Dave Masucci Photo
Place the butter in a bain marie (a metal mixing bowl that nests perfectly into a saucepan that contains a small amount of simmering water). Add the chocolate to the bowl. Keeping the temperature low, mix, stir and set aside.
Whip the egg yolks with half the sugar to a pale ribbon with stiff consistency. In another bowl, whip the egg whites with the remaining sugar to a soft peak; do not make them stiff. Mix the butter-chocolate mix with the yolks, and then in thirds, fold in the whites, preferably with a plastic scrapper. Simply put the components together; do not mix too vigorously.
Bake in a greased cake pan (diameter of 12 inches) at 375 degrees. Cake will rise and is done in about 25 minutes, when a light tap on the center of the dome springs back. As the cake cools, the dome will settle down, as the name indicates (this takes about two hours at room temperature). The resulting "crater" will accommodate the ganache topping.
Make the ganache by heating your heavy cream to a simmer and mixing in chocolate pieces (ganache is equal parts cream to the chocolate), then stirring until smooth. Pour ganache into the crater before serving.
3 sticks (12 ounces) of unsalted butter
1 3/4 pounds (28 ounces) of dark sweet chocolate pieces (marble-sized at most)
21 egg yolks from large eggs
21 egg whites from large eggs
12 ounces (approximately 1 1/2 cups) of granulated sugar
For the ganache: Equal parts heavy cream to dark sweet chocolate pieces.