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4d9c8b2b6c0a0preview-300.jpgJean Millner, who works at Kitchen Conservatory, just won first place in a dessert contest sponsored by the St. Louis Jewish Light. Her cake was judged on appearance, flavor, texture, smell, and creativity. According to the judges, the cake “tasted better than it looked and it looked gorgeous.” Congratulations, Jean!

Here is her indulgent recipe. Jean recommends using Callebaut bittersweet chocolate of 60 percent cacao or Scharffenberger bittersweet chocolate of 70 percent cacao. Jean uses a 9-inch cake pan with a removable bottom or a 9-inch springform pan lined with a round of parchment paper.

Frequently, cream of tartar is added to whipping egg whites because the cream of tartar denatures the protein in the egg whites and the egg whites will whip higher and are more stable. But, cream of tartar, which comes from the residue left from fermenting wine inside of wine casks, is not kosher for Passover. Whipping egg whites in an unlined copper bowl stabilizes the eggs and has the same effect as cream of tartar.

Flourless Chocolate Cake with Polka Dot Ganache

for the cake:

  • 7 ounces bittersweet (60% cacao) chocolate, broken into small pieces
  • 7 ounces unsalted butter at room temperature (plus more to grease the pan)
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract or vanilla bean paste
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 cup sugar, divided
  • 4 eggs, separated

Preheat the oven to 250 degrees. Line a 9-inch round cake pan with a buttered round of parchment and butter the rest of the pan. Set aside.

Melt chocolate and butter in a stainless steel bowl set over one inch of simmering water in a saucepan until completely melted. Remove the chocolate from the heat and stir in the vanilla and salt.

In a stand mixer, fitted with a whisk attachment, beat the egg yolks with half of the sugar until pale yellow. Set aside. In another mixing bowl, whip the egg whites to a stiff peak, then slowly incorporate the remaining sugar.

On low speed, add the chocolate mixture to the egg yolk mixture. By hand, fold in the egg whites. Pour the batter into the cake pan and bake for 60-70 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean and the cake begins to pull away from the sides of the pan. Cool and refrigerate to completely set the cake.

for the ganache topping:

  • 8 ounces bittersweet chocolate (60% cacao)
  • 1/3 cup heavy cream
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut up

In a small saucepan, heat the cream to just below simmering. Add the butter and stir to melt. Whisk in the chocolate, stirring until completely melted and smooth.

Remove from heat and allow to cool slightly. Pour the ganache onto the center of the cake. Use a small offset spatula to push the ganache toward the outer edge of the cake, allowing the ganache to run down the sides. Refrigerate the cake for a few minutes to allow the ganache to begin to set. Place white chocolate “buttons” on top of the ganache.