French Chocolate Cake

This recipe is adapted from Manuela’s cookbook ”Love, Manuela”. You can also find it in her blog. Both the book and her blog are in Norwegian. I looked at this recipe in the book and on her blog a billion times before I finally decided to make it for my dad’s 50th birthday in February. It was really good, so I remade it for a dinner we were at this Sunday, just this time I made a small half-portion cake. Despite it getting a bit too sweaty and full of pores due to me whisking air into the batter, it was great!

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I also decided to experiment a bit with caramel, which was a lot of fun. I’ll show some pictures of this process too. I topped the cake with raspberries and the caramel decorations, and served with homemade raspberry sauce and whipped cream.

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As you see, it is really cute and small. But as it is such a heavy cake, I think this is a more comfortable size for a small dinner party of 4-5 people. I think you can get 8-10 pieces of the size you see above. This means you need to use a 20cm round tin. If you only have a 24cm or larger you have to double this recipe.

Ingredients

125 g dark chocolate

110 g butter

1/2 dl sugar

3 small eggs

1 tbsp lemon juice

the zest of 1/4 lemon

1/2 tbsp flour (can be left out)

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The chocolate I use is a 72 % chocolate from the Swiss brand Frey. I think it tastes wonderfully in cakes. I’m only sad that it isn’t fairtrade, like the chocolate I used to use before this.

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Procedure

Preheat the oven to 180°C and start boiling 2L of water in a pan or water boiler. Melt the butter and chocolate together in the microwave oven or in a bowl over a water bath. I’d recommend the latter, as you have better control that way. Add the sugar and stir well.

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Whisk the eggs lightly together and stir gently into the chocolate mixture. Then add the lemon zest and juice and the flour.

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Grease a round cake tin of 20cm with butter and cover in baking paper. If the tin has a removable bottom, cover the outside with aluminum foil. Fill the tin with the cake batter. Fill a larger pan that your cake tin fits into with enough boiling water that it covers the same hight as the batter inside the tin and carefully move this into the preheated oven, making sure that no water splashes onto the cake.

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Now let it bake for about 20-25 minutes. If you doubled the recipe and are using a 24cm pan, it will need maybe 30-35 minutes. Then carefully remove the cake tin from the water and place the cake to cool on a rack (still in the tin. Remove the walls if you wish and cover it in plastic. Place in the fridge over night.

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The next day, place the cake on a plate and prepare to decorate! As you can see, mine has lots of little pores in it. This was most likely the result of whisking too quickly when stirring the eggs into the chocolate and butter. But in general this has no effect on the taste or consistency of the cake, so it was fine.

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For the caramel decorations I simply melted some sugar in a pot and let it cool a bit.

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I had already prepared two baking sheets over a rolling pin to create the sugar spin on.

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To create the sugar spin, hold two forks back to back, dip them in the thick caramel and move them to the left and right quickly and repeatedly over the baking sheets.

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The rest depends on what you wanna do with it. As this was my first time making sugar spin, I tried making most of it into a ball. But the ball got too concentrated, so I decided not to use it. I rater picked up small little spikes still lying around on the baking sheet and shaped them around the raspberries I’d placed at the center of the cake.

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Together with the cake I served a raspberry sauce. This is made from approximately 200g raspberries and 1 dl sugar. You simply heat the ingredients up together while stirring until the berries break completely apart. Then you sift it to get rid of the seeds. Taste it and add more sugar if necesscary.

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The whipped cream was simply whipped with a bit of sugar. It’s also good to add some vanilla to it.

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And that’s it! Enjoy your dessert!

– Juno

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