The problem with holiday potlucks is the travel factor.
The season tends to inspire us to make fancy — or maybe just fanciful — foods. But what works at home doesn’t always transport well. Some people address this by bringing the components of the dish and finishing the assembly on location. But nothing says “troublesome guest” quite like arriving at your host’s home and needing to take over the kitchen to finish preparing your dish.
Which leaves you struggling to find a something holiday worthy that also transports well. For that, I generally turn to a simple, yet sensational flourless chocolate cake. Basic to make, but the results are anything but. And since this dense, squat cake has no fussy decorations — nor does it need any — it’s a dream to transport.
I also like that the core recipe is so versatile. You start with a few essentials — melted chocolate, eggs and cream. From there, you can take it in so many directions. For example, spike it with balsamic vinegar glaze for a sweet-tart cake. Or add dried cherries. Or top it with crumbled chocolate cookies. Or do pretty much whatever inspires you.
For this recipe, I was aiming for a dense and fudgy cake. To get it, I used pureed pitted dates. And since chocolate and peanut butter play so nicely together, I added peanut flour. But if you can’t find that, just leave it out; the recipe will still be delicious.