Sunday Dinner

Caramelized Pear and Gruyère Torta
served with Rosemary crackers

Saucisson de Toulouse Aux Lentilles
Toulouse Sausage with Lentils
Simple Salad

Chocolate Fallen Soufflé Cake
served with a Crème Anglaise

With near blizzard-like conditions outside, I couldn't think of a better way to spend the day than to be in the kitchen preparing this meal; classic, comforting, and make-ahead.

For entertaining purposes the whole meal is wonderful because you can prepare it all in advance.  But for today, it is wonderful because I can spend the day lounging about with my family watching the snow blow by.  No rushing about at the last minute.

I am sharing the recipe for this Chocolate Fallen Soufflé Cake. It was originally printed in a February 2004 issue of Gourmet Magazine (oh, how I miss Gourmet).  If you like chocolate, fudgy brownies and crispy meringue tops, then this dessert is for you. Mind you it is not the prettiest cake, but it sure is delicious.  

Unlike a traditional soufflé that needs to be served immediately, this cake is made to be eaten after it has collapsed and cooled.  Make it the night before, wrap it in plastic wrap, and serve at room temperature the next day.   The recipe recommends serving it with ice cream or whipped cream, but I enjoy it lightly dusted with confectioner's sugar and served with a simple crème anglaise.  The creamy sauce pairs perfectly with the cakey, fudgy, and crispy textures.

The original recipe called for bittersweet chocolate, but I used semisweet instead.  Please use the best chocolate you can find.  This is all about the chocolate flavor.  And to enhance that chocolate flavor, I added a bit of espresso powder.

So, for all you chocolate lovers out there--here is another recipe to add to your repertoire.

Chocolate Fallen Soufflé Cake
serves 8-10

12 oz good-quality semisweet chocolate, chopped
1 1/2 sticks (6 oz) unsalted butter, cut into pieces
1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon espresso powder
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt + a pinch
3/4 cup granulated sugar, divided
5 extra large eggs, separated and at room temperature
1/4 cup unbleached all-purpose flour

Preheat the oven to 350ºF and place the oven rack in the middle position.  Spray a 9-inch spring-form pan with non-stick baking spray.  Line the bottom with a round of parchment paper and spray the paper.

In a large microwave-safe bowl, melt the chocolate and butter, about 3-5 minutes, stirring every minute.  Cool completely.  Once cool , stir in the vanilla, espresso powder, salt and 6 tablespoons of the sugar.  Add the yolks 1 at a time, whisking after each addition.  Add the flour and stir until completely combined.

In the bowl of a stand-mixer fitted with the whisk attachment (or using a hand-held beater), beat the whites with a pinch of salt at medium-high speed until soft peaks have formed.  Reduce the speed and slowly add the remaining 6 tablespoons of sugar.  Increase the speed to medium-high and beat until the whites are stiff and glossy.

Fold one fourth of the whites into the chocolate mixture.  Gently fold in the remaining whites until no streaks remain.  Pour the batter into the prepared pan.  Spread evenly using an off-set spatula.  Bake until a skewer inserted in the center comes out moist and just slightly underdone 30-35 minutes.

Remove the cake from the oven and cool on a wire rack in the pan for 10-15 minutes.  Run a small paring knife around the edge of the cake.  Release the side of the pan and cool completely.  Invert the cake onto a rack and remove the bottom of the pan (I use a large cake spatula instead so I don't lose any crumbs) discarding paper, then invert or place (if using a spatula) the cake onto a serving plate.  Serve with ice cream, whipped cream, or a crème anglaise.  Enjoy!

The cooled cake can be made one day ahead, wrapped in plastic wrap, and stored at room temperature.

Source: Adapted from Gourmet


  1. The texture of that cake looks just perfect!

  2. Chocolate Shavings-
    Thank you:) I am pleased that you stopped by to comment!

  3. Oh my gosh these look fantastic! This is so cute and I would definitely gobble these right up!

  4. This cake looks delicious! I love the crispy meringue top. I think I might try this recipe out soon( :

  5. Eva-
    We just finished dinner and it was all we could do not to eat the whole cake. Cakey, creamy, fudgy, crunchy--good!! And if you don't have creme anglaise--just melt some good vanilla ice cream. Yum!

  6. This is not only a beautiful cake but also right up my alley! I love the fact you don't have to serve it right away... Thx for the great recipe

  7. You cakes looks so delicious! I thought the directions were going to be much more difficult at first, but I'm glad they aren't too bad! More of a chance that I'll try it now! ;) Also, you should consider entering the cake into Recipe4Living's 5th Birthday Recipe Contest! The site is turning 5 years old, and we're giving away a Scharffen Berger gift basket to the top birthday cake that's submitted!

  8. Sophia-
    Thank you. I do hope you give it a try.

  9. Hi Nicole,
    I was telling your Mom today that I wish the pictures of your delicious creations PLUS your comments could be printed with the recipe. I love reading why a chef likes their dishes and the history too and you are so excellent with communicating these thoughts. Very entertaining! I never skip a sentence! For now I will copy and paste the recipes to include comments and pictures I add to my binder but you definitely need to see if you can include those pages with the recipe print. Thanks for all your dedication and hard work you put into this blog!! Love it!Hope to see you on Food Network channel soon!

  10. Lynda-
    Thank you for the kind words! This blog is a real labor of love and I enjoy sharing my thoughts and recipes. As far as including the comments with the printable recipe--that would be nice, but it would also create a lot of extra work on my part. Comments are always being added so make sure you check back often to read any new ones. Thanks again and happy cooking!

  11. This cake looks really delicious...chocolate...Yummm...
    I like how your cake cracks beautifully on the surface!

  12. This cake has been haunting me for months, and I finally got around to making it. You described the textures perfectly. My family laughed at the fallen top until they realized the genius of the crispy top and moist cakey bottom.

    I get excited each time I check your blog. I love the surprise of what treasure you will share.

    1. Thank you! I am so pleased you and your family enjoyed the recipe.


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