Yield: 8 to 10 servings
7 ounces (1¾ sticks) butter, cut into pieces, plus more for greasing pan
Cocoa, for dusting pan
10 ounces bittersweet or semisweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
½ teaspoon almond extract
5 large eggs, room temperature
1 cup granulated sugar
About 1 gram pearl luster decorating dust or antique lace luster decorating dust, see note
Astronaut cutout and American flag, for decorating
Note: Pearl luster decorating dust and antique lace luster decorating dust are available at baking supply stores or online.
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Put a kettle of water on to boil.
2. Grease a 9-inch springform pan with butter and dust it with cocoa powder, tapping out any excess. If your springform pan is not completely water-tight, wrap the outside with aluminum foil, making sure it goes all the way up to the top rim.
3. Set a bowl over a pot of simmering water and melt the chocolate and butter, stirring occasionally, until smooth (or melt them together in a microwave, stirring together until smooth). Stir in the almond extract. Remove from heat.
4. In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs and sugar, then whisk in the melted chocolate mixture until smooth. Pour this batter into the prepared springform pan and cover the top snugly with aluminum foil. Set the pan inside a larger baking pan, such as a roasting pan, and add enough boiling water to the baking pan to come about halfway up the side of the cake pan.
5. Bake for 1 hour and 15 minutes. The cake is done when it feels just set, like quivering chocolate pudding. If you gently touch the center, your finger should come away clean.
6. Lift the cake pan from the water bath and remove the foil. Let cake cool completely on a cooling rack. When cake is cool, brush on the decorating dust with a clean fingertip. Serve at room temperature. Cake can be wrapped and chilled in the refrigerator for 3 to 5 days. Decorate with a cutout of an astronaut and an American flag.
Per serving (based on 8): 518 calories; 35g fat; 22g saturated fat; 167mg cholesterol; 7g protein; 45g carbohydrate; 38g sugar; 3g fiber; 46mg sodium; 23mg calcium
Adapted from a recipe by David Lebovitz by thekitchn.com