Elise made me a chocolate cake for my birthday (my only criteria for cake was that it had to be chocolate). She and Ava chose a recipe by David Lebovitz called the "Chocolate Idiot Cake". At least, that was its original title. But apparently, David's editor thought "Idiot" was a bit harsh and changed it to "Orbit". Anyway, it's called an idiot cake because it's hard to screw up. It's made with only four ingredients: chocolate (in this case, Scharffen Berger bittersweet), eggs, sugar, and butter. No flour, so perfect for the gluten intolerant, by the way... Anyway, back to the story. So despite its title, Elise screwed it up the first time she tried because the recipe calls for it to be cooked in a "bain marie" in the oven. But her cake pan leaked, so when she took it out of the oven, there was an inch or so of water from the bain marie on top of the cake. It looked pretty gross and she had to throw it out (it smelled very good, regardless). So the next day, she made another attempt but this time without the "bain marie", and it worked perfectly. The cake was absolutely excellent and liquified like a sort of lava cake on steroids when eaten.
So NOTE TO DAVID (who is also on Flickr and may read this) you don't need the bain marie! Even more idiot-proof that way!