There are two kinds of people in the world.
(I really hate when people say that. Are things really so simple that there are only two kinds of people in the world. TWO? Clearly not. That’s like saying… there are two kinds of people in the world: people who think like I do, and all the wrong people who disagree with me.)
That being said… There are eighteen thousand forty-something kinds of people in the world, some of them have the patience and confidence of saints in making elaborate layer cakes, and the rest of us want to slop some batter in a dish, under-bake it, scoop it out with a spoon and call it cake.
I ain’t no saint, and you don’t look much like one either.
Let’s say thanks to the egg. Eggs will do all the lifting (heavy and otherwise) in this cake.
We separate the egg yolks from the whites. The egg yolks will add a richness and when beaten well with granulated sugar, become creamy and thick.
Egg whites are a different story. Whipped egg whites add volume, structure, and a light-as-air quality to your pudding cake.
It’s science… and, under-baking the cake just right is instinct. We’ve got those. Keep it tight.
Six happy egg yolks sitting in a bowl.
Just waiting for sugar and they’ll have a go.
Fresh nutmeg to add just the right spice.
It’s December. I think we’re legally bound to add either cinnamon and/or nutmeg to everything. I read that somewhere. Probably the internet.
Eggs are whisked very well with orange sugar then stirred with glossy melted dark chocolate.
I mean… really great things are happening already!
I should mention that this cake is GLUTEN-FREE. Bonus.
Here’s where things really get going.
A big heap of egg whites (beaten to soft peaks) are added to the chocolate and egg yolk mixture. We fold the eggs in to add volume so the key is to incorporate the ingredients well, but still keep the lightness of the egg whites.
Essentially, all of the whites are mixed in, there are no large pockets of whites hanging out, and the mixture is fluffy and light.
Baked for about 20 minutes until just set and the top is slightly flakey. I give this cake a few minutes to cool, dust it generously with powdered sugar, and serve it warm with whipped cream.
This isn’t exactly lava cake consistency. The baked cake has more structure than that. It’s soft and slightly gooey, but not oozy melty. Delicious on the inside, wonderful with the cracked chocolate top, and slightly crunchy on the outside because of the granulated sugar it’s baked in.
Orange and spice because it’s the holidays and we’re everything nice.Print
- 1 tablespoon unsalted butter, room temperature for brushing baking dish
- 1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon granulated sugar, divided
- 1 teaspoon orange zest
- 1/2 teaspoon fresh grated nutmeg
- 6 large eggs, at room temperature, separated
- 6 ounces semi sweet dark chocolate (about 63%), melted
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- powdered sugar for dusting
- lightly sweetened whipped cream for serving
- Place a rack in the upper third of the oven and preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
- Lightly brush a 2-quart baking dish (I used a deep pie dish) with butter and dust the bottom and sides with granulated sugar. Set aside.
- In a medium bowl stir together remaining 1/2 cup granulated sugar and orange zest. Stir until the zest is evenly distributed through the sugar and the sugar is lightly tinted orange and fragrant. Stir in the nutmeg. Add the egg yolks to the orange sugar and whisk vigorously, until the mixture is pale yellow and thickened slightly. I just did this with a whisk by hand for about 5 minutes.
- Stir in the melted chocolate and set aside. The mixture may thicken some after the chocolate is added. That’s alright.
- In the bowl of an electric stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, beat eggs at medium speed until frothy and beginning to thicken. Sprinkle in the salt and continue to beat to soft peaks. The egg whites should just hold a point on the whisk attachment. If you beat the egg whites too stiff, they’ll be hard to incorporate into the egg and chocolate mixture.
- Spoon about 1/3 of the egg white mixture into the chocolate mixture and fold until just incorporated. Continue in two more batches until the egg whites are well incorporated into the chocolate, the chocolate has lightened and puffed, but try not to over mix the chocolate and egg.
- Pour into prepared baking dish and bake for 23-25 minutes until puffed and the center barely jiggles when shaken lightly.
- Remove from the oven and allow to rest for 5 minutes before dusting with powdered sugar and serving warm.
- Cake will last, well wrapped at room temperature for up to 3 days.