Prep Time:    30 minutes
Cooking Time:    45 minutes, plus at least 6 hours or overnight for cooling
Serves:    10-20

This cake is so wonderfully rich that many people can only eat slivers of it in one sitting.  It is quick and easy to make, but be sure to leave enough time for it to cool down.  This cake is a great dessert to make if you are planning to serve a lot of people.
This cake is made in a 10” x 3” spring form pan.  Best of all it is gluten-free!

(2) 8 oz packages semi-sweet chocolate squares (a total of 16,1-oz squares)
2 C butter or margarine (4 sticks)
1 C granulated sugar
1 C half-and-half, at room temperature
1/2 t salt
1 T vanilla extract
8 large eggs, at room temperature
Chocolate glaze
1 C heavy or whipping cream, optional, for decoration

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  Coat a 10” x 3” spring form pan with cooking spray and set aside.
In a large saucepan over low heat, stirring constantly, heat chocolate, butter or margarine, sugar, half and half, and salt, until chocolate is almost melted.  Be careful not to overcook as the chocolate burns very easily.  Slight lumps are okay.  Remove the pan from the burner.  The chocolate will continue to melt after the pan is taken off the burner.  Pour in vanilla extract and stir.  Set mixture aside to cool for about 10 minutes.

In a large bowl, beat eggs slightly. Set aside.

Once the chocolate is cool (test it by touching it. Hopefully you won’t scream!) You are now ready to temper the eggs. Beat the egg again until foamy. With a large spoon, spoon some of the hot chocolate mixture very slowly into the eggs as you whisk continuously.  By adding the chocolate slowly will prevent the egg from scrambling instantly. Once 1/3 C of chocolate has been introduced and incorporated. Now slowly, continuously stirring, pour the egg/chocolate mixture back into remaining warm chocolate. Keep stirring until blended. (If you pour the egg directly into the warm chocolate mixture the chances of having scrambled egg is way up there. If scrambling happens you can try to strain the mixture, but most likely the batter will take a trip into the garbage disposal.)

Pour the batter into the greased spring form pan and bake for approximately 45 minutes.  Once you start to smell the chocolate, test for doneness by inserting a toothpick 2 inches from the edge. The toothpick should come out clean. The middle will still be jiggley. The cake will continue to solidify as it cools.

Cool the cake in the pan on a cake rack. (Chances that the top of the cake will be cracked, but it will be hidden with the chocolate glaze.) Once the cake is cool to the touch, remove the sides of the pan, wrap the cake in plastic and refrigerate until well chilled, at least 6 hours. In the meantime make the chocolate glaze and refrigerate.

Remove the cake from the refrigerator.  Warm the chocolate glaze on low heat, if needed, and spread over top and down side of cake.
For optional decorations, pipe whipped cream around the edge of the cake.  Garnish with fresh fruit around the edge, or cover the top of cake completely with strawberries or raspberries.

Chocolate Glaze
6 oz package semi-sweet chocolate chips, or 6 1-oz chocolate squares
2 T butter or margarine
3 T milk
2 T white corn syrup

In a large saucepan, over low heat, stirring constantly, heat the chocolate chips or squares and the butter or margarine until the chocolate is almost melted.  Remove the pan from the burner and continue to stir until the chocolate is completely melted. Stir in  milk and white corn syrup.  Stir until blended. Pour and spread on top and sides of cake. If the glaze is too thick add another teaspoon of milk and stir.

Wonderful with a cup of coffee and strawberries and/or raspberries while you are looking at your loved ones.

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