Can be prepared in 45 minutes or less.

4 ounces fine-quality bittersweet chocolate (not unsweetened)
1 stick (1/2 cup) unsalted butter
3/4 cup sugar
3 large eggs
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder plus additional for sprinkling

Accompaniment if desired: Coconut Lime Sorbet

Preheat oven to 375F and butter an 8-inch round baking pan. Line bottom with a round of wax paper and butter paper.

Chop chocolate into small pieces. In a double boiler or metal bowl set over a saucepan of barely simmering water melt chocolate with butter, stirring, until smooth. Remove top of double boiler or bowl from heat and whisk sugar into chocolate mixture. Add eggs and whisk well. Sift 1/2 cup cocoa powder over chocolate mixture and whisk until just combined. Pour batter into pan and bake in middle of oven 25 minutes, or until top has formed a thin crust. Cool cake in pan on a rack 5 minutes and invert onto a serving plate.

Dust cake with additional cocoa powder and serve with sorbet if desired. (Cake keeps, after being cooled completely, in an airtight container, 1 week.)

Makes one 8-inch cake.

Gourmet, November 1997

A Cook from Los Angeles, CA on 02/20/04
This is a very simple and delicious cake. However it came out looking hideous. It got stuck in my heart shaped pan (although I buttered and cocoa powdered it) and and had to be coaxed out and cobbled back together. I tried to camouflage it with cocoa powder. But the cake itself is fantastic! Very chocolatey. I used an Venezuelan chocolate with 71% cocoa.

A Cook from New York on 02/19/04
Word of caution: don't try to make this in a springform pan. Novice bakers like me might think it would be ok but you'll get a giant (really giant) bubble on the bottom and it ruins the cake. I guess air gets in through the seam of the pan and gets stuck under the cake. Oh well. This has happened to me twice, the first time I thought my parchment had a wrinkle in it.

A Cook from Los ANgeles, CA on 02/17/04
I doubled the recipe and used a 9-inch pan. The cake turned out great, though it did puff out a bit over the lip of the pan. After I flipped it out onto a rack, I just sliced off the puffed out part and it was perfect. I covered it with a chocolate ganache and garnished with strawberries. Amazing!

A Cook from New York, NY on 02/16/04
This is so easy and so good. Great served warm with vanilla icecream. I didn't go to the trouble of using the wax paper, just buttered the dish and it was fine.

A Cook from Washington, DC on 02/13/04
This was extremely easy to make. It took minimal amounts of time. I prepared this while making dinner. Very easy to make. I received great reviews from all the eaters (who finished it). I sprinkled some confectioner sugar on top once the cake cooled and served ice cream (vanilla or choco) on the side.

94% would make it again