Francois Payard's Flourless Chocolate Cake

Heavenly. That's what this cake is.

I actually thought I ruined it -- made it wrong, undercooked it, something -- until I took a bite. This flourless chocolate cake is everything a flourless chocolate cake should be: fudgy, dense, moist, and rich. I think I have a new favorite dessert recipe.

I bought Payard's Chocolate Epiphany mainly for his macaron recipe -- though I knew I'd try other recipes as well. Some are so extravagant I'll either use them for special occasions or just savor the pictures. But others, like the chocolate granola -- and this flourless chocolate cake -- are incredibly approachable.

I made the cake in 4 small springform pans instead of a 9-inch one because I don't have a large springform pan, and I prefer small versions of desserts anyways.

Making the batter was super easy. Melt chocolate in some butter and then whisk together sugar and eggs. Then add the chocolate to the sugar and egg mixture.

The baking process was new to me. I had to wrap my springform pans in foil and then place them in a large roasting pan filled with water reaching halfway up the springform pans. I've heard of baking cakes like this before, but I had never done it. (And the water did leak into the foil a bit, even though I double-wrapped the pans, but luckily no water got inside the pans.)

The most important thing, I think, is to definitely take Payard's advice as to when the cake is done. I was hesitant to trust his directions because I thought the cakes would just be gooey and underdone. But as soon as the tops were set and they were no longer jiggly, I removed those cakes, and as we found out later (while devouring the cake), that timing was perfect.

Because I was in a rush, I merely sprinkled these with powdered sugar and sliced some strawberries for decorations. Next time, I think I'll make a lightly sweetened whipped cream and serve that and some fresh berries with the cake. The berries and cream will complement the chocolate well and also cut a bit of the richness.

For the recipe, check out Chocolate Epiphany!

Do you know a great flourless chocolate cake recipe or have a favorite go-to dessert? I'd love to hear about it!