We had some friends over last week, including a family from North Carolina that we hadn’t seen in 10 years. So my baker daughter wanted to make them something special, even though she didn’t remember them because she was about 6 months old when they moved. She either has the gift of hospitality, or she wanted an excuse to make this:
Just as its name implies, this chocolate cake is extremely light and airy with a delicately crisp crust. The chocolate flavor was tasty and not too sweet, but in the colder months I tend to like my chocolate a bit richer. When I make this cake again, it will probably be during the summer. Its light texture would be perfect with some berries (as shown on the Sweet Melissa’s cover) in the summer heat.
We had a wonderful time and laughed tons, as old friends should. Some of our girls put on a fashion show, and the boys has their own flashlight adventures outside in the dark. Between the three couples, we had 11 children. And if you’re wondering how in the world this cake fed that many people, it didn’t. We made double chocolate brownies with ice cream for the kids. There were no complaints other than, “Why can’t I have another?!”
I asked them all to smile, but obviously everyone had their own interpretation of what that meant.
Fallen Chocolate Souffle Cake
- 10 1/2 ounces best-quality semisweet (58%) chocolate
- 7 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 8 large eggs, separated
- 1/2 cup sugar divided into 2 equal parts
- 1 teaspoon freshly grated orange zest
- 1 tablespoon Grand Marnier
- Confectioner’s sugar, for sprinkling
- In the top of a double boiler set over simmering, not boiling, water, melt the chocolate with the butter, stirring until smooth.
- In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whip attachment, whip the egg yolks with half of the sugar until doubled in volume. Add the melted chocolate and mix until combined. Transfer the chocolate batter to a large bowl. (Wash the mixer bowl and whip attachment very well, and dry thoroughly.)
- In the clean bowl of the electric mixer, fitted with the clean whip attachment, make a meringue by whipping the egg whites until foamy. In a slow steady stream, add the remaining sugar. Whip until the whites hold stiff but not dry peaks.
- Briskly fold one-third of the meringue into the chocolate mixture to lighten the batter. Gently fold the remaining two-thirds of the meringue into the batter until it is just incorporated.
- Pour the batter into the prepared springform pan. Spin the pan to level the batter. Bake for 65 minutes, or until a wooden skewer inserted into the center comes out clean [ours was done at 55 minutes]. The cake will fall as it cools.
- When the cake is cool, release the springform ring and remove it. To release the bottom, invert the cake onto a flat plate and remove the bottom and the parchment round. Turn right side up onto a serving plate and dust with confectioner’s sugar. [I did not do this and instead slid the cake, with the parchment, onto a plate. I felt the delicate crust would crack if inverted.]
- Serve with vanilla ice cream or warm hot fudge sauce and garnish with fresh berries, if you’d like to make the dessert a little fancy. The cake keeps tightly wrapped in plastic wrap at room temperature for up to 3 days. For longer storage, refrigerate wrapped in plastic wrap for up to 1 week. (Leave the cake in the pan for storing; it is delicate.)