It all started in 2006. I got the mail, and to my delight, the new Bon Appetit had come in. And on the cover was the most beautiful looking flourless chocolate cake. I immediately ran in the house and told my mom that I had to make this cake. She said ok, sure, we can definitely make it some time. To which I replied "I don't think you understand, I need to have this cake, NOW!". I hopped in my car and bought the 26oz, yes 26 OUNCES, of chocolate needed to make itLa Bett. I had all the other ingredients on hand.
For a non-baker this cake is incredibly easy to make - it's only 6 ingredients! It is the most decadent, rich, blow your socks off chocolate goodness you will get your hands on. This is why I skip "La Bete Noir" all together and just call it Chocolate Deliciousness!
Hopefully some of you see these pictures and feel the same way I did about it... that you have to have it, NOW!
adapted from bon appetit
yields 16 servings
for the cake:
1 c. sugar
1 c. water
9 T. butter (1 stick + 1 tablespoon)
18 oz bittersweet chocolate (not unsweetened)
for the ganache:
8 oz semi sweet chocolate
1 c. heavy cream
whipped cream for topping
Preheat oven to 350º. Butter a 10 inch springform pan and place parchment paper along the bottom (be sure to cut off the excess). Next wrap 3 layers of aluminum foil around the outside. You want to create a fortress around the pan... this baby is getting cooked in a water bath and you don't want to risk it getting water inside, this is chocolate we're talking about! Set aside and begin to assemble your batter.
In a small saucepan, combine water and sugar and let simmer for 5 minutes - until the sugar is dissolved. Remove from heat. In another saucepan, melt your butter. Then add in your 18 oz of chocolate. Stir constantly until the mixture becomes nice and smooth. Whisk in your sugar syrup and let cool slightly. Slowly add in your egg mixture - being careful not to scramble your eggs! Whisk until the mixture is combined. Pour your batter into your pan.
Place pan in a large roasting pan and fill half-way with boiling water. Pop that bad boy in the oven for about 45 minutes until the center no longer jiggles when gently shaken. Remove the cake pan from the water bath and place on a rack to cool completely. Once your cake is cool, you can top it with the ganache.
In a small saucepan, heat heavy cream over medium heat until it just starts to simmer. Pull it off the heat and add in your 8 oz of chocolate and stir until it becomes thick and creamy. Pour over cake and chill in the fridge for at least 2 hours... I recommend overnight (ugh, I know... you just want to get into it!).
Garnish with lightly sweetened whipping cream or whatever you like. ENJOY CHOCOLATE HEAVEN!
i used bittersweet 70% dark valhrona chocolate. it was my birthday, i splurged! if you don't want to spend $20 on chocolate, your favorite bittersweet OR semi-sweet chocolate will do just fine! you can use bitter or semi but i would stay away from milk or unsweetened chocolate for this cake as they have too much/not enough sweetness. you can, however, make the ganache with milk chocolate if you're not big into dark chocolate. now, on to the bigger improvisations... my cousin's husband said this would be perfect with peanut butter and i agree, if you're into that sort of a thing. try spreading a little over the cooled cake before topping with the ganache. OR you could melt a little into the ganache (probably about ¼ c.). Similarly, you could add 1 teaspoon of your favorite liquor or extract to the ganache for a boost of flavor (think rum, kahlua, orange, raspberry, mint, caramel...). also, you could try putting in a few tablespoons of instant espresso powder to your sugar water mixture to add depth of flavor to your cake. there's lots of things you can add to make this your perfect chocolate deliciousness!