I know many good cooks but none who entertains as joyously and effortlessly as Injy Farat-Lew. More often than not, when Injy and her husband, Jason, invite friends for lunch or dinner at their sprawling home on Martha’s Vineyard, she will serve this elegant flourless chocolate cake for dessert.
Injy was born into an Egyptian-Jewish family. Her grandfather Emmanuel Mizrahy Pasha was one of the few Jews to serve as Pasha, or financial counselor, to King Fuad I, the father of King Farouk. In 1961, when Injy was twelve and five years after Gamal Abdel Nasser’s 1956 revolution, the family fled to Paris from Cairo, leaving this regal life forever.
After studying medicine in Paris, Injy met Jason, also a doctor, on a trip cruising down the Nile. Cairo and Paris are far cries from Martha’s Vineyard where Jason is an obstetrician, but Injy has made this island her home and uses nearby farms as sources for ingredients. Because she likes to make food that is easy and delicious for her ever-appearing guests, this flourless chocolate cake—a cake that has been around since Europeans started using chocolate and has wandered as much as Injy’s family—is a favorite dessert. It was a big hit the year that Injy brought the cake to our Passover Seder. I like to serve it covered with colorful berries.
Flourless Chocolate Cake
- 8 ounces (226 grams) good bittersweet chocolate such as Caillebaut or Guittard
- 8 tablespoons (1 stick / 113 grams) unsalted butter or coconut oil
- 6 large eggs, separated
- 3/4 cup (150 grams) sugar
- Pinch of salt
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- Unsweetened cocoa for dusting
- Raspberries and blueberries for topping
- Whipped cream or ice cream (optional)
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and butter a 9- or 10-inch spring-form pan with spray or a little of the butter or coconut oil.
- Melt the chocolate and the butter or coconut oil in a double boiler or in a bowl in the microwave for a little more than a minute. Let cool.
- In the bowl of an electric stand mixer using the whip attachment, beat the egg whites with 1⁄2cup (100 grams) of the sugar and the salt until soft peaks form. In a separate bowl, whip the yolks with the remaining 1⁄4 cup (50 grams) sugar and vanilla. Using a spatula, slowly stir the chocolate in with the egg yolk mixture. Then carefully fold in the egg whites. Don’t over-mix or it will deflate.
- Bake for 28 to 35 minutes, or until the cake is fully set around the edges. You want it to be slightly gooey in the center.
- Let cool in the pan for a few minutes, then remove from pan to cool completely, and dust with cocoa.
- Serve topped with berries and, if you like, with whipped cream or ice cream.