Flourless chocolate cakes are rich, fudgy, and intensely chocolaty. Instead of using flour or leaveners for structure, like most other cakes do, these special cakes rely on a combination of eggs and cornstarch. As the cakes bake, the eggs puff up in the oven, giving them lift. The cornstarch creates a kind of glue to keep the texture smooth.
Bonus: These cakes are naturally gluten-free. Happy New Year, indeed.
Individual Flourless Chocolate Cakes
Makes 6 individual cakes
- Vegetable oil spray
- 1 cup (6 ounces) chocolate chips
- 8 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into 4 pieces
- 1/2 cup (3 1/2 ounces) sugar
- 1 1/2 teaspoons cornstarch
- 3 large eggs
- 1/4 cup (2 ounces) water
- 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
Adjust oven rack to the middle position and heat oven to 275 degrees F. Spray the inside bottoms and sides of six 4-ounce ramekins with vegetable oil spray. Place ramekins on a rimmed baking sheet.
In a large microwave-safe bowl, combine chocolate chips and butter. Heat in the microwave at 50 percent power for 2 minutes. Stir mixture with a rubber spatula to combine. Return to the microwave and heat at 50 percent power until melted, about 2 minutes.
Use the rubber spatula to stir until well combined and shiny, about 30 seconds. Let chocolate mixture cool for 5 minutes.
In a medium bowl, whisk sugar and cornstarch until combined. Add eggs, water, vanilla, and salt; whisk until combined.
Add sugar mixture to cooled chocolate mixture and whisk until smooth. Transfer batter to a large liquid measuring cup. Pour batter evenly into greased ramekins (ramekins will be about three-quarters of the way full).
Bake cakes until edges are set but centers still look wet, 20 to 24 minutes. Gently shake the baking sheet. If the centers of the cakes look very liquidy and jiggle a lot, bake the cakes for 1 to 2 more minutes. When the centers of the cakes jiggle slightly, remove the baking sheet from the oven. Place the baking sheet on a cooling rack and let cakes cool on baking sheet for 30 minutes.
Cover each ramekin with plastic wrap and use a fork to poke small holes in top of plastic. Refrigerate until cakes are cold and firm, at least 1 1/2 hours. (Cakes can be refrigerated for up to two days.)
Remove cakes from the refrigerator and let them sit at room temperature for 30 minutes before serving. Top with whipped cream or berries, or dust with confectioners’ sugar, if desired. Serve.