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Ultimate Chocolate Cake

October 18, 2011

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I think every passionate baker (no matter if amateur or professional) has got his or her “Ultimate Chocolate Cake” recipe (maybe except for those people who don’t like chocolate). When I started baking on my own and discovering new recipes, there was a LOT of chocolate involved. I remember making chocolate wafers, then American Chocolate Chip cookies, nut wedges with Chocolate coating, and of course – Chocolate cake. There were many Chocolate cake recipes, and all were fine, but until the day I got to bake this one here for the first time, I was never completely satisfied. Sometimes the cake was a little too dry, sometimes there was a hint of chocolatey richness missing, sometimes the cake was too spongy, sometimes too moist.

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But then, about 1 year ago, I bought this cookbook. And inside – holy chocolate – a recipe for such a fantastic looking Gâteau au chocolat, that I had to try baking it straight away. Since then, I’ve made it several times, sometimes for special occasions, simply for the fun of making a wonderful cake or just because of my natural crave for chocolate.

Gâteau au chocolat (adapted from “おうちスイーツ Sweets Recipes For Beginners”)
makes one 8-inch diameter cake
Ingredients:
80g butter (plus some extra for greasing the cake pan)
100g bittersweet chocolate chips (at least 50% cocoa solids)
4 egg yolks
80g granulated sugar
4 egg whites
66g granulated sugar
60g cocoa powder (plus some extra for dusting the cake pan)
26g starch
80ml cream
1 tbsp. chocolate liquor/cream liquor (optional)
  • Preheat oven to 170℃/335℉. Grease an 8-inch diameter cake pan and dust with cocoa powder.
  • Put butter and chocolate chips into a bowl and let melt in a water bath/bain marie.
  • In a second bowl, combine egg yolks and 80g granulated sugar and whisk until the sugar has nearly dissolved.
  • Add the molten chocolate and butter (make sure that it isn’t hot, only warm, otherwise the egg yolks will be cooked!) and the cream, then stir again until smooth.
  • Next, whip the egg whites together with the remaining 66g sugar until firm. Take one quart of the whipped egg whites and mix it gently into the chocolate mixture.
  • Sift the starch and cocoa powder into the bowl with the mixture and whisk until combined. Optionally, add the liquor and whisk again. Then add the remaining whipped egg whites and fold them in very gently.
  • Fill the batter into the prepared cake pan and bake for 40-45 minutes. When removing the cake from the oven, it should have cracks all over the surface and it should be still moist in the middle. Let cool a little before eating.

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The cake is already heavenly without any toppings or frostings, but if you’re interested in some variation, I transformed it into a strawberry chocolate cake by filling and coating the cake with chocolate frosting and decorating the whole thing with strawberries.

Gâteau au chocolat – Frosting
makes one 8-inch diameter cake
Ingredients:
200g milk chocolate
250g quark
150g yogurt
1/2 cup confectionary sugar
200g ripe strawberries (when it’s not strawberry season, try substituting them with some other seasonal fruits!)
  • Chop the chocolate finely and let it melt in a bain-marie.
  • Combine quark, yogurt and confectionary sugar in a bowl. Add melted chocolate and stir until well combined. Let cool for about 20 minutes.
  • Meanwhile, slice the strawberries thinly (about 1-2mm thick).
  • Cut the chocolate cake horizontally in half and fill it with 1/3 of the frosting and a layer of strawberry slices. Put the upper half of the cake on top of the strawberries and cover the whole cake evenly with the rest of the frosting. Decorate with the remaining strawberry slices.

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