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April 2, 2020: I originally wrote this post in February, before COVID-19 really turned our world upside down. Let’s pretend it’s February, and that we might actually be celebrating a friend’s birthday soon and have a reason to make a whole cake.
(Or, we can just be like me and make yet another chocolate cake (or two…) to eat at home JUST CUZ. Because boy, if there were ever a time to treat yourself, this is it. I’m already wondering when the next okayest time to make another one of these is…)
My phone lit up and I saw the happy message from my mom:
"I'm enjoying the birthday chocolate cake right now. So yummy Jo. This is the kind I want every year for my birthday until I die, :) hehe"
That’s what my mom just texted me about this cake that I just made her a few days ago. And I have to agree–it’s a pretty bomb cake. The bottom is made of a dense, fudgy, flourless dark chocolate layer that hits all those deep dark chocolate cravings. The top layer is essentially a whipped dark chocolate ganache, which means it is a huge quantity of rich, dark chocolate truffle spread out in a thick layer and called “cake.” No objections here.
Dorie Greenspan created this elegantly simple and decadent cake, and I’ve been eating multiple slices a day since Thursday, when I first delivered the cake to my mom. I ate two at her birthday dinner, and then I made a whole new cake that very night after putting the kids down. My college friend had invited us over for dinner the next evening, and I wanted to bring something delicious because she’s the kind of person who does everything with excellence and I wanted to bring something excellent for her! This cake did not disappoint.
Having made it twice in 24 hours, I naturally started to look for some shortcuts. Nothing that would compromise the amazing texture and flavor of the cake, but time-saving (and dish-saving) shortcuts to make it easier to make this heavenly concoction even more accessible in the busyness of life. So, grab your favorite springform pan and give this cake a go. If you love chocolate, you will not regret it!
P.S. If you want to go the extra mile, I’d recommend serving it with a simple raspberry sauce like this one.
Dorie’s Lisbon Chocolate Cake Recipe
Directions adapted from this recipe
Makes one 9″ cake
For the cake:
For the ganache:
For the topping:
*If you don’t have a springform pan, you can follow the directions here for how to get the cake out cleanly. Or consider getting one– it’s super useful for cheesecakes, mud pie, or just as a cake pan!
**If you’d like to remove the parchment paper from underneath the cake, follow these directions before step 7: Unlatch the side of the pan and set aside. Place a large round plate over the top of the cake layer and, holding the cake in between the springform pan base and the large plate, flip it over so the top of the cake is now resting upside down on the large round plate. Peel off and discard the parchment paper. Then use the same motion to flip the cake back over onto the base of the springform pan and reattach the side of the pan.