the pitchfork kitchen - flourless chocolate coffee torte

One of my all time favorite cooking shows was French Food at Home with Laura Calder on the Cooking Channel.  Laura, is the coolest chef I ever knew (after the Barefoot Contesa, of course).  The Canadian born was culinary trained in France and her show was about making French food less intimidating.  I learned much from her cooking shows and if you ask me what my favorite recipe of her was, I would have to say her "Craggy Chocolate Cake" which inspired this dessert I am sharing with you today. 


This deliciousness of a cake to me is really more of a torte.  Rich and decadent, its is full of light fudgy goodness.  The more I made it, the more convinced I became that the recipe, for my taste, needed something more.  It is a lot of chocolate and sugar, and I felt coffee would really counterbalance all of that.  I also added crushed vanilla bean to really bring it all together and give it another delicate layer of flavor.  The results were delicious and this has become my go to dessert when I want to surprise people.  Why? Because the cracked appearance veils a decadent and amazing dessert (if I say so myself).  Check the recipe below! You will not regret it!

Serious fudgy yumminess!

Serious fudgy yumminess!



  • 7 ounces of 70 % chocolate, chopped
  • 7 ounces softened butter
  • 1/4 teaspoon crushed vanilla bean (powder)
  • 1-2 tablespoon brewed coffee
  • 4 eggs (separate yolks and whites)
  • 1 cup sugar


Heat the oven to 375F.

Line with parchment, grease, and flour an 8-inch/22 cm springform pan.

Using a water bath, melt the chocolate gently, then beat in the butter a piece at a time until smooth.  Add the crushed vanilla bean and brewed coffee, and gently mix again until smooth.

In a separate bowl, beat the yolks with 1/2-cup sugar until they are like thick and pale ribbons.

In another bowl, beat the whites to soft peaks. Scatter over the remaining 1/2-cup sugar and beat to a stiff meringue.  Slowly whisk the chocolate mixture into the yolk mixture. 

Stir in a spoonful of beaten egg whites, then pour the chocolate mixture over the egg whites and gently fold together with a spatula.

Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake 50 minutes.

Remove from the oven. Run a knife around the outside edge, then let sit until cool. This torte will sink and crack on the top.  Serve and enjoy with a big dollop of whipped cream, if you wish.  I prefer mine by itself. :)