Flourless Salted Chocolate Pretzel Cake

I feel like pretty much everything I bake is chocolate, even besides the brownies. When flicking through my cookery books I was looking for the ultimate chocolate cake, something super dense and fudgey for a dessert. The difference with flourless chocolate cakes, is just that, they're dense and incredibly moreish. Essentially all the great bits of a brownie but in cake form.

This cake is a little different to those I've made before. Usually a sugar syrup is used in recipes to help keep a cake moist, but in a flourless cake I don't really understand why that would be a problem like this recipe calls for. Anyone know? Sugar aside, this cake is baked in two stages. The first half is baked until just firm, cooled and the remaining batter poured over the top for a second bake. The result gives a crisp base and a dense fudgey topping with a shiny, slightly flaky topping.

F L O U R L E S S   S A L T E D   C H O C O L A T E   P R E T Z E L   C A K E
(Recipe adapted from The Cook and Baker, serves 10)

240g salted butter, chopped
360g dark chocolate, chopped 
pinch of sea salt
285g soft light brown sugar
5 eggs, separated
handful of crushed pretzels, for dusting
  • Heat the oven to 180 degrees and grease and line the base and sides of a 9 inch springform tin.
  • Melt the butter and dark chocolate in a medium pan over a low heat. Once fully melted take off the heat and stir through a generous pinch of sea salt. 
  • In a small pan, melt the sugar in 60ml of water and bring to a gently boil. Pour the syrup over the chocolate mixture and beat in the egg yolks.
  • Whisk the egg whites on a medium speed until stiff peaks.
  • Fold the egg whites into the chocolate gently until combined.
  • Pour half of the batter into the tin and bake for 30 minutes, until a skewer inserted comes out clean. Remove from the oven and leave to cool fully.
  • Pour over the remaining batter and bake for 25 minutes.
  • Leave to cool completely once more before removing from the tin and scatter the crushed pretzels over the top to decorate. 

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