When I went to San Francisco last September I picked up some Scharffen Berger chocolate. I'm sure to many of you is nothing special but I'd never actually seen it anywhere before (since I've been back I've seen it for sale at one store though). I was saving this chocolate for something special - I felt like it couldn't be used for just anything. I kept resisting the urge to just open it and cut off a chunk to eat. When I did open the package, there was a little piece of paper with a few recipes on it. And guess who had a recipe on there? The wonderful David Lebovitz. As soon as I saw that, I knew I had to make his recipe for chocolate orbit cake - which he wanted to call chocolate idiot cake, for how easy it is to make. Apparently it's called chocolate orbit cake because of the crater looking holes in the top of the cake after baking.
Though the cake is supposed to be idiot proof, I did end up messing one thing up. You're supposed to put the cake pan in a bigger roasting dish, and fill it half way up with hot water. Well let's just say I didn't move everything very carefully when trying to put it into the oven. Thankfully the water that got into the cake pan (which was quite a bit actually) pooled on top and so I was able to mostly blot it off with paper towel.
With what goes into this cake (chocolate, butter, eggs and sugar) I wasn't sure what to expect, but the result was amazing. When warm, it's like a gooey brownie or lava cake. When cold, it's like a smooth rich ganache. Ah just thinking about it again makes me drool. I preferred it cold, but it's definitely good warm too. The presentation isn't anything amazing because I just ate it by itself, though you could make a sauce (raspberry? caramel?) or something to go with it. This cake is definitely something everyone must try and one I will make again.
Chocolate Orbit Cake
(Adapted from a David Lebovitz recipe that came with the Scharffen Berger chocolate)
9.7 ounces Scharffen Berger semisweet chocolate, chopped*
7 ounces (two sticks minus one tablespoon) salted butter, cubed
5 large eggs, room temperature
1 cup sugar
1. Position a rack in the center of the oven. Preheat to 350F. Butter a 9x2-inch round cake pan and line the bottom with parchment.
2. Place chocolate and butter in a large bowl and set over a pot of gently simmering water; stir occasionally until melted and smooth. Set aside.
3. Meanwhile, in another bowl, whisk together the eggs and sugar. Add the chocolate mixture and whisk together until thoroughly combined.
4. Pour the batter into the prepared pan. Place in a larger baking pan and pour in warm water to reach halfway up the sides of the cake pan. (Careful when putting this into the oven so you don't spill like I did!) Cover entirely with foil and bake just until the cake has set (your finger will come away clean if you touch the center), about an hour and 15 minutes. Remove the pan from the water bath and allow to cool on a rack completely.
*The recipe I used calls for 9.7 ounces because that's the size of the bar of chocolate. I'm sure 10 oz would be fine to use, as much fun as cutting a .7 oz piece would be.