french chocolate cake

gateau au chocolat

All you have to do is show this French chocolate cake to you family and friends and you will see them salivate before your eyes. And if you want a secret visit to the kitchen at night, well, why not, you deserve it! It's the dreamiest chocolate cake ever.

French chocolate cake - the ultimate chocolate cake - dense, dark and delicious! This is the chocolate cake for all chocoholics and cake lovers everywhere.

This is the cake you dream of. Secret visits to the kitchen at night - you just have to get another slice, all to yourself. Well, only kidding, it's not likely to last that long and you will want to share this with everyone you love.

It makes a wonderful cake for special occasions or once in a while tea-time treats and as for desserts it is simply divine served with either crème fraiche or fresh cream. 

Ingredients

• 150g (5oz) castor sugar

• 275g (10oz) plain chocolate in small pieces

• 175g (6oz) unsalted butter cut in pieces

• 10mls (2tsp) almond essence or vanilla if you prefer

• 5 free range eggs, separate the yolks from the whites

• 40g (1½oz) plain all-purpose flour

• Pinch of salt

For the Chocolate Glaze

This is optional but so delicious. You can if you prefer just sprinkle a little icing sugar over the cake instead.

• 175 (6fl oz) double cream

• 225g (8oz) plain chocolate cut in small pieces

• 30g (1oz, 2tbsp) unsalted butter

• 30ml (2tbsp) almond  liqueur (optional)

• Chopped toasted nuts to decorate



Method

• Pre-heat your oven to 160°C (325°F, Gas 3).

• Lightly grease a 9inch,24cm, springform cake tin.

• Sprinkle a little castor sugar in the tin, then tip out the excess.

•  Place the chocolate pieces in a large bowl together with the butter and all but 3 tablespoons of the sugar.

• Place the bowl over a large pan of boiling water and lower the heat.

• Mix all the above ingredients together until the chocolate, butter and sugar has melted.

• Remove the bowl from the heat and mix in the almond essence.

• Allow the mixture to cool slightly.

• Beat the egg yolks into the mixture, mixing well.

• Now mix in the sifted flour.

• In another large bowl, whisk the egg whites until they are frothy (you can use a food mixer here).

• Add the salt and continue until it forms peaks.

• Sprinkle in the remainder of the sugar and continue whisking until the mixture is stiff and glossy.

• Now, mix about one third of the whites into the chocolate mixture.

• Gradually fold in the remaining whites into the mixture and pour it into your prepared cake tin.

• Place the cake in the pre-heated oven and bake for about 30 minutes or until the cake is risen and springs back when touched.

• Place the cake on a wire rack and remove the sides.

• When cold, remove the base.


At this stage you can dust the top of your French Chocolate cake with icing sugar and serve. It is delicious as it is.



Method (for the glaze)

• Bring the cream to the boil in a heavy based pan and remove from the heat.

• Add the chocolate pieces and mix until it is melted.

• Add the butter and the liqueur.

• Beat until smooth and allow to cool until it has thickened.

• Place your cake on the wire rack and pour the glaze over the cake, using a spatula to spread it over the top and sides.

• If you wish you can press some toasted chopped nuts around the sides.

• Or, you can decorate the top of your cake any way you want - you could keep some of the glaze and pipe some writing on the surface. Whatever takes your fancy!


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