I made this last year for friends and it was such a hit I am making it again (and for the same friends). It is called Idiot cake because ostensibly only an idiot could ruin it, sort of like Baking for Dummies. Not a dummy but always glad for a fool-proof recipe. I found it on smitten kitchen who linked to David Lebovitz. Wonderful recipe.
Chocolate Idiot Cake*
One 9-inch (23 cm) cake
* from http://www.davidlebovitz.com
Adapted from Ready for Dessert (Ten Speed Press)
This cake is extremely rich, and tastes like the most delicious, silkiest, most supremely-chocolate ganache you’ve ever had. As mentioned, it’s equally good a few days later, and only an idiot could possibly mess it up. You don’t need to use ScharffenBerger chocolate for this cake, but use a good one—you’ll appreciate it when you taste your first melt-in-your-mouth bite.
Preheat the oven to 350F (175C).
10 ounces (290 g) bittersweet or semisweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
7 ounces (200 g) butter, salted or unsalted, cut into pieces
5 large eggs, at room temperature
1 cup (200 g) sugar
1. Butter a 9-inch (23 cm) springform pan* and dust it with cocoa powder, tapping out any excess. If you suspect your springform pan isn’t 100% water-tight, wrap the outside with aluminum foil, making sure it goes all the way up to the outer rim.2. Melt the chocolate and butter in a double boiler (or microwave), stirring occasionally, until smooth. Remove from heat. (I used the microwave)
3. In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs and sugar, then whisk in the melted chocolate mixture until smooth.
4. Pour the batter into the prepared springform pan and cover the top of the pan snugly with a sheet of foil. Put the springform pan into a larger baking pan, such as a roasting pan, and add enough hot water to the baking pan to come about halfway up to the outside of the cake pan.
Bake for 1 hour and 15 minutes. You’ll know the cake is done when it feels just set, like quivering chocolate pudding. If you gently touch the center, your finger should come away clean. It does feel like you made a pudding – a little shakier than you think it will be)
5. Lift the cake pan from the water bath and remove the foil. Let cake cool completely on a cooling rack.
Serve thin wedges of this very rich cake at room temperature, with creme anglaise, ice cream, or whipped cream.
* No wrestling the cake out – works well.
Storage: This Chocolate Idiot Cake can be wrapped and chilled in the refrigerator for 3-5 days.