“This is a soufflé batter that is baked for a while, until it becomes a cake, and it’s one of the most popular cakes at Sweet Melissa Patisserie. It is very rustic, but it looks beautiful when the ‘fallen’ center is filled with fresh berries.”
—Melissa Murphy, executive chef and owner of Sweet Melissa Patisserie and Crémerie, as well as author of “The Sweet Melissa Baking Book.”
Being away from home, what I miss the most is my mom’s cooking. While I should be thankful for the food at college, because it could absolutely be worse, I always find myself craving a home-cooked meal. I especially miss the desserts my mom makes for special occasions.
I love a great dessert. To me, the best dessert is one that is just sweet enough, but not too sweet. I want to eat something that is light, as I do not like feeling too full at the end of a meal. One of my forever favorite desserts is my mom’s chocolate soufflé cake. It is the ultimate mashup between a soufflé and a cake, and it is one of the most delicious things that I have ever tasted.
This cake is pretty easy to make, and the end result is something really beautiful (you might not want to eat it!). Being a novice in the kitchen, even I found this recipe easy to follow, and I was extremely happy with the end result.
I am not going to say that it is as good as when my mom makes it, but it was pretty close. The first bite is the best one. The outside is a bit crunchy, but then there is the soft, airy inside, which is my favorite part. Don’t just listen to me; this cake even passed the rigorous taste test of my friends, who would call themselves “dessert experts.”
Another great thing about this recipe from “The Sweet Melissa Baking Book” is that it’s gluten free! When creating snacks for friends in college, I frequently run into trouble making something that suits everyone’s dietary needs and restrictions. This recipe spares the gluten but does not sacrifice flavor.
To make the fallen chocolate cake, preheat the oven to 350 degrees, and place the oven rack in the center for even baking. Make sure the pan is greased so that the cake doesn’t stick.
Over the stove, melt the chocolate. It is best to do this with a pot and a mixing bowl. Fill the pot with water and bring it to a slow boil, and place the mixing bowl on top to melt the chocolate.
With a mixer, whip the egg yolks and the sugar. After this mixture has doubled in size, add the melted chocolate and combine. This is when you can add the Grand Marnier (if of age) and the zest.
Using the mixer again, with a clean bowl, whip egg whites until foamy. Add the rest of the sugar to this mixture. Whip until the egg whites turn stiff.
Fold one-third of the egg-white mixture into the chocolate batter. Then fold the other two-thirds of the egg-white mixture into the chocolate batter until it is evenly mixed together.
Bake for 65 minutes. Let the cake cool. It will fall as it cools down. Add powdered sugar and berries to the center for presentation.
The next time you are looking to bake a cake, experiment in the kitchen or brighten someone’s day with a treat, remember this recipe for a 10-inch cake.
10 1/2 oz best-quality semisweet (58 percent) chocolate
7 tablespoons unsalted butter
8 large eggs, separated
1/2 cup sugar, divided into two equal parts
1 teaspoon freshly grated orange zest 1 tablespoon Grand Marnier Confectioner’s sugar, for sprinkling