Chocolate Pave Cake
Two of my favorite things in the world are chocolate and cake. For me, the best chocolate cake is a flourless chocolate cake such as the Chocolate Pave.
This recipe comes from Ready For Dessert by David Lebovitz where he explains that the Chocolate Pave is usually baked in a square pan and cut into rectangles so they look like little paving stones. Pretty handy since ‘pave’ means ‘paving stone’ in French.
I like the Chocolate Pave because it lacks things a ‘typical’ chocolate cake has such as, well, flour. It is also missing sugary frosting or filling. It is also missing sprinkles, and that is a bummer but you can always add those later.
For sure it is not the best looking of cakes yet what the Chocolate Pave is not lacking is delicious rich chocolate flavor.
So let’s get to making one shall we?
1) Preheat oven to 350F (175C)
2) Butter the bottom and sides of a 9 inch square pan and line the bottom with parchment paper. Dust with cocoa powder and tap out the excess.
(My 9 inch square cake pans where busy, uh, doing other things, so I used my 9 inch spring form pans. Whatev.)
3) In a heatproof bowl, combine the butter and both chocolates. Create a double boiler by setting the bowl over a pot of simmering water, stirring occasionally until it’s melted. Remove the bowl from the heat.
PRO-TIP: You do not need a lot of water for this. Just enough so it creates steam and so it does not all boil away.
4) In a stand mixer fitted with your whip attachment, whisk together the egg yolks and 1/2 cup of sugar on high speed until it goes pale, increases in volume and it leaves a defined ribbon on the surface when you lift the whisk (about 5 minutes).
5) Fold in the melted chocolate until fully incorporated.
6) In a clean and dry bowl, whisk the egg whites and salt on a low speed until the form soft, wet peaks. Gradually beat in the remaining 1/2 cup of sugar and continue whisking at high speed until the whites form stiff peaks.
7) Fold the egg whites into the egg and chocolate mixture until just incorporated. To avoid collapsing your meringue – do not overfold and be gentle.
8) Scrape the batter into the pan and gently smooth the top.
9) Bake for about 35 minutes (It will still have a slight wobble on the top). Look for the cake to rise and formed a cracked top.
10) Let cool for 15 mins.
(BTW- The picture shows two cakes. This recipe only makes one cake. I made a double batch.)
11) Invert the Chocolate Pave onto a plate or a cake board and remove the parchment paper. Re-invert onto your serving plate.
12) Dust with icing sugar if you wish.
I recommend serving a slice with a serving of whipped cream on the side…maybe even topped with sprinkles!
(There you go. I knew I would get some sprinkles in there somehow. Like I always say, “Sprinkles are for winners!”)
Let me know in the comments how yours turned out.