Eggs and flour give cakes their structure. The starches set and the protein in the eggs coagulate in the heat of the oven to make the cake firm.
In flourless chocolate cakes, the flour is replaced with chocolate, cocoa, finely chopped nuts, or other meals or starches. The eggs are the setting agent. Without the flour and with a reliance on chocolate or cocoa, flourless chocolate cakes are dense and chocolatey.
We’ll look at four choices in flourless chocolate cakes.
With only four ingredients and three steps, this is the easiest of the recipes. It relies entirely on the starches in the cocoa to complement the eggs.
With all the eggs in this recipe, I expected the cake to “eggy,” almost like a custard but there is so much cocoa in the recipe that it overpowers the eggs to make a pleasing but rich cake.
In this recipe, the cocoa is “naked.” With no chocolate, and the cocoa carries all the flavor. Use the best cocoa you can find. We use Ramstadt Breda Rich Dark Cocoa.
This may be a classic cake but the construction is unusual. It’s made like a sponge cake. Egg whites are whipped like meringue and the yolks and other ingredients are gently folded into the whipped egg whites.
It’s made completely with chocolate—no cocoa.
This Legendary Flourless Chocolate Cake Mix is made with the best Ramstadt Breda cocoa plus chocolate pieces. The starches in the cocoa, plus added starch, along with the chocolate give this cake structure. You add eggs for the setting agent.
This is an easy cake to make.
With all the chocolate and cocoa, this is not inexpensive compared to other cake mixes but a good choice when you need a fine dessert in a hurry. It is probably less expensive than buying the ingredients for most scratch recipes.
Note: I have mentioned starch in cocoa. Starch is not added to cocoa but the cocoa beans naturally have starch in them. The finer the grind of the beans, the more accessible that starch is.
Recommended Springform Pans
Without the resilient structure of the flour, flourless chocolate cakes can be fragile. They are usually baked in springform pans so that the rings can be removed and the cake can be left intact on the pan base. Nice neat wedges can be cut from the cake.
The trouble with most springform pans is that they leak. The batter is fairly thin and the sugar turns to a liquid in the heat of the oven. A good silicone springform pan solves that problem. Our Candy Apple Red Silicone Springform Pan has a tempered glass base and the silicone forms a seal on both the top and the bottom of the glass.
We use this pan for cakes and cornbread, not just cheesecakes. We have never had one leak.