Zuni Cafe Flourless Chocolate Cake
I’ve written about the Zuni Cafe in San Francisco before. Most recently, I talked about it’s famous chef/owner, Judy Rodgers, who passed away a few year ago, when I introduced their legendary roast chicken. When I ate that memorable meal, four years ago, it was finished off with this most delicious, rich, yet light flourless chocolate cake. Often flourless chocolate cakes are dense and heavy. This is so light and melts in your mouth.
I make this for almost every special occasion. Sometimes I add in a little bourbon to top with fruit. I always like to make stabilized whipped cream for the topping. Once you make this cake you will make it often.
Use the best chocolate you can find, because that will determine the quality of this cake.
Zuni Cafe’s Flourless Chocolate Cake is not like any I’ve had before.
It’s not like any flourless chocolate cake I’ve ever had. It’s more like a souffle or mouse than a cake, making it a dream of a cake. The ingredients include my favorite things, like strong coffee, eggs, heavy cream, sugar and, of course, a high quality bittersweet chocolate.
I found out that night that the Zuni´ Cafe is famous for its roast chicken and this dessert that they have been serving daily since 1982. We recently visited (2018) again and once again we had to have this cake, even though I know how to make it. The success of Zuni Cafe has to be their incredible consistency. I talked about this with my San Francisco post, Crushing on San Francisco in 24 hours.
I found the recipe and made it within a few weeks of getting back home, to bring to a dessert party. If you want to be a star, bring this and you will be remembered forever.
I was overjoyed that I could repeat this perfectly in my own kitchen.
The Process for the Zuni Cafe Chocolate Flourless Cake
It’s not very complicated, but it will serve you well to have everything in place. Coffee should be made, chocolate chopped, and eggs at room temperature. I didn’t chop the chocolate in very small pieces, as it gets melted with the coffee over a water bath.
Whip the heavy cream into soft peaks. You will be folding this into the cake, so stiff peaks will not work.
Serve with strawberries, raspberries, fresh whipped cream and perhaps a glass of port or red wine.
No matter how you eat this, the Zuni Cafe flourless chocolate cake will be something you’ll want to make again and again.
- 9 inch cake pan
- Baking pan with flat bottom that cake pan comfortably fits in
- Parchment paper to line cake pan
- 1½ teaspoons butter (to butter cake pan)
- ¾ cup heavy cream, whipped in soft peaks
- 6 tablespoons sugar
- 5 eggs, plus 2 more egg yolks
- 6 tablespoons strong coffee
- 10 ounces high quality bittersweet chocolate
- Preheat oven to 350
- Butter cake pan. Line with parchment paper, butter again. This ensure the parchment paper stays in place. Make sure the sides are buttered very well. A bottomless pan works best but, a regular cake pan can be used.
- Beat whipped cream until soft peaks form (not stiff) and set aside. I did this first and transferred to a separate cold bowl and then used my standing mixer to mix eggs and sugar.
- Mix eggs with sugar in bowl and heat over a pan of simmering water, only to room temperature. Beat until quadrupled 15-20 minutes.
- Melt chocolate and coffee in a bowl over simmering water. Set aside until egg/sugar mixture is ready.
- Fold ¼ egg mixture into melted chocolate, stirring well.
- Fold this chocolate mixture into remaining egg mixture and add whipped cream.
- Pour into prepared cake pan. Put cake pan into baking pan. Pour hot water up to 1 inch of cake pan.
- Bake at 350 for one hour. Test for doneness when toothpick comes out clean.
- Turn off oven and keep cake in oven for 30 minutes with oven door ajar.
- Remove from oven, and rest cake another 30 minutes while still in water bath.
- Remove from water bath and allow cake to cool thoroughly before removing from pan.
- Serve at room temperature to retain that silky light texture.
- You can serve cold, but texture will become much more dense.
- Serve with whipped cream.