FLOURLESS CHOCOLATE ESPRESSO CAKE
- 1/2 c (1 stick) unsalted butter, cut into 1" pieces, at room temperature, plus more for baking pan
- 3/4 c plus 2 tbsp sugar, divided, plus more for pan
- 10oz semisweet or bittersweet chocolate (61%-72% cacao), coarsely chopped
- 2 tbsp vegetable oil
- 6 large eggs
- 2 tbsp natural unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1 tbsp ground espresso beans
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 3/4 tsp kosher salt
- 1 c chilled heavy cream
- 8oz creme fraîche
- Pinch of flaky sea salt
- Candied ginger (optional)
- a 9-inch spring-form pan and electric mixer or whisk
Preheat oven to 350º.
Using some extra butter, coat the pan with butter and dust the interior with 2 tbsp of granulated sugar. In a double boiler (place a heat safe bowl in a pot with 1-2 inches of water and bring to a boil) melt the chocolate and butter, remove the bowl from the pot and set aside.
Separate 4 of the eggs into two medium mixing bowls. Using the remaining 2 whole eggs, crack them into a medium bowl with the egg yolks, then add the cocoa powder, espresso, vanilla extract, and granulated sugar, whisk until smooth. Slowly stir the melted chocolate into the egg yolk mixture.
Whip the egg whites until the mixture begins to foam and come white, with the mixer continually running, gradually add the sugar until fully incorporated and stiff meringue begins to form. In two batches, fold the egg whites into the chocolate mixture. Make sure that no white ribbons of egg whites can be seen.
Pour the chocolate batter into the prepared cake pan. Bake at 350º for 35-40 mins. Cake should puff-up and rise, the edges will pull away from the pan. Remove from the oven and allow to completely cool before serving. This can be made 1-2 days in advance.
To make the topping: using a whisk or electric mixer, whip the chilled heavy cream and creme fraîche together with a pinch of salt. Serve with the whipped cream mounded on the center of the cake with julienned candied ginger (optional).