The Chocolate Cake of My Sister (Le Fondant de Marie)

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What is more satisfying to the heart and soul than chocolate cake? Today I bring you the chocolate cake of my sister. A simple recipe using a few ingredients you already have at home.

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For us, we were out of chocolate and picked some up from the corner market. While I was off shopping around for mushrooms (for dinner we were making one of my favorites — gooey, rich, eggy omelettes with buttery mushrooms and onions), LL headed straight for the chocolates. I was surprised to see he had picked out two bars of 100% unsweetened cacao for our cake.

“This must be better than the other kind, a bittersweet chocolate.”

He was right. The cake had a deeper, more intense chocolate flavor than ones using 70% or even 85% dark chocolate. Even the color of the cake was an endless black-brown. The cake itself, with 5 eggs and 2 sticks of butter, had enough fat and moisture for the cacao to bond to. Having enough moisture is critical as the cocoa particles float around looking for moisture to bond with. If the cocoa doesn’t find the moisture it craves, the particles will bond to itself — creating clumps and a grainy texture.

The act of baking and enjoying the chocolate cake is a healing one. The ribbons of dark chocolate mixing into the melted butter and orange-yellow egg yolks. A sheet of chocolate cake batter cascading into a pan, ready to be transformed in the warm oven. And the unmistakable scent of rich chocolate

A chocolate cake is both magical and familiar in the most wonderful way.

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Yesterday’s cake will be in my memory for quite some time. It was made in a kitchen that I hold dear in my heart, using a recipe from a beloved sister, and made at the end of a long day (a long month, really). When I sank my fork into the luxurious, almost black, chocolate cake and took my first bite — well, I felt the richness of life in that moment.

I cannot wait for you to try this recipe, and for you to have a sweet “chocolate cake moment” soon!

The Chocolate Cake of My Sister
Le Fondant de Marie

Ingredients:

200 grams dark chocolate
200 grams unsalted butter (or 2 sticks)
5 eggs
1 tbsp flour
1 cup sugar

  1. Heat oven to 375°F.
  2. Melt the butter and chocolate in a glass bowl over simmering water.
Bring about an inch of water to a simmer in your saucepan. Set the heatproof bowl in the mouth of the pot, making sure the water doesn’t touch the bottom of the bowl. Stir chocolate and butter occasionally as it softens. When you have just a few small unmelted chunks, remove bowl from heat (residual heat will melt the rest).
3.  Add sugar and let cool slightly.
4.  Stir in the eggs one at a time, stirring well with a wooden spoon after each new egg is added. (We used our stand mixer with a whisk attachment to do this.)
5.  Finally, add the flour and mix until you have a smooth batter.
6.  Pour into a buttered and floured cake pan (we used a 9 inch pan).
7.  Cook for 22 minutes. Cake should be wobbly in the center. Remove from oven, let cool, and enjoy! The cake is even more delicious the next day. 🙂

Bon appetit!

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