As names go, bete noire is simultaneously fitting and wildly inappropriate. It literally translates to ‘black beast’ but can be applied to anything to be detested or avoided. Fact: You can try to avoid this decadent treat, but if you like chocolate, it just ain’t gonna happen.
The best word to describe the bete noire is RICH. It’s basically sugar, chocolate, eggs, and cream (yep, it’s flour-free—you’re welcome, gluten-sensitive folks!), and it’s so ridiculously smooth and velvety, if you slide a bite under your tongue and let it melt away, you’ll swear you’ve been transported to heaven.
Not only is this a most impressive and elegant dessert, it’s also extremely easy to make. It takes less than 30 minutes to get into the oven and as an added bonus, it’s pretty forgiving—that thick layer of ganache on top can hide any dent or pucker that might be present in the cake itself.
Beware the black beast, my friends—it’s a powerful entity. You can make every effort to keep your distance, but in the end, that silky, luscious chocolate will simply be too difficult to resist. Dense, rich, smooth, and dreamy, this is a dessert suitable for any chocolate-lover!
The Black Beast
Makes one over-the-top luscious 10-inch cake
- 1 cup water
- 3/4 cup granulated sugar
- 9 tablespoons unsalted butter, diced
- 18 ounces bittersweet (not unsweetened) or semisweet chocolate, chopped
- 6 large eggs
- 1 cup heavy whipping cream
- 8 ounces bittersweet (not unsweetened) or semisweet chocolate, chopped
For cake: Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Butter 10-inch-diameter springform pan. Line bottom of pan with parchment round; butter parchment. Wrap 3 layers of heavy-duty foil around outside of pan, bringing foil to top of rim.
Combine 1 cup water and sugar in small saucepan. Bring to boil over medium heat, stirring until sugar dissolves. Simmer 5 minutes. Remove from heat.
Melt butter in large saucepan over low heat. Add chocolate and whisk until smooth. Whisk sugar syrup into chocolate; cool slightly. Add eggs to chocolate mixture and whisk until well blended. Pour batter into prepared pan.
Place cake pan in large roasting pan. Add enough hot water to roasting pan to come halfway up sides of cake pan. Bake cake until center no longer moves when pan is gently shaken, about 50 minutes. Remove from water bath; transfer to rack. Cool completely in pan.
For ganache: Bring whipping cream to simmer in small saucepan over medium heat. Remove from heat. Add chocolate and whisk until smooth. Pour over top of cake still in pan. Gently shake pan to distribute ganache evenly over top of cake. Refrigerate cake in pan until ganache is set, about 2 hours.