Thursday, August 11, 2005

Dream come true Chocolate Cake

I might be slightly biased but I sincerely believe that this chocolate cake is the most delicious one in the world. It's nice and crunchy on top but it's so soft and creamy in the center that it will melt in your mouth. My dad (who's a teacher) got the recipe from one of his students' mom who brought this cake to class one day (perhaps 10 years ago...) for her son's birthday party. Since then no one in my family would even consider trying another chocolate cake recipe :-)
  • 4 eggs
  • 3/4 cup (170 grams) sugar
  • 6 ounces (170 grams) butter
  • 6 ounces (170 grams) semi-sweet (dark) chocolate
  • 1/2 cup (50 grams) all-purpose unbleached flour

  1. Break the chocolate in small pieces and cut the butter in small slivers. Slowly melt them in a double boiler. You could also use a small sauce pan placed in a larger pot in which you pour water. The water should be almost boiling but not quite. Stir gently. The mixture will become shiny and smooth. This technique has the cute name of "Bain Marie".
  2. Break the eggs and separate the whites from the yolks.
  3. Mix together the egg yolks and the sugar in a large bowl. Stir well (with a wooden spoon) until the mixture becomes foamy and almost white. If you lift the mix with the spoon it should run down like a ribbon ("au ruban". French cuisine is always so poetic!).
  4. Add the melted butter and chocolate and stir well.
  5. Then incorporate the flour (sift it to avoid lumps).
  6. Beat the egg whites until you obtain a thick and firm white foam (called "snow" in French...).
  7. Incorporate them delicately to the dough, 1 tablespoon at a time, with an "under-and-over" motion.
  8. Pour the dough in a round cake pan (about 9" in diameter) lined with buttered aluminum foil or baking paper. The difficult part in this recipe is to unmold the cake...
  9. Bake at 350F until a crust forms on top, about 15-20 minutes. Turn off the oven as soon as the curst is formed but let the cake cool down in the oven without opening.
The crust might break into pieces when you unmold the cake... I haven't found a way yet to prevent this from happening. But never mind: the cake is divine!

Pictures added on April 22, 2006

8 comments:

Anonymous said...

YES! I have been dreaming of this cake ever since the first time I tried it! Now let's see if I can make the magic happen myself...
I'll have to try next week for Rob's birthday. Thanks Estelle!
-wendy

texmex said...

In France we have silicone mould and it workds pretty well for those kind of cake. 5 minutes to rest after getting out of the oven, and then reverse over a plate or over a grid for the icing (glacage). Icing seems to be indispensible in the USA.

Cali said...

I know that I'm way behind with this comment, and perhaps someone else has already mentioned this, but...

The gentle incorporation of fragile mixtures like egg whites into cake batter is called in English, to "fold." Just like clean laundry. ;-) I think most people that would attempt to bake this kind of cake are familiar with the technique.

BTW, I found your blog a few days ago by way of a beautiful photo of yours on Flickr. I'm Calichef there, too.

Estelle said...

To fold! But of course! Thanks, Cali. I love english: there's always a concise way to express something (actions in particular) that would take a whole sentence to explain in french...
Texmex: thanks for the tip! Silicone molds are really hip here too. I'll try.
Wendy: did you try the recipe after all?

krista said...

Estelle, The cake recipe is wonderful- thank you! I cooked the cake in a 9" spring form pan lined with parchment paper (not easy to do) and had no cracks on the top crust. I also topped it off with home made whipped cream, it was the perfect treat for my 38th birthday!

srisang said...

Your excellent guidelines will be of great help to many. Nice post. I enjoyed reading it. Thanks!

Bain Maries

Hillé said...

This is by far the best and simplest chocolate cake recipe I've ever tasted. Merci beaucoup!

Delices Gourmandises said...

Nice recipe and clear direction :) Sure that the one who is going to make it won't be deceived... Cheers!