This week in her gorgeous recipe column, TRISH DESEINE gives away her DARKEST, MOST DELICIOUS secret — her signature chocolate cake recipe …
This cake is a sort of lucky charm. It was (reluctantly) given to me by a Parisian girlfriend many, many years ago and since then I have made it countless times, once sprinkled with Jameson and demerara sugar for over four hundred people at a Fooding event in Paris and once, terrifyingly, for the French god of patisserie, Pierre Hermé.
My children have all mastered it, more or less. I’ve included it in most of my cookbooks. It’s on my website and has propagated across the web for the last 13 years since it first appeared in my chocolate book, “Je Veux du Chocolat.”
So please forgive me if you have it already. But for those who have lived oblivious to this piece of chocolate perfection so far, I feel a responsibility to bring you into the fold. Your time has come, and you are in for a treat.
Leaving the actual taste and texture of the cake (basically a cooked, intensely flavoured chocolate mousse) aside for a moment, the sheer simplicity of the method and the ridiculously tiny amount of equipment involved are a big part of its appeal.
One mixing bowl, a whisk, a little sieve and a 22cm sandwich tin, a microwave or a saucepan of water, your oven. That’s it. The most important part of making the cake is your choice of chocolate.
Find a good, dark cooks’ chocolate of around 65/70% cocoa solids (Valhrona, Green and Blacks or O Conaills) or use a good quality “ordinary” eating bar from Blakes, Valrhona, Green and Blacks or Wilkies.
Avoid the big brands like Lindt, Bourneville, Divine or Nestle, as their cocoa butter content will be lower and the taste often too astringent.
Preparation Time: 15 minutes
Cooking Time: 25 minutes
200g good dark chocolate
200g unsalted butter
200g caster sugar
5 medium eggs
1 level tbsp plain flour, sieved
Heat the oven to 180°C/350°F/gas mark 4.
Melt the chocolate with the butter. It’s fine to do this in a microwave, but using a bain marie (a bowl over a pan of simmering water) is good too. Just don’t do it on direct heat.? Let the mixture cool a little, then add the sugar and stir thoroughly.
Add the eggs one at a time, mixing well after each addition, but without beating too much air into the mix. Fold in the sieved flour.?Turn into a sandwich tin or a silicone baking mould (22cm) and cook for around 22 minutes. It should be a little wobbly in the middle when you take it out.? Don’t worry about this, the gooey centre is fabulous, and it will set further as it cools.
Remove from the oven and leave to cool completely before turning out the cake.? Let it rest in a cool place, covered with foil.? Slice and serve with crème fraîche and some raspberries or for fun a few drops of good olive oil and a pinch of sea salt flakes.
Try to make this cake the day before you intend to serve it to let it rest and the flavours develop. Good luck resisting.
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