate.

  • Whisk cream until soft peaks form. Add mascarpone cheese and mix until smooth. Fold in the chocolate-gelatin mixture. Pour over the second layer. Refrigerate cake until firm, at least 3 hours.

Cook's Note:

Substitute 2 gelatin sheets for the powder, if preferred. Soak them in cold water briefly to soften before using.

Nutrition Facts

652 calories; protein 8.4g; carbohydrates 36.8g; fat 54.7g; cholesterol 191.6mg; sodium 99.6mg. Full Nutrition

Reviews (1)

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1 Ratings
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Rating: 1 stars
This recipe doesn't have enough detail to be successful which is probably why only three people (now four) have made it. For example it does not say what size pan to use. Also the amount that the cake expands is alarming but don't fret it will shrink down after cooling. Also in the second layer it does not say how long to whisk the cream marscapone cheese and sugar mixture so this layer can be somewhat dense. Lastly the folding in of the gelatin is very weird because it doesn't feel like it gets mixed well especially if the gelatin starts setting while you're in the mixing stage. The worst part of this recipe is that it is impossible for light cream to whisk until soft peaks form. I whisked it on low medium then high speed for a very long time and the peaks never formed in the last step. Super frustrating! Read More