This rich dessert is as pretty to look at as it is delicious to eat. Use a high-quality chocolate for this cake. I've tried several kinds, most recently Bissinger's from Whole Foods. If you prefer milk chocolate, substitute 6 ounces milk chocolate for the 75% dark chocolate.
You need two pans for this cake, an 8- to 10-inch spring-form pan and a pan large enough to hold the spring-form pan. You'll put the spring-form pan in a larger casserole dish along with some water.
I've also made this in cupcake pans, which makes serving easier at parties. Follow mixing directions below. Fill cupcake lines about 1/3 full. Place in cupcake pans, and put the cupcake pans in casserole dishes filled with hot water. Bake 15 minutes. Makes 24.
Serves 16 to 24
8 oz 60% to 65% dark chocolate, coarsely chopped
6 oz 70% to 75% dark chocolate, coarsely chopped
1/2 lb (2 sticks) unsalted butter
6 large eggs
2 tbsp sugar
Raspberry sauce (see below)
Lemon creme fraiche (see below)
Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Butter a spring-form pan and dust with sugar. Wrap the outside of pan in heavy duty aluminum foil. Be sure the foil seals the spring-form pan to prevent water from seeping in while baking. Take frozen raspberries out to thaw.
Coarsely chop chocolate. Cut butter into 2-tbsp cubes. Put in large glass measuring cup or or 2-quart glass bowl. Melt chocolate and butter in microwave at high power, 45 seconds at a time. Stir until smooth, returning chocolate mixture to microwave as many times as necessary, probably 2 or 3 times. Set aside, allowing to to cool to room temperature.
In electric mixer, beat eggs and sugar until doubled in volume. Using a spatula, gently fold half of beaten eggs into cooled chocolate mixture. Add remaining eggs, folding in until no streaks remain. Pour batter into pan, spreading evenly.
Put foil-wrapped spring-form pan into a casserole dish. Add very hot tap water until water comes 1/2 inch up the outside of the spring-form pan.
Bake uncovered for 5 minutes. Cover loosely with foil and bake 15 to 25 minutes more. Cake will still be soft in the middle. It will set up when refrigerated.
Remove pan from water and take foil off pan. Let cool at room temperature for 45 minutes. Refrigerate for at least 3 hours before serving.
To serve, ladle raspberry sauce on serving plate. Place a slice of cake on sauce. Garnish with a dollop of lemon creme fraiche, raspberries, and mint leaves.
I tend to be a lazy cook, always looking for shortcuts. When I made this for the first time, I thought why strain the seeds? That sounds like a job for a fancy chef with tweezers. I eat seeds in fresh raspberries, right? Why bother to strain the seeds from this sauce? After trying it once, I can answer that question. After one bit of that unstrained sauce, you'll be spitting out seeds stuck in your teeth for 30 minutes.
2 10-oz bags frozen raspberries, partially thawed
1/3 cup powdered sugar (or more to taste)
Blend raspberries and powdered sugar in food processor or blender until smooth. Mixture will be very seedy. Put a 7-inch fine mesh strainer over a large bowl. Pour the raspberry pulp into the strainer to remove the seeds. Stir with a spoon to press the sauce through the strainer into the bowl. You can also let it sit for few minutes and let gravity do some of the work. Taste it to make sure the seeds are out. If not, strain it a second time with finer mesh strainer. Keep refrigerated until ready to serve.
Lemon Creme Fraiche
1/2 cup creme fraiche
1/4 cup lemon curd
Using a fork, stir together in a bowl until smooth.