Part cake, part soufflé, here’s a flourless chocolate cake that’s as light as air. It’s a cake roll, baked in a sheet pan and then topped with a cocoa cream and rolled up, jelly roll style. I love the texture of this cake, which gets all its structure from beaten eggs and chocolate – it’s made with a dozen eggs and 12 ounces of chocolate. The eggs,
along with a good amount of sugar, are whipped up in a large bowl with a hand-held mixer. If you have a 5 or 6-quart stand mixer, though, you can use that; the beaten eggs will just make it to the edge of the bowl. My chocolate of choice was Guittard 61 percent, one of my favorites, but any high-quality chocolate will do. The
finished cake is light yet rich; at room temperature it’s very soft, and when chilled it takes on a slightly fudgy resistance. Another wonderful thing about this simple cake is that it’s very easy to put together, though, I must say, it does take a certain amount of bravery to roll it up and then transfer it to a serving plate. But even
if the cake cracks a bit, a good dusting of confectioners’ sugar will hide, or distract from, any blemishes. This recipe comes from Jeanne Kraus, from the May 1999 cover of Chocolatier. Jeanne is now a Pastry Chef Instructor at Illinois Institute of Art in Chicago, but she gave me this recipe when she was working at the Hudson Club, also in Chicago. Though the Hudson Club has since closed, this recipe lives on as a testament to Jeanne Kraus’s considerable talent.
Recipe from Pastry Chef Jeanne Kraus, formerly of Chicago’s Hudson Club, from the May, 1999 issue of Chocolatier magazine
Makes 8 servings
Chocolate Soufflé Roll:
12 ounces (340 grams) semisweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
12 large eggs, at room temperature
1 2/3 cups (333 grams) granulated sugar
1 tablespoon instant espresso powder, dissolved in 2 teaspoons hot water
3 tablespoons (18 grams) unsweetened cocoa powder
3 tablespoons warm water
1 ½ cups (348 grams) heavy cream
1/3 cup (66 grams) granulated sugar
Confectioners’ sugar for dusting
Make the roll:
1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Grease a 12” x 17” rimmed baking sheet and line it with parchment paper.
2. Place the chocolate in a large bowl and place it over a pot of barely simmering water, stirring occasionally until melted. Set aside to cool.
3. Place the eggs in a large bowl. Using a hand-held electric mixer, beat the eggs and sugar at high speed until pale, airy and tripled in volume, about 5 minutes.
4. Stir one-third of the egg mixture into the cooled chocolate to lighten it. Stir in the dissolved coffee. Gently fold in the remaining egg mixture. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake for 25 to 30 minutes, or until the cake is set and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out with moist crumbs clinging to it. Cool the cake on a wire rack for 30 minutes.
Make the Cocoa Cream:
5. In a small bowl, combine the cocoa and water and stir to make a smooth paste. In a large bowl, using a hand-held electric mixer, beat the cream with the cocoa paste and sugar to medium peaks. Cover and chill until ready to use.
Assemble the roll:
6. Place a tea towel on a flat surface and dust it with confectioners’ sugar. Run a small knife around the edges of the pan to loosen the cake. Turn the cake out onto the towel and very gently peel off the parchment paper. Spread the cake with the Cocoa Cream, leaving a 1-inch border around the edges. Using the towel as a guide, gently roll the cake up starting at a short end. Dust the cake with confectioners’ sugar before serving.