Let Her Eat Cake!

Flourless Bittersweet Chocolate Cake
Is there anything more important for a birthday celebration than a cake? Presents, of course, and cards, too, are quite lovely—and welcome—but if there is no cake, then there's nothing to celebrate.

I love cake and if there's one cake that I truly love, it's my birthday cake. This cake comes but once a year and somehow tastes better than any other cake at any other time of year.

Poor Mr. B learned the hard way about my birthday cake expectations. There were many sad birthday celebrations in the past. One year, Mr. B felt empowered by a box of petite fours; he thought I'd be pleased to have dozens of little cakes. Unfortunately, he thought wrong. Another year, he made haste to get to the bakery before closing time, only to find they'd closed early; there weren't even any cakes left in the case for him to buy. Finally, one year, in an attempt to turn the tide and earn my favor, Mr. B drove around the whole of Los Angeles with a decadent layered chocolate cake. At the time, he was in wine sales, so he had to lug the cake into each account, lest it melt in the car.

The best thing about the Los Angeles cake was that he had to work off years of bad cake karma in order to bring it home. That cake was so good that we ate it straight from the box, two forks and a gallon of milk between us. It was so good, I almost forgave Mr. B for forgetting the candles, but really, what is the point of a birthday cake without candles?

Over the years, Mr. B has fought a good fight. There were a couple of birthdays when he almost managed cake, candles and even ice cream, but it seemed that something was always just around the corner to trip him up.

Eventually, I felt so badly for him and his cake foibles that I couldn't stand idly by and watch him suffer. That may sound magnanimous, but truly, it was I who was suffering, and I simply refused to let another birthday go by cakeless. So, I took over my birthday cake and now we're both happier.

This year's cake—a flourless bittersweet cake with fresh raspberries. And candles. What more could I possibly want?


This is an oldie from way back in the '80s. Hey, kinda like me!


Flourless Chocolate Cake

3 squares bittersweet chocolate (3 ounces)
2 squares unsweetened chocolate (2 ounces)
1 stick butter
1 cup of granulated sugar
3 extra large eggs, at room temperature
1/2 cup Dutch process cocoa powder
1 tablespoon Madagascar vanilla extract
1 teaspoon salt

1. Preheat oven to 350ยบ.
2. Line the bottom of an 8 inch Springform™ pan with waxed paper; butter the waxed paper and the sides of the pan.
3. Place the chocolate and butter in a glass bowl and microwave on high heat, in 1 minute intervals until the butter and chocolate are melted.
4. Stir in the sugar.
5. Add the eggs, one at a time, thoroughly mixing each one until fully incorporated.
6. Add the cocoa powder and salt.
7. Stir in the vanilla.
8. Pour into the prepared pan.
9. Bake until firm to the touch—about 15-20 minutes.
10. Cool; remove sides of pan.
11. Wrap and refrigerate over night.
12. Serve slightly cold with fresh raspberries and whipping cream.

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