Gateau au Chocolat

My dearest Chocolate Cake,

I can’t believe you’re gone. Our meeting was so sweet and yet, all too brief.

You were so beautiful.

Our courtship was intense, passionate and sprinkled with a hint of nuttiness. You were special – you are special.

We will meet again. Another time. Another place.

Le sigh. I can’t wait.

Your lifetime devotee,

A year ago, I stumbled on this french chocolate cake recipe. The first time I made it, I was extremely pleased with myself – having no baking experience prior to that – it was delicious. Although, I do remember being extremely nervous and overwhelmed by the slight technicalities of the recipe. I’ve decided this time – to add to the decadence – a thick blanket of ganache. You can never have too much chocolate I’d say.

This is

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the original recipe from Carole Clements + Elizabeth Wolf-Cohen’s French: Delicious classic cuisine made easy.

French Chocolate Cake ( serves 10 – 12)

  • 3/4 cup icing sugar
  • 280g dark chocolate, chopped
  • 3/4 cup unsalted butter, chopped
  • 2 tsp vanilla essence
  • 5 eggs, separated
  • 1/4 cup of plain (all-purpose) flour, sifted
  • pinch of salt


  1. Preheat the oven to 190°C. Generously butter a 9½-inch springform pan, then sprinkle the pan with a little sugar and tap out the excess.
  2. Set aside 3 tbsp of icing sugar and place remaining sugar in a saucepan with the chocolate and butter over low-heat.
  3. When the ingredients has melted and dissolved, remove the pan and stir in vanilla extract. Let mixture cool slightly.
  4. Beat the egg yolks into the chocolate mixture, beating each in well, then stir in the flour.
  5. In a clean grease-free bowl, beat the egg whites slowly with an electric mixer until they are frothy. Increase
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    speed, add the salt and continue to beat until soft peaks form.

  6. Sprinkle over the reserved sugar and beat until whites are stiff and glossy.
  7. Beat one-third of the whites into the chocolate mixture, then fold remaining whites.
  8. Carefully pour the mixture into the springform pan, tap the pan gently to release any air bubbles.
  9. Bake the cake for about 35 – 45 minutes until well risen or when skewer comes out clean.
  10. Transfer the cake and let cool completely.

Chocolate Ganache

  • 8 ounces, or approximately 230g semi-sweet chocolate, chopped
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 2 tbsp brandy or run
  • 2 tbsp unsalted butter, softened


  1. To make the ganache, bring the cream to boil in a heavy saucepan over medium-high heat.
  2. Remove the pan from the heat and add chocolate all at once, stirring until melted and smooth. Stir in brandy or rum and beat in softened butter.
  3. Set aside for about 5 – 10 minutes to thicken slightly. (Ganache should coat the back of a spoon in a thick smooth layer)

To Assemble:

Pour the warm ganache over the cake all at once, titling gently to help spread it evenly on all surfaces. Use a spatula to smooth sides, decorate with a sprinkle of chopped pistachio nuts (¼ cup)


  1. Mae says

    Just want to double check before I attempt to make this delicious looking chocolate cake (it reminded me of French bakery – Paul’s yummy chocolate cake)

    In your previous recipe, you used 1/4 cup of self-rising flour but in your latest update its 1/4 cup of plain flour. Which do you recommend to use?


  2. Mable Tan says

    I’d double checked the recipe book and it had only stated ‘flour’ – so it didn’t specifically indicate to use self-raising or plain flour. On the hindside, I’d used self-raising because it was the only flour I had at home at that time. I don’t think there is a significant difference (I know some people will disagree) for this recipe. I only say this because it is a fairly small amount of flour for the whole cake.

    I hope this helps.


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