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Healing Recipes

El Verde’s Chocolate Ganache Cake by Jyl Kutsche

El Verde (formerly known as The Green House)’s Chocolate Ganache Cake

  • 7 ounces 70-85% chocolate, finely chopped (about 1 1/3 cups)
  • ⅓ cup unsweetened cacao powder (best quality you can find, and ideally not dutched**)
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour (or almond flour)
  • 2/3 cup plus 1/4 cup sugar, divided
  • ⅛ teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup almond or coconut milk (or regular milk)
  • 2 large egg yolks, at room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3 large egg whites, at room temperature
  • ⅛ teaspoon cream of tartar (or lemon juice)
  • crushed hazelnuts, nibs, or other topping of choice

1. Position rack in lower third of oven; preheat to 350 degrees. Line the bottom of an 8 or 9-inch cake pan (1 1/2 to 2 inches deep) with parchment paper and coat the sides of the pan with cooking spray. Put a kettle of water on to boil for Step 6.

2. Place chocolate and cacao powder in a large bowl.

3. Combine flour, 2/3 cup sugar and salt in a small heavy saucepan. Whisk in just enough of the milk to form a smooth paste. Mix in the remaining milk. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon to prevent burning (especially around the sides and bottom edges of the pot), until the mixture begins to bubble. Boil gently, stirring constantly, for 2 to 2 1/2 minutes (the mixture will get very thick and then you may notice that it thins ever so slightly as the starch cooks). Scrape the hot mixture immediately over the chocolate and cocoa. Stir until the chocolate is completely melted and smooth. The batter will be very thick. Stir in egg yolks and vanilla.

4. Beat egg whites and cream of tartar (or lemon) in a mixing bowl with an electric mixer on medium speed until soft peaks form. Gradually sprinkle in the remaining 1/4 cup sugar, beating on high speed until the egg whites are stiff but not dry.

5. Gently fold about one-fourth of the egg whites into the chocolate batter to lighten it. Gently fold in the remaining egg whites until no white streaks remain. Scrape the batter into the cake pan, smooth the top.

6. Set the cake pan in a larger baking pan and place on the oven rack. Pour enough boiling water into the baking pan to come a third to halfway up the side of the cake pan. Bake until the surface of the cake is slightly crusted and springs back when gently pressed, 20 to 25 minutes. (The cake will still be quite gooey inside.)

7. Remove the pans from the oven. Transfer the cake pan to a wire rack and cool completely, about 2 hours. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight before serving.

8. To serve: Dip a sharp knife in hot water and wipe it dry before cutting each slice. Serve sprinkled with chopped hazelnuts or other topping, if desired.Tips

Cover and refrigerate for up to 2 days.

**Cacao powder comes in two styles: natural and Dutch-processed. Dutch-processed cocoa has been treated with alkali, or “Dutched,” to neutralize the natural acidity of cocoa, while natural has not. I prefer the taste of natural cacao powder (although either type can be used.)

Long-time Prajna Yoga student and cacao/chocolate advocate & aficionado, Jyl now lives in the Sacred Valley of Peru where she owns a retreat space geared towards small groups interested in doing deep work and enjoying good chocolate.

Alchemy + Aim