Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Oh yes. French Chocolate Cake

I am going to skip the introduction on this one, because I think it speaks for itself. Fudgy middle, nice crisp crust right as it comes out of the oven to compliment the center... even some tiny bits of chocolate if you don't melt it all the way...

But credit has to go to Romain for the recipe! Not only is he writing a phd on responses to feminism, he bakes amazing chocolate cakes and brings them to dinner parties where I get to eat them. Bravo.

I am translating his recipe to English, but will try to keep the character of his descriptions

- 200g de chocolat pâtissier (le Nestlé Noir Corsé, c'est le meilleur!)
- 125g de beurre
- 200g de sucre
- 4 oeufs
- 80g de farine (voire un peu moins, si on veut qu'il soit plus fondant)

- 200g baking chocolate (Nestlé Noir Corsé is the best!)
- a little more than 1/2 cup butter
- 7/8 cup sugar ... hahaha i know... but go with it
- 4 eggs
- a touch more than 1/2 c flour (or a little less, if you want the center of the cake more "fondant")
Seriously... just find a measuring cup in grams

On peut rajouter une ou deux cuillère à café de café soluble, ou 100g de noix concassées, des poires / bananes / pommes coupées en petit morceaux, ou autre chose suivant l'inspiration... que l'on rajoute au denier moment à la préparation (juste avant la cuisson).
-You can add one or two spoons of instant coffee, or 100g of nut (... paste, i guess)/pears/bananas/apples cut into little pieces, or however you feel inspired... added at the last minute, right before baking.

1°) Préchauffer le four à 225° (Thermostat 7)
- preheat the oven to 425°F

2°) Faire fondre le beurre à la casserole ou au micro-ondes (plus rapide (1min 30, mais il faut bien couvrir le bol pour ne pas en mettre partout dans le four!)
- melt the butter in a casserole dish in the microwave (Romain says 1.5 minutes, covered, but 30 seconds and a good stir did it for me. If it starts to pop, its probably overdone)

3°) Mélanger le beurre fondu avec les oeufs et le sucre et bien battre avec un fouet
- whip the melted butter with the eggs and the sugar (Its always best to start with eggs and sugar, and make sure the butter is cooled before adding it, or it will cook the eggs! not good...)

4°) Faire fondre le chocolat avec un tout petit peu d'eau (2-3 cuillères à café) (même chose que pour le beurre, ça va plus vite au micro-ondes, 1 min 30)
- melt the chocolate with a little bit of water (2-3 tablespoons) (same as with the butter, in the microwave (I'd suggest starting with 30 seconds and stirring it well, even leaving the little chunks that might be left! they're yummy in the final product. But over cooking chocolate is never good... Add a bit more water if it seems it was overcooked and got grainy)

NOTE: This is an awesome french tip for melting chocolate! You don't need to double boil like all the american recipes say, just make sure to add a couple tablespoons of water before microwaving

5°) Mélanger le chocolat jusqu'à ce que la pâte soit bien lisse et uniforme, laisser tiédir un peu, puis incorporer à la préparation
- stir the chocolate until uniform, let sit a bit, and incorporate it into the batter

6°) Incorporer la farine progressivement, tout en continuant de mélanger. Bien battre le tout avec le fouet.
- incorporate the flour slowly, and continue to mix. Beat well

Personal suggestion: Let this sit for a few minutes. It will be one of the thickest, gooiest batters you've ever seen... just imagine how delicious it will be...

7°) Beurrer et fariner le moule, puis verser la préparation dans le moule.
- butter and flour the mold, pour the batter in the mold (I suggest spreading the butter with your hands... but thats just because i enjoy it)

Note on french molds: They usually serve tarts and cakes in slices like we are used to for pies... fun fact.

9°) Placer au four et laisser cuire 16 minutes à 225°. Tester la cuisson en plantant un couteau dans le gâteau (dès que la lame ressort propre, c'est prêt!!!)
- place in the oven and leave for 16 minutes at about 440 F. Test by inserting a knife/toothpick into the middle, its done when the knife comes out clean.

This is, by definition, a fudgy cake, so dont bake it dry!!! wondering if its done and leaving it for a few minutes will kill it! Just take it out, I tell you!

10°) Déguster avec de la glace à la vanille (très important)..'
-eat with vanilla ice cream, very important...

If I may, I do believe creme caramel is the best addition!!!! and some Elie - my french boyfriend.