Sunken Chocolate Cake with Raspberry Fool
This intensely chocolate cake is ideal for birthdays and other special occasions. The simple batter rises in the oven then sinks in the middle when you take it out, creating a perfect vessel for a mound of whipped cream or berry fool.
8 oz. semisweet or bittersweet chocolate,
1/2 c. butter, softened or cut into chunks
6 large eggs
1 c. sugar
2 c. raspberries or blackberries
1-1/2 c. whipping cream
1/4 c. sugar
Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line the bottom of a 9-inch springform pan with a circle of waxed paper or parchment. Don’t grease the pan – the batter needs to be able to cling to the sides as it rises.
Gently melt the chocolate with the butter in a glass or stainless steel bowl set over gently simmering water or in the microwave. Separate 4 of the eggs, putting the yolks and whites in separate medium-sized bowls. Add the remaining 2 eggs and half of the sugar to the egg yolks. Whisk in the warm chocolate mixture until the batter is smooth.
Beat the egg whites with an electric mixer until foamy. Gradually add the remaining sugar, beating the egg whites until they form soft mounds but aren’t yet stiff. Fold about one-quarter of the egg whites into the chocolate mixture to lighten it, and then gently fold in the rest, without deflating the egg whites. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and smooth the top.
Bake the cake for 35 to 40 minutes, until it’s puffy and cracked on top, and the middle isn’t wobbly. Cool the cake completely in the pan without loosening the sides; the batter needs to cling to the sides of the pan as it cools so it can properly sink in the middle and keep its high edges.
To make the fool, gently crush the berries with half the sugar and let them macerate for 10 minutes. When you’re ready to serve the cake, beat the cream with the rest of the sugar until softly stiff. Run a thin knife around the edge of the pan to loosen the cake. Remove the sides of the pan and, leaving the cake on the pan bottom, transfer it to a serving plate. Gently fold the cream into the berries and mound the fool in the middle of the cake just before serving. Serves 10 to 12.