Deep Dark Rich Chocolate Fudge Cake

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This recipe has a bit of an interesting history. When I first launched Chocoholic Anonymous, the recipe management tool I was using at the time defaulted to allowing registered members of my site to submit their own recipes. I was unaware of this setting and it had not been my intent to host a community sourced recipe collection, so imagine my surprise when a completely unfamiliar recipe showed up in my database with an author other than me. I’m somewhat ashamed to admit that I didn’t do anything at all with the recipe, it just languished in limbo. That is until now. In the process of resurrecting my site, the recipe resurfaced in the backup and I decided I should at least give it a test run.

Unfortunately, as written, the recipe simply didn’t work. The baking temperature was too high and the baking time too short resulting in a cake that was overdone on the edges and completely raw in the center. Because the cake was raw in the center it collapsed during cooling leaving something resembling a shallow bowl. The flavor was a bit flat and overly sweet. The whole thing felt very heavy, which can be partially attributed to the underbaked center, but also to the fact that most cakes that rely on whipped egg whites for their lift have at least 50% more egg whites than this recipe called for.

I could have abandoned the recipe at this point, but I really wanted the cake promised in the title. So I decided to give it one more shot and see if I could fix the issues:

  • I didn’t want to alter the ingredients or ratios too much, but I felt we needed to make some minor tweaks to correct the flat, overly sweet flavor. I added salt and espresso powder and slightly reduced the sugar (only by 1/4 cup).
  • Because there is such a high proportion of melted chocolate to flour in this recipe, I wanted to take every opportunity to incorporate more air and achieve a light(er) texture. Instead of whisking egg yolks into the melted chocolate and butter, I whisked the egg yolks and sugar until thick and pale and then carefully added the chocolate mixture to the egg yolk mixture. This gives us a second infusion of air into the recipe.
  • I needed the cake to cook more evenly, allowing the center to bake without drying out the edges. I made 4 changes to accomplish this. First, a larger pan – I went from an 8″ round to a 9″ round which accommodated the volume of the batter much better (especially after incorporating more air). Second, reduce the baking temperature from 425°F to 350°F. Third, a lower baking temperature requires a longer baking time – I increased the baking time from 15 minutes to 35-40 minutes. Finally, to give it the best chance of baking evenly, I placed the pan in a water bath which made absolutely certain the edges were not going to be overdone by the time the center was baked.
  • I added a ganache glaze to finish the whole thing off.

I have to say, I am beyond thrilled with the results. It 100% delivers on flavor, it is deep, dark, rich, intensely chocolate and definitively fudgy. Yet it has a surprisingly light texture and mouth feel. It is excellent paired with lightly sweetened whipped cream and salted caramel. If you are one of those people that enjoys fruit paired with your chocolate, raspberries or strawberries would complement this cake very well. The preparation is a little bit finicky, requiring extra care to avoid deflating the batter, but it is well worth the time and care.

Deep Dark Rich Chocolate Fudge Cake

Deep Dark Rich Chocolate Fudge Cake

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Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Keyword: cake, chocolate, fudge, ganache, glaze
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 40 minutes
Resting time: 1 hour
Total Time: 2 hours 10 minutes
Servings: 12 slice


  • Electric mixer (hand or stand)
  • 4 bowls
  • measuring cups
  • measuring spoons
  • spatula
  • parchment paper
  • 1 Cake pan (9 inch round)
  • 1 large pan (12 inch round cake pan or large roasting pan that can hold the 9 inch round cake pan with at least 1 inch to spare all the way around)



  • 2 1/3 cups Bitter-sweet chocolate around 400 grams, chopped
  • 1/2 cup Butter 113 grams
  • 1/2 teaspoon Espresso powder
  • 4 Eggs large, separated
  • 1 1/2 cups Flour 180 grams all-purpose
  • 1 1/4 cups Sugar 300 grams, divided
  • 1 teaspoon Salt
  • 1 cup Water 240 ml hot


  • 1 cup Bitter-sweet chocolate around 185 grams, chopped
  • 3/4 cup Heavy cream 180 ml
  • 1 tablespoon Corn syrup 15 ml
  • pinch Salt


To make the cake:

  • Preheat the oven to 350°F (175°C). Grease and line an 9-inch round cake pan with parchment paper.
  • In a heatproof bowl, melt the chopped chocolate and butter together over a pot of simmering water (double boiler method). Stir in the espresso powder until smooth. Allow to cool slightly. (Alternatively, use a microwave safe bowl and 30 second bursts in the microwave to melt the chocolate and butter together)
    2 1/3 cups Bitter-sweet chocolate, 1/2 cup Butter, 1/2 teaspoon Espresso powder
  • In a large mixing bowl, beat the egg yolks with 1 cup of sugar until thick and pale. Slowly mix in the melted chocolate mixture.
    4 Eggs, 1 1/4 cups Sugar
  • In a small bowl, sift together the flour and salt. Gradually fold this into the chocolate mixture, alternating with the hot water. Stir until smooth but do not overmix.
    1 1/2 cups Flour, 1 teaspoon Salt, 1 cup Water
  • In a separate, clean, medium bowl, beat the egg whites until foamy. Gradually add the remaining 1/4 cup of sugar and continue beating until stiff peaks form.
    4 Eggs, 1 1/4 cups Sugar
  • Gently fold the beaten egg whites into the chocolate batter in three additions, being careful not to deflate the mixture.
  • Pour the batter into the prepared cake pan. Place the cake pan in the larger pan, fill with hot water to about half way up the side of the cake pan. Bake in the preheated oven for about 35-40 minutes, or until the cake is set and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
  • Allow the cake to cool in the pan for 10 minutes, then turn it out onto a wire rack to cool completely.

To make the glaze:

  • Place the chocolate in a heat proof bowl.
    1 cup Bitter-sweet chocolate
  • Combine the cream, corn syrup and salt in a microwave safe bowl or a small sauce pan. Using the microwave or the cooktop, bring the mixture just to a simmer.
    3/4 cup Heavy cream, 1 tablespoon Corn syrup, pinch Salt
  • Pour the cream mixture over the chocolate, allow to sit for about 2 minutes. In continuous circular motions, starting small in the center and working outward, stir the chocolate and cream mixture together until fully combine, smooth, shiny and a thick but pourable consistency.

Assembling the cake:

  • Place wax or parchment paper under the wire rack to catch drips of the glaze.
  • Pour the glaze smoothly over the surface of the cake working from the center outward until the cake is entirely covered. Set aside for about an hour to allow the glaze to set (it will remain very soft and creamy, but will hold in place when gently shaking or tipping the cake)
  • Transfer the cake to a serving platter. Serve with lightly sweetened whipped cream, caramel sauce and/or fresh berries.


Make very sure the eggs are room temperature. If you add warm chocolate to a cold egg yolk mixture, the chocolate will seize and it will become much more difficult to avoid over mixing.
Wipe the inside of the bowl and the beater(s) you are using to whip the egg whites with a small amount of lemon juice to remove any traces of oils that will interfere with achieving full volume in your egg whites.
Be sure to use bitter-sweet chocolate in this recipe. Semi-sweet or milk chocolate will be far too sweet.

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