Serves 8-10 for dessert (or an entree ;) )
Like most flourless chocolate cakes, this one is incredibly moist and rich, but the subtle, yet distinctive, hint of rosemary makes it feel a bit more rustic. It’s also super easy to tackle and makes for the perfect dinner party or picnic dessert. Your guests’ mouth will water with delight and they’ll deem you a genius for combining rosemary and dark chocolate. Because this cake is decadent we paired it with mascarpone cheese, which is lighter than cream cheeses. Also, if you’ve never had orange and chocolate together, hold on to your britches because it’s one of our FAVORITE combos. Speaking of chocolate, the key to great flavor in this cake is using good quality chocolate and butter, so don’t skimp on these ingredients! We used Scharffen Berger chocolate and Straus butter. Straus is a local California creamery, but any good quality, organic, grass-fed butter will work.
For the mascarpone:
Zest and juice from 1 large orange
8 ounces mascarpone
¼ cup confectioner’s sugar, sifted
½ vanilla bean, scraped
For the cake:
200 grams good-quality dark chocolate, roughly chopped
14 Tablespoons unsalted butter, roughly chopped
1 cup superfine sugar, like C&H or India Tree brand
2 Tablespoons finely chopped fresh rosemary
½ teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2 Tablespoons sifted confectioner’s sugar for dusting
Make the mascarpone:
In a small bowl, whisk the orange juice and orange zest with the mascarpone, confectioner’s sugar and vanilla bean. Cover with plastic wrap and place in the fridge until ready to serve.
Make the cake:
Preheat the oven to 275ºF. Butter the bottom and sides of an 8-inch cake pan, line the bottom with parchment paper and then butter the parchment paper. Set aside.
Combine the chocolate and butter in a heavy bottomed saucepan. Set the pan over low heat to melt, stirring occasionally to prevent the chocolate from burning. When the chocolate and butter have melted completely, remove the pan from the heat and stir in the rosemary. Allow the chocolate to cool slightly.
In a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment (you can also use a handheld mixer), beat the eggs and sugar until thickened, 5-6 minutes. Using a rubber spatula, fold in the melted chocolate and vanilla until evenly combined. Pour the cake batter into the prepared pan and place the cake on the middle rack of your preheated oven.
Bake until the top of the cake is just dry to the touch, 30-40 minutes. Allow the cake to cool completely on a cooling rack. Be patient – If you try to remove the cake while it’s still hot, it will collapse on you. Dust the two tablespoons of sifted confectioner’s sugar on top of the cake and serve with vanilla-orange mascarpone. If not serving immediately, wrap the cake in plastic wrap or store in an airtight container in the refrigerator. It will keep for about 3 days in the fridge.