Chocolate Brownie Cake
The secret to this rich brownie cake is good-quality chocolate with a cacao content of at least 70 percent. Here, the recipe calls for dusting the cake with unsweetened cocoa powder, but confectioners’ sugar is also good. For an extra flourish, accompany each slice with a dollop of whipped cream or a handful of fresh berries.
- 8 Tbs. (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature, plus butter for pan
- 1 cup sugar
- 2 eggs, lightly beaten
- 1 tsp. vanilla extract
- 1/8 tsp. salt
- 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
- 4 oz. good-quality semisweet or bittersweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
- Unsweetened cocoa powder for dusting
Preheat an oven to 350°F. Line an 8-inch round cake pan with a piece of aluminum foil, allowing the edge to hang over the pan rim. Using your fingers, lightly butter the foil.
In a large bowl, using an electric mixer, beat the 8 Tbs. butter on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, about 1 minute. Add the sugar and beat until well blended. Add the eggs and vanilla and beat until well blended. Add the salt and one-third of the flour and beat well. Add the remaining flour in 2 additions, beating well after each addition.
Fill a saucepan or the bottom pan of a double boiler with about 2 inches of water and bring to a bare simmer over medium-low heat. Put the chocolate in a heatproof bowl or in the top of the double boiler and place over but not touching the simmering water. Heat the chocolate, stirring often with a silicone spatula, until melted. Remove from the heat and let cool slightly, 2 to 3 minutes. Add the melted chocolate to the cake batter and beat on medium speed until well blended and creamy.
Pour the batter into the prepared pan, smoothing the surface with the spatula. Bake until the cake is puffed and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, 20 to 25 minutes. Transfer the pan to a wire rack and let the cake cool completely in the pan.
Using the edges of the foil, lift the cooled cake out of the pan. Invert the cake onto a cake stand or a cake plate and peel off the foil. Turn the cake right side up. Using a fine-mesh sieve, dust the top with cocoa powder, cut into wedges and serve. Serves 8 to 10.
Adapted from Williams-Sonoma Two in the Kitchen, by Christie Dufault & Jordan Mackay (Weldon Owen, 2012).