Recipe Review

Gourmet’s Flourless Chocolate Cake Has Been a Winner for Over 25 Years

published Feb 8, 2023
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Flourless chocolate cake by Gourmet on a plate
Credit: Photo: Christopher Testani; Food Styling: Jesse Szewczyk

I love a good recipe that stands the test of time, so this one — which originally ran in Gourmet magazine in 1997 and you can now find on Epicurious — sounded like a great contender for this flourless chocolate cake recipe showdown. A quick glance reveals that the cake is incredibly easy to whip up, requiring only five ingredients and nothing more than a makeshift double boiler (a heatproof bowl over a pan of simmering water) and a whisk — no mixer required. I couldn’t wait to roll up my sleeves and try it out.

How to Make Gourmet’s Flourless Chocolate Cake

As the oven preheats, you’ll line and grease an 8-inch round cake pan, then melt chopped bittersweet chocolate and a stick of butter in the makeshift double boiler mentioned above. Into the melted mixture you’ll then whisk in granulated sugar, then whisk in eggs until smooth. Finally, you’ll sift cocoa powder over the mixture and whisk until it’s incorporated. The batter goes into the prepared pan and bakes at 375°F for about 25 minutes.

Credit: Photo: Christopher Testani; Food Styling: Jesse Szewczyk

My Honest Review of Gourmet’s Flourless Chocolate Cake

Don’t expect a tall cake: This one is a little less than an inch high (which, honestly, did not detract from the recipe for me; on a plate, a slice is more than delightful). But what it lacks in height, it more than makes up for in flavor and texture. It possesses a wonderfully deep, rich chocolate flavor from the combination of bittersweet chocolate and cocoa powder, and develops a lovely sugar crust on top with a fudgy, moist interior. The overall effect is like an impossibly moist, incredibly rich brownie. From start to finish, the whole thing takes roughly 45 minutes, is remarkably easy, and yields delicious results. 

Credit: Photo: Christopher Testani; Food Styling: Jesse Szewczyk

If You’re Making Gourmet’s Flourless Chocolate Cake, a Few Tips

  1. Check the temp. After melting together chocolate and butter, you’ll whisk in sugar and then eggs. Before adding the eggs, check to make sure the mixture isn’t so hot that it’ll scramble them. Warm is fine; hot is not.
  2. Whisk slowly. The last step in making the batter is sifting cocoa powder over the chocolate-butter-sugar-egg mixture (crucial to ensure no lumps), then whisking it in. Go slowly when whisking, lest you send cocoa flying all over your countertop.
  3. Invert, then invert again. The recipe has you turn the warm cake out of the pan onto a serving plate. But there’s a lovely thin layer of crispy sugar crust on the top of the cake after baking, so I recommend inverting the cake back over so that the crust is on top and doesn’t get soggy as the warm cake eventually cools on the plate.

    Overall rating: 9.5/10