If you like chocolate, this is a cake for you! It is so rich and delightful. Enjoy it with family and friends throughout the year.
Unsweetened cocao powder for dusting
15 oz. bittersweet chocolate, chopped
18 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
7 egg yolks
9 tablespoons granulated sugar, separated
1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
Pinch of salt
5 egg whites, at room temperature
Powdered sugar for dusting
Preheat oven to 300 degrees Fahrenheit. Butter a 10 inch cake pan, with removable sides, and dust with cocoa powder.
In a double boiler, combine the chocolate and butter. Set the top pan over but not touching the simmering water in the bottom pan. Melt and stir until well blended. Set aside and let cool slightly.
In a large bowl, using an electric mixer fitted with a whisk attachment, beat together the egg yolks, 6 tablepoons of the granulated sugar, vanilla and salt on medium-high speed until pale and very thick, 3 to 5 minutes. Gradually pour in the chocolate mixture and continue beating until well blended.
In a clean bowl, using a mixer fitted with a clean whisk, beat the egg whites on medium-high speed until foamy, about 1 minute. Gradually add the remaining 3 tablespoons of granulated sugar and continue beating until medium-firm peaks form, about 2 minutes. Gently fold 1/2 of the egg whites into the chocolate mixture. Fold in the remaining whites just until no streaks remain.
Pour the batter into the prepared pan and spread it evenly. Bake until the cake puffs slightly and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out very moist but not liquid, about 40 minutes. Do not overcook. Transfer to a rack and let cool for 30 minutes.
Remove the pan sides. Let the cake cool completely, then cover and refrigerate untl very cold, at least 4 hours or up to overnight.
Just before serving, dust with powdered sugar.
Serves 12 to 14.