Lora Brody's Bete Noir

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Lora Brody's Bete Noir

star rating (3) rate this recipe »
Published prior to 2008

Lora Brody, a prolific author, a teacher, an entrepreneur, and a long-time friend of King Arthur Flour, created this ultra-moist, deep-dark chocolate cake recipe. She says it's a Passover favorite at her house.

1 1/3 cups (9 ounces) Baker's Special sugar or superfine sugar
1/2 cup (4 ounces) water
8 ounces unsweetened chocolate, broken in small pieces (1 1/3 cups)
4 ounces bittersweet chocolate, broken in small pieces (2/3 cup)
1 cup (2 sticks, 8 ounces) unsalted butter, at room temperature, cut into 10 chunks
6 large eggs, at room temperature

Preheat your oven to 350°F with the rack in the center position. Lightly grease a 9-inch round cake pan and line the bottom with a 9-inch circle of parchment or waxed paper. Lightly grease the parchment or paper. Set the pan in a larger pan with sides at least 2 inches high (a roasting pan works well).

In a medium-sized saucepan, bring 1 cup of the sugar and the water to a boil over moderate heat, stirring occasionally. Turn off the heat and immediately add both chocolates to the boiling syrup, stirring until they're completely dissolved. Stir in the butter, one chunk at a time, stirring until each chunk is incorporated before adding the next. Set the mixture aside to cool to room temperature.

Beat the eggs together with the remaining 1/3 cup of sugar until they're foamy and slightly thickened, then whisk them into the chocolate, beating well to incorporate all the ingredients. Pour and scrape the mixture into the prepared pan and level the batter with a rubber scraper.

Place the cake pan and roasting pan in the oven and pour hot water to a depth of about 1 inch into the larger pan. Bake the cake for exactly 30 minutes; the inside will still be very moist. Carefully remove the cake pan from the oven (leave the water-filled roasting pan in the oven till it cools). Cover the top of the cake with a piece of plastic wrap, and invert it onto a flat plate or cookie sheet. Peel off the parchment or waxed paper. Cover the cake with a light, flat serving plate, and immediately invert it again, so it's right-side-up.

Serve the cake hot or at room temperature with the following topping.

White Chocolate Cream

This topping, which has the consistency of soft cream cheese, must be made at least a day in advance. It will keep for a week in the refrigerator, or it can be frozen.

    12 ounces best quality white chocolate, cut into small pieces
    1 cup heavy cream
    1/3 cup bourbon*, or to taste
*Or substitute 2 teaspoons alcohol-free vanilla or a bit of extra cream, if you're observing an alcohol-free Passover.

Place the pieces of white chocolate in the work bowl of a food processor or blender. Heat the cream in a small saucepan or the microwave to just below boiling, pour it over the chocolate, and process or blend until completely smooth, adding the bourbon (to taste) or the vanilla or cream at the end.


  • star rating 10/28/2014
  • Yvonne from Amherst, NY
  • The cake may only be a 9" one, but the richness means small slices are a must. This is my go to cake if I want to wow everyone. The fact that it is gluten free is a bonus! While wonderful warm or room temperature, we enjoy it cold out of the refrigerator when that middle of the night urge hits...
  • star rating 10/28/2014
  • from
  • star rating 08/07/2010
  • thehothandle from KAF Community
  • An excellent recipe! Gluten free, yet enjoyed by everyone. Rich and decadent, so keep your serving sizes small.