Passover starts tomorrow and this dessert has been a staple at our seders for as long as I remember. It can be a challenge to find a dessert that is flourless (as you cannot use flour in any cooking or baking during the holiday), serves a crowd (we are typically 15-20 for dinner) and is delicious. This cake does it all.
Over the years, as more and more people are adopting gluten-free diets, I find myself making this cake throughout the year as well.
And though it looks fancy it’s really quite easy to execute – even better, it requires only a few basic, easy-to-find ingredients.
Have a lovely holiday if you’re celebrating!
Pre-heat oven to 400. Grease an 11 x 17 baking sheet and line with parchment paper.
Place the chocolate chips, water and vanilla in the top half of a double boiler. Melt over low heat, stirring constantly. Let cool completely.
Using the whisk attachment, beat the yolks on low speed till blended. With mixer still running, gradually add 3/4 c. sugar. Increase speed to medium-high and beat till mixture is pale and thick. Beat in cooled chocolate, and scrape the whole mixture into a large bowl. Set aside.
Thoroughly clean and dry the mixer bowl and attachment (I usually give the bowl and whisk a final swipe with a paper towel to pick up any last traces of grease). Add the egg whites and beat on low speed till surface is completely covered in small bubbles (read my post on beating egg whites for more details). Increase speed to medium and gradually add 3/4 c. sugar. Once sugar is completely incorporated increase speed to medium-high. When you see tracks formed by the whisk, increase speed to high and beat until mixture is stiff and glossy.
Working with swift but gently motions, fold the egg whites into the yolk/chocolate mixture in 3 additions. Scrape into prepared pan and smooth surface with an offset spatula. Bake for 10 minutes. Reduce oven temperature to 250 and bake for another 10 minutes or till a toothpick tests clean. Remove cake from oven and place on a cooling rack. Cover surface with a cool damp cloth or paper towels (some cake will stick to the towels when you remove – don’t worry). Cool cake completely.
Remove cloth (some cake will stick to it; don’t worry) and sift a generous amount of cocoa over the cake’s surface. Run a small sharp knife around the edges of the cake. Place a large piece of tin foil (or 2 pieces taped together) over the cake – top with a sturdy board that is slightly larger than the pan and invert the cake onto the tin foil/board. I like to trim the short edges but you don’t have to.
In your clean mixer bowl whip the cream on medium speed till it begins to thicken. Gradually add 1/2 c. sugar. When sugar is completely incorporated increase speed to medium-high, beating till nice and thick. Spread the whipped cream over the cake, leaving a 1″ border around the edges. Using the tin foil as an aide, roll the cake and cover with the foil – don’t worry if the cake cracks! Place cake, on board, in freezer for at least 1 hour and up to two days ahead.
Let cake soften in the fridge for an hour or so prior to serving.
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