Fallen Chocolate Cake – A Perfect Anniversary Dessert

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Fallen Chocolate Cake from ZagLeft a

Last Tuesday, my husband and I celebrated our 26th Wedding Anniversary. Although it’s hard to believe we’ve been together that long, it also seems like we’ve always been together. We both grew up in the same small town yet our paths never crossed. His two sisters and I went to school together, but I never knew EJ. Many people ask me how we met and it’s kind of a funny story.

Back in the late 1980’s, I was selling real estate in my parent’s real estate office.  EJ’s family was interested in purchasing a house to rehab and resell. I gave his mom a list of properties to take a look at and didn’t think anything more about it.

Fast forward about 6 months, her son, EJ comes into the office and asked me to take him and his mother out to visit a few of the properties listed. Long story short, I took them out, got so flustered because I thought EJ was so gosh darn cute and I got lost…twice...it was so embarrassing!

EJ and his family eventually purchased a few properties and I went on to work with his family on other real estate ventures. We had fun exploring real estate opportunities and after almost a year, EJ finally asked me out on a date. The rest as they say, is history.


Fallen Chocolate Cake wedding picture zagleft


I remember having lunch one day back then with two of my closest friends, Michelle and Tina and I announced to them that I had met the man I was going to marry. They both looked at me as if I were crazy and got a bit upset because I hadn’t told them I was even dating anyone. I reassured them that they were right, I wasn’t dating anyone but I had recently met EJ and knew that someday we were going to get married. EJ will tell you that he “knew” too, but that’s not really true.

Fallen Chocolate Cake EJ and Joanie ZagLeft

Twenty six years have certainly flown by. Our five children have kept our lives busy and brought us tremendous joy and pride. We’ve been through quite a lot too. We’ve endured troubled pregnancies, multiple city and housing relocations, and a horrible accident where our son almost didn’t survive. But these incidents only made us stronger. They were events and trials we went through together and we leaned on each other for support.

As with everyone’s life, it’s not all rainbows and butterflies but it’s how you deal with what is thrown at you. Bottom line is, we’ve always looked at the bright side and if there was not a bright side, we focused on each other.  From long weekends out of town together to a simple glass of wine in the backyard after a long day, we have always taken time to reconnect and laugh.

Since our anniversary fell on a busy night, we decided to stay in and prepare a special dinner. We grilled lobster tails and made one of our favorite dishes, Champagne Risotto. For dessert, we enjoyed a wonderful flourless chocolate cake from a recipe I found in Bon Appetit magazine.  Since I love flourless chocolate cakes, I knew this recipe would be perfect to make for our anniversary.

Fallen Chocolate Cake ZagLeft

When I first saw the recipe for Fallen Chocolate Cake in the March issue, I’m not exaggerating when I tell you it was a picture and a recipe I couldn’t get out of my mind. The picture itself was so beautiful and elegant and the recipe totally do-able.

I enjoy chocolate cake, but this dessert is so much more than a simple chocolate cake. It’s a cross between a rich piece of creamy fudge and a moist and chewy fudge brownie. The intense flavor of chocolate is intoxicating. To say we enjoyed it is an understatement.

Right in the center of the cake is a mound of heavenly goodness made of heavy cream, mascarpone cheese and powdered sugar. The topping is slightly sweet so it provides the perfect balance to a rich, delicious chocolate.

Fallen Chocolate Cake slice from ZagLeft

I won’t post the recipe in it’s entirety, you can find it here…

but I will show you the steps…

I melted chocolate and butter along with a little oil in a large bowl set on top of a pot with about an inch of simmering water.

Fallen Chocolate Cake from ZagLeft


I kept stirring the chocolate pieces and the butter until they melted and the chocolate became smooth.

Fallen Chocolate Cake melting chocolate from zagleft


In a separate bowl, I whisked together egg yolks with cocoa powder, vanilla, salt and sugar.

Fallen Chocolate Cake mixing the chocolate from zagleft


In another bowl, using an electric mixer, I beat the egg whites until they became frothy, then added sugar and continued to beat them until firm peaks formed.

Fallen Chocolate Cake steps from zagleft


I gently folded the egg whites into the chocolate mixture in two additions.

Fallen Chocolate Cake steps and mixing from ZagLeft


Fallen Chocolate Cake blending from ZagLeft


Finally, I poured the batter into a prepared pan, sprinkled a little sugar on top and baked it in the oven for about 35 minutes.

Fallen Chocolate Cake ready to bake from ZagLeft


The cake comes out of the oven puffed and in just a few short minutes the cake collapses in the center. Unfortunately, I didn’t take a picture of the cake after I took it out of the oven, but this is what it looked like after a few minutes. As the cake cools, little cracks form.

Fallen Chocolate Cake just out of the oven from ZagLeft


After the cake cooled, I prepared the topping and added it to the top of the cake.


Fallen Chocolate Cake ZagLeft

Since last Tuesday, I’ve made this cake four times! It was eaten pretty quickly by my family the first time I made it so I made it again the next day. I also made it and gave it to two friends who enjoyed it as much as we did.

Just a reminder, you can find the complete recipe for Fallen Chocolate Cake here.

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Other recipes you might enjoy…

Peanut Butter Pie With Chocolate Ganache

Dark Chocolate Orange Scones

Orange Risotto With Shrimp

Strawberry Cake


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