It is said that : “The cross-section of this cake is enough to make the knees wobble.”
That the editors at Food52“Would cross an ocean for this cake.”
And they did.
I had to try it.
“At Food52, we use a lot of superlative language to describe all the wonderful dishes we get to try, but this cake actually stunned us into silence. The rich, mousse-like cake even stopped our Test Kitchen Director Josh Cohen in his tracks.”
“My favorite childhood dessert was chocolate mousse,” Josh tells me. “This cake had all the righteous deep, creamy chocolate flavor of the best chocolate mousse. But this also has structure, due to the fact that it’s a cake. You can slice it. It isn’t just a plop of mousse in a bowl. The thin crispy surface that forms on the top of the cake is a great textural contrast to the creaminess of the rest of the cake. Overall, it’s just outrageously good—one of the most memorable desserts I’ve made in a long time.”
This rich, decadent, delicious flourless chocolate cake is credited to The River Cafe in London, and Ruth Rogers.
I believe I’m going to have to journey to London to thank her myself.
I’m still unsure as to why it’s named the Chocolate “Nemesis” Cake, but it certainly does not matter at this point.
With only four simple ingredients, this hefty round of heaven is certainly NOT my nemesis.
The River Cafe Chocolate Nemesis Cake
10 large eggs 2 3/4 cup + 3 Tbs. granulated sugar 24 oz. bittersweet chocolate chunks 1 lb. butter, softened crème fraîche, for serving
Preheat the oven to 250°F. Grease a 12-inch round cake pan that is 3 inches deep, then line the base with parchment paper. Whisk the eggs with a third of the sugar with an electric mixer until the volume quadruples—this will take at least 10 minutes.Meanwhile, melt the chocolate and butter together in a heatproof bowl set over a pan of barely simmering water (the water should not touch the base of the bowl). Remove from the heat.Heat the remaining sugar with 9 oz water in a small pan until the sugar has completely dissolved to a syrup, stirring occasionally. Gently pour the syrup into the melted chocolate, stirring.Reduce the speed of the mixer and slowly add the warm chocolate and syrup mixture to the eggs. Increase the speed and continue beating until completely combined. The mixture will lose volume.Pour into the prepared cake pan. Put the pan into a deep baking pan on top of a dish towel to prevent the cake pan from moving. Fill the baking pan with hot water so that it comes at least two-thirds up the sides of the cake pan. Bake for 1½–2 hours** or until set—test by placing the flat of your hand gently on the surface of the cake.Remove the cake pan from the water. Leave the cake in the pan to completely cool before turning out (don’t refrigerate it). Serve with crème fraîche.
**At my elevation and at my humidity in Colorado Springs on a snowy, cold spring day, I baked my chocolate cake for FOUR hours until it was properly set.