This flourless chocolate cake, which I got from Gourmet Magazine's May 2004 issue, is my go-to dessert for any celebratory event (although, for birthdays, I defer to the birthday celebrant's choice. For my wife's birthday, we'll likely have angel food cake with purple frosting, as that's what her mommy made for her every birthday. My youngest boy got cherry pie for his. My auntie, cousin, & I like cute---usually Disney-themed---white cakes from the bakery.) & I can't imagine that you won't love it. Although, Bubbles did not love it. She also doesn't like mac & cheese from scratch or traditional cheese fondue, so if you also prefer food that's a little more processed, this cake might not be for you. Of course, if you hate chocolate, you will be horrified by this cake. Otherwise, you should love it. I do advise very, very small slices, however, because it's ridiculously rich. A little real whipped cream, with no sugar added, is not a bad idea to serve with this, as it cuts the sweet. The cake takes a little time, but isn't actually very labor-intensive. I usually garnish it with fresh raspberries, but this time, I used candy canes to make a heart in the middle and put starlight mints around the edges. Then, I served it on peppermint plates.
Flourless Chocolate Cake
2 sticks butter
12 oz. very good bittersweet chocolate, coarsely chopped (Ghirardelli, at least, although Valrhona, Caillebaut, or Scharffenberger would be better---& it must be at least 70% cacao)
5 large eggs
1 c. sugar
7 tbsp. water
Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Butter a 10" round cake pan. Line the bottom with parchment and butter the parchment, as well. Melt the chocolate and butter together, until just smooth when stirred. Beat the eggs with 1/3 c. sugar on high speed until tripled in volume. This will take about 5 minutes. They'll be a really pretty shade of yellow, too. Heat 2/3 c. sugar with water over medium-low heat, stirring, until sugar has dissolved. Add to chocolate mixture and stir well. Allow to cool 10 minutes. Pour a little at a time into the eggs, beating on medium speed until just incorporated. Pour into prepared cake pan. Put into a roasting pan lined with a kitchen towel. Fill 3/4 of the way up the sides of the cake pan, very carefully so as to avoid getting water in the batter. Bake until just set, 50-60 minutes. Cool at least 2 hours before loosening and inverting onto a serving platter or cake stand.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line baking sheets with parchment and draw circles the size of the plates you want on the parchment. I traced a small cheese plate, so two fit on one baking sheet. Arrange cheap starlight mints (I used Kroger brand and some fancier ones and the fancier ones did not melt the way they should have. At all.) into circles to fill the drawn circles. I did a row of green spearmint candies and the rest red peppermint. You could use any disk-shaped hard candies, I imagine. Place in the oven for 5-7 minutes, watching carefully. Allow to cool before removing from baking sheet and using as a serving plate. Then, people can munch on their plates when dessert is gone!