This easy flourless chocolate cake sets itself apart from the scores of similar recipes by sneaking a smidgen of cayenne into the rich, chocolatey batter. The subtle heat coupled with the silken texture and truly outstanding flavor have landed it as our latest way to woo friends and family. And no one will even notice it’s gluten-free as it lacks nothing whatsoever.–Angie Zoobkoff
Flourless Chocolate Chile Cake
- 11 tablespoons unsalted butter, plus more for the pan
- 7 ounces 70% dark chocolate, chopped
- 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper, or more, to taste
- 1/3 cup espresso or strong coffee, cooled
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 3 large eggs
- 2/3 cup superfine sugar, (or just blitz granulated sugar in a blender until finely ground but not powdery
- 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
- 2 tablespoons cocoa powder, for dusting
- Preheat the oven to 350°F (180°C). Butter a 8-inch (20-cm) springform pan and line the bottom with parchment paper.
- In a small saucepan over low heat, warm the butter, chocolate, and cayenne pepper until the chocolate melts, 5 to 10 minutes. Remove from the heat and stir in the coffee and vanilla. Remove from the heat and let cool.
- Using a stand mixer or handheld mixer on medium-high speed, whisk together the eggs and sugar until thick, pale, and fluffy, 3 to 5 minutes.
- Pour the cooled chocolate mixture into the eggs, add the salt, and use a spatula to gently fold until everything is combined. Scrape the batter into the prepared pan and bake until the cake is just cooked through with a slight wobble in the middle, 38 to 45 minutes.
- Remove from the oven and let the cake cool completely. As it cools, the surface will crack, and this is what you want!
- If desired, dump some cocoa powder in a small strainer and tap it over the cake to generously dust it before serving.
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Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.
Recipe Testers’ Reviews
Absolutely delicious! The cayenne really added some kick but was balanced by the other flavors. The consistency was fabulous—denser than a soufflé but still ooey-gooey, silken, and moist. I whipped up some cream to serve with it, which took it to another level entirely. This will be going into my regular rotation because it’s so different and unexpected. Definitely a keeper!
My cake only took 38 minutes to bake to desired doneness. I couldn’t find my springform pan so I made a parchment paper “sling” and buttered it and my 8-inch Pyrex pan and the cake unmolded easily, but I couldn’t get it off the paper so I highly recommend using springform or tart pans as suggested in the recipe.
This cake is too easy! There’s a big payoff here as it’s also quite delicious and the kick of cayenne pepper sets it apart from the pack of other flourless chocolate cakes. This cake is the one you can whip up on a late lazy Saturday afternoon to have around for drop-ins or dinner guests or to take with you when invited in at someone else’s home. It’s gooey, rich and is perfect with a simple vanilla ice-cream.
The second time I made this, as a personal preference, I halved the cayenne pepper to 1/2 teaspoon and it suited us a little better than the full amount. Neither was too hot, we just preferred the heat to be a little more subtle.