Monday, April 12, 2010

Chocolate Idiot Cake

Nothing as appetizing as a dessert with "idiot" in the title, right?  But in this case, it's a good thing, because it means only an idiot can ruin this cake.  It has minimal ingredients, minimal steps, and lasts forever in the fridge.    I didn't make up the title, David Lebovitz did.  He isn't just a great recipe titler, this man can cook.  I discovered his blog recently and can't wait to read his books and cook his recipes.  Because this one is a winner, and I have every reason to believe the rest will be too.

And FYI this recipe is gluten-free, my friends!

Oh and while typing up this recipe I realized I used HALF the butter it called for, and it still turned out great.  See, even when you are an idiot you don't mess it up!

Other than the cocoa powder you'll be prepping your pan with, these ingredients are all you need.  Sugar, semisweet chocolate, butter, and eggs.  With only a few ingredients, you want to make sure they are quality ones.  I chose to use expensive eggs from the farmers market and Schraffen Berger chocolate (direct from the Bay Area).

You need 10 oz. of bittersweet or semisweet chocolate.  I'm more of a semisweet kind of gal, so that's what I went with.  This bar was 9.7 oz (what??) so I threw in some extra chocolate chips and then ate a few handfuls.

Give your chocolate a good chopping and try not to eat it all.

Melt your chocolate and 7 oz. (14 tablespoons) butter in a double boiler (or like me, a glass bowl over an inch of simmering water) or microwave.  Now is also a good time to turn on your oven to 350 degrees.

Butter a 9 or 10 inch pan and dust with cocoa powder.  This way the cake remains gluten free and you don't have white flecks all over it.

In a large bowl add 5 eggs.

Toss in 1 cup of sugar.

Using a whisk, mix until a gross eggy slurry is well combined.

Now pour in all of your melted chocolate and butter.

Whisk together until fully combined - this will take a couple of minutes.  Luckily without any flour you don't really need your stand mixer.

Pour your chocolatey batter into your prepped pan.

Cover your cake pan tightly with foil (oops I forgot and had to do that later...after 10 minutes in the oven).  Place your pan into a large roasting pan and add enough hot water to come about halfway up the side of your cake pan.  Make sure it's hot water, people.  Bake for an hour and 15 minutes at 350 degrees.  The cake will be done when you gently touch the center and your finger comes away without any delicious cake on it.

I strongly suggest serving this super rich chocolate cake alongside some vanilla ice cream.  We happened to buy ours at the Berkeley farmers market and I can safely say it's the best vanilla ice cream I've ever had.

If you are a chocolate person, and by that I mean if you have a pulse, you will want to make this cake.  It's rich and smooth and frankly, quite easy.  Your friends and family will feel like they're sitting in a restaurant and not at your kitchen table.  And let's be honest, don't we love it when people fawn all over you complimenting your cooking?

Chocolate Idiot Cake
By David Lebovitz

10 oz. bittersweet or semisweet chocolate, chopped
7 oz. butter (14 tablespoons), cut into pieces
5 eggs, at room temperature
1 cup sugar
Cocoa powder, for dusting pan

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.  Butter a 9 or 10 inch cake pan and dust with cocoa powder.  Melt 10 oz. bittersweet or semisweet chopped chocolate with 14 tablespoons butter in a double boiler or in the microwave.  In a separate bowl, whisk together 5 eggs and 1 cup sugar.  Pour in melted butter and chocolate and whisk thoroughly.  Pour into prepped cake pan and cover tightly with foil.  Place in a large roasting pan and fill roasting pan with hot water that comes about halfway up the side of the cake pan.  Bake at 350 degrees for an hour and 15 minutes (until your finger can lightly touch the center and come away clean).  Serve in thin slices.


  1. OMG I need to make this immediately!!!!

  2. this sounds amazing. similar to bird brownies, which just have a bit of flour


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