Thursday, December 20, 2012

Cinnamon Chocolate Sunken Souffle Cake with Sparkling Cranberries

This is a cake that I made last week for our department holiday party. I went back and forth about whether or not I wanted to share it here on the blog, since I only had time to snap one quick photo of it before having to cart it off to the party where it was promptly demolished without any further photo ops. But then I thought, if the world ends tomorrow, I would want you to go out having this recipe, because it's one of my favorite flourless chocolate cake recipes, and because it's even awesomer when topped with a high pile of crunchy, tart, sugared cranberries for a decadent sparkle to the cake. I like to call it the "Richness of the Base" cake, which is kind of a really lame linguistics pun (and yes, I like my puns in baked form). But really, this is one of my go-to flourless chocolate cake recipes ever since I developed it for the chocolate issue of sated. While I find most flourless chocolate cakes far too dense, this one is the perfect balance between being richly chocolate and still light enough to feel like you're eating cake rather than eating a melted-down bar of chocolate. The coconut oil and cinnamon in this version add a touch of extra special punch to the cake, making it perfect for holiday parties. Also! sugared cranberries are just wonderful little bursts of fruit--this is my first time making them, and I probably ate most of the cranberries before they even made it onto the cake. Oops! :)

I also decided today that if the world does end, I wanted to at least see one last sunset at the Pacific Ocean. So I just dropped everything and went. The sun and the trusty Pacific did not disappoint!

It's been sort of an insane past week, filled with a family friend's funeral and bad news and horrible people doing horrible things, and all of this oddly punctuated by good, fun, sweet, heart-warming moments in a way that's just... life being life. Even if the world doesn't end tomorrow, I keep getting the feeling that I want to hug everyone a little tighter from here on out.

Read on for recipe....

Cinnamon chocolate sunken souffle cake, with sparkling cranberries
adapted from sated magazine
makes one 9-inch cake

128 g coconut oil*
340 g (12 oz) dark chocolate (68 - 72%), chopped
75g + 57g sugar
6 large eggs, separated
1 1/2 tspn ground cinnamon
1/2 tspn salt
powdered sugar
sugared cranberries, using this recipe

1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Grease one 9-inch round springform pan and line the bottom with a parchment paper round.
2. In a bowl suspended over simmering water, heat and melt the butter, chopped chocolate, and 75 g sugar. Stir until everything in the bowl is melted and well-combined. Remove from heat and set aside to let cool briefly.
3. Whisk together the egg yolks. Once the chocolate mixture is about room temperature or just barely warm, gradually pour the egg yolks into the chocolate mixture, whisking continuously. Stir in the ground cinnamon and salt.
4. In a separate bowl, whip the egg whites until soft peaks. Add the remaining 57 g sugar and continue to whip just until stiff peaks. Do not overmix.
5. Stir a third of the egg whites into the chocolate mixture. Then, fold in the remainder of the egg whites just until there are no more visible streaks. Be careful not to overmix.
6. Immediately pour the batter into the prepared pan. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes until the top of the cake is dry, but do not let the cake crack. Remove the cake from the oven. The middle should still be a bit jiggly, but the cake will continue to set as it cools. Place the cake on a wire cooling rack and let cool completely before unmolding.
7. Before serving, sprinkle the cake with powdered sugar and spoon the sugared cranberries into the sunken well of the cake.

*If coconut oil is unavailable, substitute with 9 Tbspn of unsalted butter.



  1. How gorgeous. Does the sugar coating of the cranberries balance out the tartness? I love the idea of the coconut oil in there. & the world doesn't seem to have ended yet in the UK!

  2. That's amazing! It's a very good idea for the Christmas cake!

  3. The cranberries look like snowballs:) What a gorgeous garnish

  4. Well your one photo came out great! I love that you took the time to go see the sunset, too.

  5. I've seen SO many sparkling cranberries on blogs over the last few weeks - clearly they are the hottest trend of 2012! I'm planning to put some on our chocolate Christmas cake this year so it's great to see them combined with chocolate here. You only took one photo, but it's gorgeous.

  6. this is just soo beautiful.. you make the cake sound soo good.. but its the sugared cranberries that are catching my attention.. have seen them on quite a few blogs!! the cake is simply gorgeous.. happy holidays!!

  7. Wow this looks DELICIOUS! I can't wait to bake it and try it out! Thanks for sharing :)

  8. Wow - this looks Delicious! Can't wait to try it out. Thanks for sharing!
    XOXO -- Ashley

  9. Too many horrible people around doing horrible stuff and I am hearing one after the other news. It makes me so mad, and it hurts so much, spoiling the festive mood!

    Well, the world didn't end, which gives me enough time to try this cake. Your one picture was convincing enough and that sunset photo... GORGEOUS!

  10. Ashley @ Yeah. We. Bake.December 21, 2012 at 9:57 AM

    You have the. most. stunning food photographs I've ever seen. I'm blown away.

    Merry Christmas,

  11. Love that photo! It makes me feel like I am in some lodge somewhere in a Colorado forest and I am eating this gooey chocolaty cake and getting a tangy craberry too, anyway, this is great!

  12. Your gluten-free chocolate cake made with coconut oil topped with sparkly sugar cranberries is a winner,Stephanie! Thank you for not depriving the world of your creative expressions of cakes and stellar photos.

  13. Love the cranberries! So pretty & festive. Have a wonderful holiday & happy New Year!

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