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Overhead shot of a slice of La Bete Noire on a white plate

La Bete Noire AKA The Black Beast

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This sublime French flourless chocolate cake, also known as La Bete Noire or Black Beast, is dark, decadent and out of this world delicious. I’ve been baking this Best Chocolate Cake Recipe for nearly a decade and it’s never failed to get rave reviews and recipe requests. When you need the ultimate chocolate dessert guaranteed to impress, THIS is it!!!

A rich, decadent slice of La Bete Noire

The Black Beast AKA La Bete Noire

This recipe for the Black Beast is making an unprecedented third appearance on this blog. It’s my absolute favorite flourless chocolate cake recipe. And my go-to dessert recipe for special company!

Unlike the others (and, yes, I’ve shared a lot of flourless chocolate cakes), this one starts with a hot simple syrup which is incorporated into the melted butter and sugar before the eggs are added. La Bete Noire is truly exquisite, smooth, creamy and perfect for any chocoholic.

Decadent Chocolate Desserts are the ultimate way to end a dinner party, celebrate Valentine’s Day, or any special holiday! Serve a wedge of this la bete noire with a dollop of sweetened whipped cream, chocolate shavings, berries or all three. Bookmark or pin THIS rich and dreamy flourless chocolate cake for your next, impossible to ignore, chocolate craving!

The Black Beast on a white cake stand

A Special Occasion Flourless Chocolate Cake

I served this at a bridal shower I helped host last month. A chocolate dessert was a must!

The bride to be wasn’t shy about sharing her life goals when she was in elementary school. Her dreams were to be a chocolate taste tester or the president of the United States. Turns out she’s neither, yet, but a talented, gracious young woman establishing her career as an attorney.

With her affection for chocolate in mind, I turned to my absolute favorite flourless chocolate cake or la bete noire for our brunch grand finale. This sublime dessert is the perfect way to end a holiday dinner, celebrate an impending marriage or just usher in a new season! If you love chocolate, file this Black Beast recipe away for your next special occasion. I guarantee you’ll hear swooning.

Overhead shot of a slice of La Bete Noire on a white plate

Tips for Making La Bete Noire

The name, la bete noire, is French for “the black beast,” but in 1844 this phrase meant an insufferable person, adversary, devil, or enemy, not a chocolate cake. Nowadays, you’ll see this phrase on dessert menus, referring to a rich, dense flourless chocolate cake. Beastly delicious, I’d say!

  • Different from most other flourless chocolate cakes, this bete noire incorporates a simple sugar syrup as a sweetener.  Sugar and water is simmered until the sugar dissolves; it’s as easy as that!
  • PRO-Tip: If you’re careful, it’s super easy to use the microwave to gently melt the chocolate mixtures. It’s safest to decrease the power to 50% or just use 30, then 15 second intervals, stopping and stirring to avoid overheating the chocolate. Plus, it’s OK to stop when there are just a few teeny pieces of unmelted chocolate in the bowl. Let the residual heat finish the melting process instead of risking overcooking and ruining the chocolate.
  • La bete noire, like most of my cheesecakes, is baked in a water bath. This helps the cake to bake at an even temperature and the added humidity keeps the cake moist. PRO-Tip: Make sure to wrap the exterior of the pan well with foil to prevent any water from seeping in from the water bath into the springform pan.
  • Cool the cake completely before adding the ganache, then refrigerate 2 hours or longer before serving. I love a dollop of whipped cream and berries, and using a vegetable peeler and a chocolate bar to make shavings never hurts, either! Bon appetit!

Used to Make This Best Chocolate Cake Recipe:

More Amazing Chocolate Desserts:


Le Bete Noire AKA The Black Beast | The BEST flourless chocolate cake--pure bliss
The Black Beast | The BEST flourless chocolate cake--pure bliss

La Bete Noire AKA The Black Beast

A dense, luscious flourless chocolate cake adapted from Bon Appetit.

Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 50 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 20 minutes
Yield 12


For cake:

  • 1 cup water
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 9 tablespoons (1 stick plus 1 tablespoon) butter, diced
  • 18 ounces semisweet chocolate, chopped
  • 6 eggs


  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 8 ounces semisweet chocolate, chopped


  • Sweetened whipped cream, shaved chocolate and/or fresh berries


  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Butter 10-inch springform pan. Line bottom of the pan with a parchment round; butter parchment. Wrap 3 layers of heavy-duty foil around the outside of the pan, bringing it up to the top of the rim. Combine 1 cup of water and sugar in a small saucepan and bring to boil over medium heat. Stir till sugar dissolves, then simmer 5 minutes. Remove from heat.
  2. Gently melt the 9 tablespoons of butter and the 18 ounces of chocolate in the microwave. Whisk till smooth. Whisk sugar syrup into chocolate, and cool slightly. Add eggs to chocolate mixture and whisk till well blended. Pour batter into prepared pan. Place cake pan in a large roasting pan. Add enough hot water to roasting pan to come halfway up sides of cake pan.
  3. Bake cake until the center is just set about 50 minutes. Remove from water bath; transfer to rack. Cool completely in pan.

For ganache:

  1. Heat cream in microwave till hot. Remove and add chocolate. Whisk until smooth. Pour over top of cake while still in the pan. Gently shake pan to distribute ganache evenly over top of cake. Refrigerate cake in pan until ganache is set, about 2 hours.
  2. Carefully run a knife around pan sides to loosen cake; release sides. Serve wedges with sweetened whipped cream and fresh berries or shaved chocolate.

Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:


Amount Per Serving: Calories: 342Total Fat: 21gSaturated Fat: 12gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 8gCholesterol: 87mgSodium: 37mgCarbohydrates: 41gFiber: 3gSugar: 36gProtein: 5g


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