Saturday, September 5, 2009

SMS: Fallen Chocolate Souffle Cake + Bonus Flourless Chocolate Cake

This week it was finally my turn to pick a recipe for Sweet Melissa Sundays! It was no easy task, let me tell you...

I finally settled on the fallen chocolate souffle cake for a few reasons: I love chocolate, I had never made a souffle and wanted to try something new, I wanted practice at making meringue, it looked really yummy from the photo - it's the picture on the cover of The Sweet Melissa Baking Book. The fact that I don't like the taste of eggs was the only reservation I had about this recipe - admittedly, a rather large one, considering there are 8 of them in this cake - but I decided to go ahead with it, and challenge my skills and tastebuds.

Unfortunately, when I made my pick, I hadn't yet looked at the September recipes for Tuesdays with Dorie. Had I done so, I would have seen that the recipe for September 8th is a chocolate souffle. Oh well...

I made the fallen chocolate souffle cake twice in the last week. The first time, I made 1/4 of the recipe and baked it in two 4" springforms for 18 minutes. I was nervou taking my first bite, no one wants to be the person who picked the dud recipe. My reaction? It didn't wow me. It was tasty, but the texture left something to be desired. It was smooth and fluffy and melted in my mouth, which was all well and good, but there was no contrast to that. There was no crunchy crust to counter the soft insides. I was disappointed. So I baked it again.

The second time, I made a full recipe in a 10" pan, as the recipe is written. I was hoping that the problem with the minis was that they weren't in the oven long enough to develop a tasty crust, seeing as how they took only 18 minutes, as opposed to the hour recommended for the 10". Unfortunately, I don't have anything better to report from the 10" version. It baked in 42 minutes, was denser in texture than the minis, but there was still no crust. Maybe this recipe isn't meant to have one, I don't know. It does look like there is one on the cover of the book, and other recipes I've seen for similar recipes have very prominent ones. I'll be very interested to see the results from my fellow SMS bakers, and to read their reactions to the recipe. I hope someone out there loved it.

Fallen Chocolate Souffle Cake
The Sweet Melissa Baking Book

This is a souffle batter that is baked for a while, until it becomes a cake, and it's one of the most popular cakes at Sweet Melissa Patisserie. It is very rustic, but it looks beautiful when the "fallen" center is filled with fresh berries. Makes 1 10-inch cake

10 1/2 ounces best-quality semisweet (58%) chocolate
7 tablespoons unsalted butter
8 large eggs, separated
1/2 cup sugar divided into 2 equal parts
1 teaspoon freshly grated orange zest
1 tablespoon Grand Marnier
Confectioner's sugar, for sprinkling

Before you start:
Postition a rack in the center of your oven. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees farenheit. Grease a 10-inch springform pan with nonstick vegetable cooking spray or butter. Line the bottom with a parchment paper round.

1. In the top of a double boiler set over simmering, not boiling, water, melt the chocolate with the butter, stirring until smooth.

2. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whip attachment, whip the egg yolks with half of the sugar until doubled in volume. Add the melted chocolate and mix until combined. Transfer the chocolate batter to a large bowl. (Wash the mixer bowl and whip attachment very well, and dry thoroughly.)

3. In the clean bowl of the electric mixer, fitted with the clean whip attachment, make a meringue by whipping the egg whites until foamy. In a slow steady stream, add the remaining sugar. Whip until the whites hold stiff but not dry peaks.

4. Briskly fold one-third of the meringue into the chocolate mixture to lighten the batter. Gently fold the remaining two-thirds of the meringue into the batter until it is just incorporated.

5. Pour the batter into the prepared springform pan. Spin the pan to level the batter. Bake for 65 minutes, or until a wooden skewer inserted into the center comes out clean. The cake will fall as it cools.

6. When the cake is cool, release the springform ring and remove it. To release the bottom, invert the cake onto a flat plate an d remove the bottom and the parchment round. Turn right side up onto a serving plate and dust with confectioner's sugar.

Serve with vanilla ice cream or warm hot fudge sauce and garnish with fresh berries, if you'd like to make the dessert a little fancy. The cake keeps tightly wrapped in plastic wrap at room temperature for up to 3 days. For longer storage, refrigerate wrapped in plastic wrap for up to 1 week. (Leave the cake in the pan for storing, it is delicate.)

Though this was a fairly tasty cake, it is certainly not one I'll be making again. I wasn't even excited to take photos of it, since it was less than exciting to eat. Very disappointing indeed.

* * * * *

As a consolation to myself, I searched for a different flourless chocolate cake recipe to try my hand at. I wanted one that used a different mixing method, and I found this one at It is heavenly.

It is made like a brownie - minus the flour, of course - it is deeply chocolatey, fudgey, and has a lovely delicate top crust. It is ridiculously easy to make, too. This one is a keeper. It is everything I wanted the souffle cake to be, but wasn't.

Thanks so much to all of the lovely ladies who baked along with me this week! It is such a pleasure to be a part of such a wonderful group, and I so love visiting your creative, beautiful, entertaining blogs every week.


  1. Sarah, thanks for the fun SMS pick! Sorry you weren't 100% wowed by this one, but your soufflés sure do look delicious! I love the photo with a slice of the big one and chocolate sauce, very decadent :)

  2. Sorry you didn't like this recipe too much. I'm glad you ended up finding a recipe that you liked better. As for me personally, the egginess of this cake is what made me sit this one out (sorry!).

    I've made flourless choc tortes before and my fav has to be Rose's recipe from the Cake Bible. 3 ingredients, that's it. And because there's no sugar in the recipe, I like to add a drizzle of caramel on top. Let me know if you'd like me to email you the recipe!

  3. Sorry you didn't like it very much. Perhaps being a college student, we eat whatever we can get! haha. =]
    Thanks for hosting!

  4. thanks for the pick this week.... i thought it was great!

  5. Thanks for selecting this cake; I really enjoyed this cake, I'm sorry it was disappointing for you (I actually think I'd make it again). Both desserts look wonderful, though. I think I might have made that flourless chocolate cake before and it was really good!

  6. Thanks for hosting this week Sarah! While I didn't love the cake (my husband and I did both think it was tasty, just not our thing), I'm psyched I finally got to make my first souffle! Thanks for posting that second recipe. I'm glad it was so good - I'll have to add it to my "to-bake" list :)

  7. The powdered sugar looks lovely on there!!!

  8. Thanks for hosting this week. I'm glad you were able to find another soufflé you liked since you weren't wowed by this one.

  9. You are so cute! You did not pick out a flop recipe and I love how you added another recipe that you did enjoy more then this one.

  10. Great pick! Sorry it didnt turn out the way you wanted it to but it was a hit for my eaters. Your photos look great and I cant believe you went and made something else chocolaty.

  11. I didnt get a chance to make this, but it sounded interesting! Im sorry it didnt work out for you!

  12. We only ate 3 pieces out of the whole cake. Shhhh! Don't tell anyone else; it's a secret!

  13. Hi Sarah!

    Thanks so much for hosting this week's SMS! You did a fabulous job, and I had lots of fun making your pick, since it was my first fallen soufflé cake.

    Your bonus cake sounds VERY tempting and I can't wait to give it a try. I just LOVE the powdered sugar decoration on top! How'd you do that- did you use some kind of stencil? Whatever you did, your cake was beautiful and I wanted to eat a slice right off the screen!

    I hope you're doing well and enjoying the long holiday weekend! Look forward to talking to you again soon :)


  14. We really liked this cake, so glad you picked this recipe!!! Sorry it wasn't what you had hoped for, but you can't like them all. Mine had a nice crust and a soft interior, yummy.

  15. Thanks for hosting this week! My coworkers loved it

  16. I didn't get a crust on mine either. It looked like it, but the texture was pretty uniform. Still a great pick for this week! Everyone at my work LOVED it. Thanks for hosting this week!

  17. I really thought I commented here, but I don't see it! I love your pretty powdered sugar pattern! Thanks for hosting!


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