I call it an "accidental" cake because of how I invented the recipe. One night, after a culinary lab, I had some ingredients that were about to expire. Rather than throw them away, I combined them with a few other ingredients and tried to make something out of them. The next day, when I sampled the result and learned how well it had turned out, I ran to the computer to record what I had done the night before. After a little tweaking to get the recipe just right, here's the result.
1 box of chocolate graham crackers or chocolate wafers (approximately 14 ounces/400 grams)
1.5 sticks (12 tablespoons) unsalted butter
4 ounces (113 grams) unsweetened chocolate
1 tablespoon espresso powder
3 tablespoons white, dry rum
1/4 cup (85 grams) light corn syrup
1/4 cup (85 grams) honey
3 cups (600 grams) sugar
3 bars (24 ounces) American cream cheese at room temperature
3 large eggs at room temperature
1/4 teaspoon table salt
1/4 cup (30 grams) bleached all-purpose flour, sifted
1/4 cup (20 grams) Hersheys cocoa, sifted
12 oz semi-sweet chocolate chips
- large saucepan
- food processor
- sieve for sifting
- 10.5" springform pan
- convection oven
- measuring cups or digital scale
- measuring spoons
- heatproof spatula
- stand mixer
- large baking pan for water bath
- large metal foil
- oven mitts
- thin knife
- cooling rack
Using the bowl of your stand mixer and a large saucepan, make a double boiler. Fill the saucepan about 3/4 full with water and boil on the stove. When the water boils, turn the flame down to medium and place the bowl of the stand mixer on the saucepan. Break the unsweetened chocolate into small pieces and place in the stand mixer's bowl. Using a heatproof spatula, stir until the chocolate is melted. Remove from heat.
Add to the bowl all of the remaining ingredients except the semi-sweet chocolate chips. Using the paddle attachment of your mixer, combine the ingredients on medium-low speed. Stop the mixer a few times and use the spatula to scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl. Make sure all ingredients are incorporated. Turn the mixer to low and stir in the semi-sweet chocolate chips.
Prepare the water bath: Place a large, deep baking pan on your oven rack, begin boiling a large saucepan full of water and double- or triple-wrap your springform pan with large sheets of strong foil to make the pan waterproof. Pour the batter into the springform pan and tap the bottom of the pan on a flat surface several times to release any air bubbles. When the water is boiling, put the springform pan in the oven's baking pan and fill the baking pan with boiling water, being careful not to get any water in your cake. Bake the cake for 3 hours and 30 minutes, checking the water level and adding more boiling water as necessary. (That's not a misprint; it needs to bake for 3 hours and 30 minutes.)
When the cake is done, carefully remove it from the oven. (The water will be hot.) Place it on a cooling rack and carefully remove the layers of foil from the outside of the pan. Allow the cake to cool for 1 hour. When the hour is up, run a thin knife around the edges of the cake to make sure all of it is separated from the pan's sides. Remove the sides of the springform pan and place the cake in the refrigerator. Cool completely.