1st Place: Flourless Chocolate Cake with Polka Dot Ganache (Dairy)

Jean Millner’s “Flourless Chocolate Cake with Polka Dot Ganache” took first place.

Recipe by Jean Millner

This recipe won first place in the Jewish Light’s 2011 Passover desserts recipe contest:

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7 ounces semisweet chocolate, broken into small pieces

7 ounces unsalted butter at room temperature (plus more to grease pan)

½ teaspoon vanilla extract or vanilla bean paste

Pinch kosher salt

1 cup sugar, divided

4 eggs, separated

Preheat oven to 250°F

Trace and cut out a circle on parchment paper to fit a 9″ round cake pan; butter the paper and place it in the bottom of the pan; butter the rest of the pan; set aside.

Melt chocolate and butter in an oven-proof bowl set over 1″ of simmering water in a saucepan, stirring occasionally until completely melted and smooth.

Remove chocolate mixture from heat, stir in vanilla and salt; set aside to cool slightly.

In stand mixer, fitted with the whisk attachment, beat egg yolks with half of the sugar until pale yellow and smooth; set aside.

In another mixing bowl, use a hand mixer to beat the egg whites to a stiff peak; slowly incorporate remaining half of sugar; set aside.

With stand mixer on low speed, whisk in a small amount of chocolate mixture to temper egg yolk mixture then whisk in remaining chocolate mixture.

Remove bowl from stand and fold in egg whites.

Pour batter into cake pan and bake for about 60 – 70 minutes, until a tooth pick inserted in center of cake comes out clean.

Cool on wire rack.


Ganache Topping:

8 ounces bittersweet chocolate (60% cacao)

1/3 cup heavy whipping cream

6 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into small pieces

White chocolate buttons for garnish

In small saucepan, heat cream to just before simmering.

Add butter and stir until melted.

Whisk in chocolate, stirring until completely melted and smooth.

Remove from heat and allow to cool slightly.

Pour over cake; refrigerate cake a few minutes to allow ganache to begin to set.

Lightly press white chocolate buttons on top of ganache and return cake to refrigerator to completely set topping.


Other optional toppings for flourless cake:

Dusting of powdered sugar; drizzle of caramel sauce; sliced strawberries; whipped cream; raspberry sauce


Notes: If possible, use a spring form pan or one with a removable bottom.

Whisking egg whites in a copper bowl is an ideal substitute for Cream of Tartar which is not suitable for Passover as it is a byproduct of wine fermentation. When making this dessert outside of Passover, simply add ¼ teaspoon Cream of Tartar to egg whites before beating to stabilize.