I dreamed about eating a cake like this for years.
I’m serious. I really did. I’m one of those “There’s no such thing as chocolate cake that’s too rich” types. I was dieting, but I had to “cheat” from time to time just to keep my sanity, by eating a chocolate flourless espresso cake I just loved. Then I felt guilty and tried to spend more time at the gym, all the while calling the cake “a heart attack in a pan.” It literally had a pound of butter, a pound of chocolate, and a dozen eggs. I limited myself to making it on special occasions, but I dreamed about eating it (both in my sleep and during the day) often.
And then came this cake.
It’s as rich as they come and I love it more than any other I’ve had. In addition to being delicious, this cake is extremely simple and can be mixed up in minutes. If you really want to impress your friends, keep some, unbaked, in your freezer. Store them in the ramekins in an airtight container. When you need dessert without any fuss, pop them in the water bath and bake them (you’ll need to add about 10 minutes to the baking time).
Please note: these cakes are extremely rich.
It’s one of the few desserts where I feel satisfied eating just half . . . but even when I am really craving chocolate, the whole thing doesn’t set me back. Just make sure to grind the espresso finely. The coffee is here only to deepen the chocolate flavor; it’s not a mocha cake. Regardless, you don’t want to taste coffee grounds in this slice of heaven.
Not only do I just love the taste, but it packs 6 grams of fiber, so it really comes without the guilt!
Preheat the oven to 350° F.
Generously mist four 31/2-inch-diameter ramekins with spray. Place them side by side in an 8 X 8-inch baking pan. Add water to the pan until it reaches halfway to the top of the ramekins.
Use a sturdy whisk or spatula to mix the applesauce, vanilla, egg whites, and sugar in a large mixing bowl until well combined. Add the cocoa powder, espresso, and salt. Stir until just combined and no lumps remain. Divide evenly among the ramekins (each ramekin will be about 2/3 full).
Bake for 21 to 24 minutes, until the tops look silky and puff slightly and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out a bit wet. Remove from the oven and carefully transfer the rame-kins from the water bath to a cooling rack. Cool for about 10 minutes. Then invert each ramekin onto a dessert plate. Let stand for 1 minute, and then slowly lift off the ramekin (the cakes should come out on their own, but if they don’t, run a knife around the edge of the cakes to loosen them). Cool for another 5 to 10 minutes. Use a fine sieve to evenly dust each cake with a light sprinkling of powdered sugar. Place one raspberry on the center of each cake, if using. Serve immediately.
No more than 20 minutes hands-on prep time
Recipe taken from Devin Alexander’s THE MOST DECADENT DIET EVER!
Copyright © 2008 by Devin Alexander published by Broadway Books, a division of Random House Inc.
Photo Credit: Theresa Raffetto