I don't remember who gave me the Gotham Grill Flourless Chocolate Cake recipe, but it was someone lucky enough to have dined there. I never made it when Alfred Portale was at the helm, but maybe one day I'll be fortunate enough to visit his new restaurant. As for the Gotham Grill, it closed in 2020 and re-opened in 2021. And there's a flourless chocolate cake still on the menu! I wonder if it's anything like this one? It's definitely bigger, because mine is a scaled down version you can make as loaf pan flourless chocolate cake or as two 4-inch springforms. I think it would also work in a 6-inch springform, but I've yet to try that.
Ingredients in Gotham Grill Flourless Cake Recipe
The original recipe is for a flourless chocolate cake baked in a very large springform pan. It calls for a pound of bittersweet chocolate, 3 oz of unsweetened chocolate, little brewed coffee, 6 eggs, ¾ cup of sugar and a cup of heavy cream. What this cake is missing is butter. I love butter, but leaving it out gives you a lot more pure chocolate flavor, so use the best chocolate you can get your hands on. Because this cake is all about the chocolate, it's terrific for showcasing chocolate from different countries. And yes you *can* use chocolate chips as long as they are high quality ones which melt easily. The Equal Exchange brand chips in semisweet or bitter both work really well. But if you can use bar chocolate, that's the way to to.
Texture and Flavor
Flourless cakes tend to vary in texture. This one is light and feathery and melts in your mouth. Hmm, not sure that "feathery" goes with "melts in your mouth" but you get the idea. The cake is a block of chocolate, which is perfectly fine, but so much better if you embellish it with some whipped cream and fruit. I served the last one I made with whipped cream and bourbon soaked cherries. The flavor of this cake will be like whatever chocolate you use. The one in the photo is the one I made with the Equal Exchange chips, which are way more like actual pieces of chocolate than typical chips. Here's a texture shot.
Loaf Pan Small Batch Flourless Chocolate Cake
Years have passed since I first posted this, and I have different equipment and a different mindset toward baking. What I don't have are two 4-inch springforms, so I re-wrote this recipe for an 8x4 inch loaf pan, a size which is perfect for small desserts. A loaf pan is also nice because the cake is baked in a waterbath, and unlike with a springform, you don't have to put foil around the bottom to prevent leaks. And I think the slices cut off a rectangular piece of cake look prettier.
They're definitely prettier than this old photo! But despite what the photo looks like, the cake back then and now was and is excellent. I think I'll probably make it more often now that I've tested in a loaf pan.
Equipment for Flourless Chocolate Cake
Aside from the loaf pan, there's other equipment that comes in handy. This cake flies together if you have a stand mixer that comes with two bowls -- one for whipping the cream and another for whipping the warm egg mixture. If you don't have a stand mixer with two bowls, you can still make the recipe using different bowls and a handheld. I included a note on how to do that in the Notes section of the recipe card.
Flourless Chocolate Cake Serving Size
This is a small cake, but I think it's enough to serve 4. If you make it in the two springform pans you can serve 2 and freeze one of the cakes later. Or just make it in the loaf pan, eat half and refrigerate or freeze the rest.
Amazing Flourless Chocolate Cake
- 4 oz high-quality bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped (114 grams)
- .75 ounces high-quality unsweetened chocolate, chopped (21 grams)
- 2 ½ tablespoons strong brewed coffee
- 1 large egg plus 2 tablespoons lightly beaten egg
- 3 T. sugar (36 grams)
- ¼ cup heavy cream (56 grams)
- Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Line two mini 4-inch springform pans with rounds of parchment or line 1 8x4 inch (no larger) loaf pan with nonstick foil.
- Melt chocolate with coffee in a small microwave-safe bowl. Start on high for 30 seconds. Stir well. Repeat, stirring every 15 seconds, until chocolate is melted and smooth. Set aside to cool slightly.
- Whisk sugar and egg together in a metal stand-mixer bowl. Set the bowl over a saucepan of simmering water and whisk until mixture is warm to the touch and sugar is dissolved. Set the bowl on the mixer stand and beat with the whisk attachment medium until light and almost tripled in volume. This could take anywhere from 3 to 5 minutes.
- In chilled bowl, beat cream just past the soft-peak stage.
- Fold together a quarter of the egg mixture with the cooled melted chocolate to lighten, then fold chocolate mixture back into remaining egg mixture. Fold in whipped cream. Transfer to prepared pans (or pan). Smooth top, and tap filled pans lightly on work surface a few times to settle any air pockets.
- Place pans or pan in 9-inch baking pan. Add enough hot water to baking pan to come halfway up sides of the pan(s)s. Bake 30 minutes, then open oven door for 30 seconds to release any excess moisture that builds in oven. Continue baking until center of cake feels somewhat firm when pressed lightly with your fingers, another 15-20 minutes. Remove cakes from oven and let cool at room temperature (note, if baking the larger cakes you cool them in the closed oven for two hours).
- Run a warm knife around inside of pans, and carefully remove from pans. Transfer to refrigerator and chill until very firm. Wrap in plastic wrap and keep chilled until ready to serve
- Remove cakes from refrigerator and return to room temperature. At least 1 hour before serving, preheat oven to its lowest setting. If you have just used the oven, turn it off. Unwrap cakes and set on oven proof serving plates. Warm them in the oven for about 20-30 minutes or until they are warm throughout.