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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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I’ve been baking The Black Beast for nearly a decade. This sublime French flourless chocolate cake, also known as La Bete Noire, is dark, decadent and out of this world delicious.

A rich, decadent slice of La Bete Noire

The Black Beast

This recipe for the Black Beast is making an unprecedented third appearance on this blog. It’s my absolute favorite flourless chocolate cake recipe.

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!

La Bete Noire or the Black Beast on a white cake stand.

La Bete Noire: A Special Occasion Dessert

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

Used to Make This Recipe:

More Amazing Chocolate Desserts:

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

Other Chocolate Favorites:

Flourless Double Chocolate Cake slice with chocolate covered strawberries on a white dessert plate

Flourless Double Chocolate Cake

An exquisite Marbled Flourless Chocolate Cake on a white plate

Flourless Marbled Chocolate Cake

Chocolate Buttermilk Bundt Cake filled with fresh raspberries on a white platter

Chocolate Buttermilk Bundt Cake

Perfect Chocolate Cupcakes on a white tray

Perfect Chocolate Cupcakes



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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.

  • Author: Liz Berg
  • Prep Time: 30 minutes
  • Cook Time: 50 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour 20 minutes
  • Yield: 16
  • Category: Dessert, Cake
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: French, French-American


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.


  • Calories: 389kcal
  • Sugar: 35g
  • Sodium: 35mg
  • Fat: 27g
  • Saturated Fat: 16g
  • Trans Fat: 0g
  • Carbohydrates: 39g
  • Fiber: 3g
  • Protein: 4g
  • Cholesterol: 98mg
Note: This post may contain affiliate links; view my Disclosure Policy for details. I earn a small percentage from any purchase you make by clicking on these links at no extra cost to you.

57 comments on “La Bete Noire AKA The Black Beast”

  1. What a beautiful dessert and how thoughtful of you to remember her love of chocolate. I bet she was absolutely thrilled with this. Delicious, Pinned and definitely one to make. Thank you so much for sharing. Sammie

  2. OH my…. this is a chocolate madness! I’m totally mind blown!I must give your cake a try! It looks delicious!

  3. Looks divine ! This recipe has very few ingredients and its easy too…. there is no excuse not to make this 😉 Hope to try it soon !

  4. Oh my! I must make this! It looks soooo good!

  5. Nom-nom… Wish I had some:@)

  6. I have never heard of a cake prepared like this. I love trying new methods and this one certainly seems to result in a glorious cake.

  7. Oh my goodness Liz! This needs to find a way to get into my mouth immediately! haha

  8. I couldn’t wait to see this one when I saw your title in the forum, Liz. The Black Beast! What a gorgeous, decadent, rich cake!

  9. I like this woman’s life goals!And gorgeous cake, like the hot simple syrup concept of it. Looks decadent.

  10. This is one crazy insane chocolate cake, Liz! My total weakness in life above all else is chocolate and I could eat or lick or inhale my computer screen for this baby! I’ll let you know if the one that I make ever lives up to yours.

  11. Mniam mniam mniam! This piece of cake looks absolutely amazing and it wish I could have one or two :-).

  12. I have such a chocolate hankering, looks amazing! Nettie

  13. A chocolate taste tester for the President! I never thought that could be a job! Hhmm. I’m all in with chocolate, especially flourless chocolate. So delicious.

  14. I am drooling right now! I was totally intrigued when I saw the recipe title and now I’m going to make this–it looks amazing!

  15. The cake looks magnificent! Flourless chocolate cake is the best!

  16. OMG where has this cake been all my life?!?! I can certainly see why you’ve posted it 3 times… I’m drooling over my keyboard it looks soooo delicious!

  17. Pinning! And do I dare save this recipe? Oh, my , goodness the Black Beast looks divinely decadent! Ps Maybe the bride will turn out to be the president of the attorneys for a chocolate company!

  18. This is like chocolate heaven on a plate!

  19. Liz, that looks absolutely amazing. So fudgy and rich… it’s a chocolate lovers dream! I can see why it’s got ‘beast’ in its name.

  20. Wow – that cake looks positively fudgy! A perfect dish for a chocoholic.

  21. This is one beautiful cake.Love that layer of shiny panache. Can’t wait to try. Love that it is flavorless.

  22. An absolutely stunning dessert, Liz

  23. I love flourless cakes. This looks absolutely delicious!!

  24. I am so ready to take on the beast!! Now that looks like a perfect end to any meal1 🙂

  25. Dear Lizzy, I have only had this cake once before and what a decadent treat it is! I love flourless chocolate cake…it’s such a rich indulgence for me. This looks beautiful dear. xo, Catherine

  26. My teeth are tingling as I read this beautiful post, but somehow I still licked my lips as I read the recipe over. Such simple ingredients, it’s hard to believe that in combination such a classy and elegant dessert is the result. It’s beautifully presented as usual, and the combination of raspberries and chocolate is always a winner in my books.

  27. I absolutely understand your obsession with this heavenly chocolate treat, I go crazy for this too and I am not much of a sweet tooth otherwise.

  28. Wow – this is a dessert for special occasions. How did you ever get a photo? it would be gone in my house.

  29. Not only does this look decadently delicious, it has the best dessert name ever! As soon as I saw it on the menu I couldn’t wait to find out what it was.

  30. What a wonderful cake! Light, yet extremely luscious. Loved the clicks.

  31. Oh my goodness. This looks absolutely luscious. It is surely a cake that any chocolate lover would swoon over!

  32. This looks amazing, Liz! Chocolate is one of the things I’ve been craving off and on during pregnancy, but now it’s definitely on again 😉

  33. Hi Liz, this certainly looks decadent, love the name!

  34. Liz, you know I wake up daily with a serious chocolate craving–this may be the cure I am looking for!

  35. What an absolutely stunning dessert, Liz! I so need to treat myself to this!

  36. I think I could give this a try! Looks so good!

  37. I love dark chocolate flour less chocolate cake and this looks delicious!

  38. This kicked death by chocolate’s butt!! It’s like zombie chocolate!!! Never dies.

  39. I love the name of this, and I love the look! it’s a must-bake!

  40. I always find an excuse to celebrate with chocolate! Yum!

  41. ME! ME ME MEEE I’M A CHOCOHOLIC! Obsessed with this flourless chocolate cake–pinning!

  42. this looks fabulous!

  43. Liz, you are a genius! I will certainly be making this!

  44. I am so making this for Valentine’s day! I could, literally, eat my computer screen. Seriously! xx

  45. I love anything with rasberries.. going on the list of must makes!

  46. This cake looks so indulgent and rich- perfect for a special occasion!!

  47. I have had a MAJOR sweet tooth lately and this no doubt would satisfy that craving. Running to the store to restock so I can make this right now!

  48. Wow, this is so perfect! I must make this ASAP! I am such a chocoholic, so it’s perfect for me.

  49. Heavenly for sure. Chocolate cakes like this never get old. So GOOD!

  50. A perfect party cake and it’s such a fun name.

  51. A favorite dessert of ours!

  52. My sweet tooth can hardly stand it either! Why are your layers always so perfect?

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