home - about - journal - london favourites - portfolio - press - contact

Les éclats de nuages tintinabuleraient – Cake fondant ultra-chocolaté

[Cloud slivers would tinkle – Most chocolatey melt-in-your mouth loaf cake]

I didn’t really intend to share this loaf cake with you this soon.

But as I was driving back from the pâtisserie, and rain drops started to hit my car window – in what I refer to as the most comforting sound ever – I knew I had to tell you how fabulous and perfect this chocolate cake is.

I made it a couple of weeks ago. On a Sunday, and by Monday it was all gone. Nigella, who once was my very own favourite person in the world before Pierre got in the way, totally re-gained my love and trust.

It might not be the prettiest cake, but just a single bite will make you forget the glossy entremets, and as a side-effect, your worries.

Believe me when I say I would happily sink my teeth into one of those dense yet melting slices. For tea. Every single day.

And maybe, if I did, then everything would look sweet and chocolate-coated; even though I must admit I’m currently so happy that it would take a lot to bring me down.

But well, if for whatever reason (and I know there are many), you’re feeling sad or tired or both, then please, take the time to make this super-easy cake. Hopefully, the sky will clear up, and the next minute, you’ll be your usual happy self.

Cake fondant ultra-chocolaté
Adapted from Nigella Lawson’s Feast.

As you’ll make the batter, you’ll definitely measure how good the cake is. Deeply fragrant, with a melt-in-your mouth texture.
Shall we all thank the cocoa powder. And melted chocolate. And cocoa syrup. And fine chocolate slivers.

However – and trust me, this is a not a problem – the recipe yields to two loafs. But they freeze beautifully, and they texture even benefits from they’re little Aspen-like vacations.

Cake fondant ultra-chocolaté

makes two loafs

for the cake
200g plain flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
50g cocoa powder
275g caster sugar
175g butter
2 eggs
1 tblsp natural vanilla extract
175g chocolate, melted
80g double cream
125g boiling water

for the syrup
1 tsp cocoa powder
125g water
100g caster sugar

for the topping
25g milk chocolate

Preheat the oven to 170°C. Grease and line two loaf tins (21 x 11cm and 7.5cm deep) with baking paper, making sure you cut it well above the rim so you’ll have handles to later get the cake out from its tin.

Put the flour, baking soda, cocoa, sugar, butter, eggs, vanilla extract, melted chocolate and double cream into a bowl, and mix with a wooden spoon until smooth. Slowly incoporate the boiling water and divide the batter between the twi loaf tins.

Bake for an hour, or until firm to the touch.

As soon as the cake is baked, remove from its tin using the baking paper, and place on a cooling rack, leaving the baking paper in place.

Put the syrup ingredients of cocoa, water and sugar into a small saucepan, and boil for approximately five minutes, until thickened.

When the syrup is ready, pierce the cake a few times using a skewer or a long match, and pour the syrup as evenly as possible over the cake. Let the cake become completely cold, remove the paper, and place it on your serving plate.

Get your chocolate, and slice thin slivers off the block with a heavy knife, until you’ve got enough to cover the top of the cake.

I’ve got a gnome in the backyard – Framboisier

Aside from my daily – and so very exciting – job that feels like holidays, except for the 3am wake up, I’ve had to make many cakes and entremets this month.

Basically, I didn’t spend a minute not making patisserie; well, bar the sleeping, and the driving – although, they both make pretty good times for inspirational brainstorming (just watch out for that tree and those damn tight bends).

So far four entremets have been made and eaten until the last crumb. Two chocolatey ones, and much to my happiness, two berryliciousnesses.
Local berries in October totally are one of the reasons why I’m thrilled to be back on the Côte. Picture juicy – and organic – raspberries and strawberries; and trust me when I tell you how hard it is to resist munching on them.

Anyway, on the 11th, one of the people I love the most turned 15. Can’t believe my girl, my little sister, is all grown up. She’s the coolest person to hang out with, and we always end up doing silly dancing and singing; and perhaps more importantly, speaking French with a Canadian accent.

Aïda asked for a fraisier. A génoise, drenched in light syrup. A fragrant crème mousseline, flavoured with vanilla seeds. A handful of berries.
However, the farmer I bought the fruits from didn’t have enough strawberries to make a fraisier. But he certainly had plenty of tiny raspberries.

‘Bon je ferai un framboisier alors. Ca te va?’, I asked her with my guilty smile on.
‘Pfff, josé [pronounced the Spanish way; that’s how we call each others, weird, I know], bien sûr’, she replied.

In the end, the framboisier might not be as pretty as a regular fraisier, my sister – and family – loved it; which, quite obviously was worth an earth-load of strawberries.

Bon anniversaire mon petit gnome. xxx

Framboisier
Compared to most entremets, this one can’t be frozen and is definitely best on the day it is made. However, it’s very easy to save time by making the different components separately.

I started by making the génoise, which does not suffer from a little stay on the freezer. You can also make both the syrup and pâte d’amandes well in advance.

On the day before, the crème pâtissière is made and chilled, so that on the actual day, you only have to:
1) slice the génoise in two disks, drench them with syrup
2) combine the crème pâtissière with butter to make the mousseline
3) assemble to different parts and top with a pâte d’amandes disk

SHF. And then we cupcaked. It was totally awesome. Part deux.

Alright guys. You know certainly have the right to throw cream pies at my face blog.

I would understand. I mean, twelves days. Overdue.

Blame my Pascal Lac for this. His pâtisserie has been keeping me busy and super happy and excited for the past two weeks. I’m enjoying every second I get to spend there (and this will come in a later post), but arrive home tired and with many cake orders to deliver. October definitely is a birthday month around here.

Anyway, here are the second part of the cupcake awesomeness. Thanks for inspiring me. And for your patience.


Jennifer of Bowl of berries made breakfast vanilla cupcakes with salted caramel frosting.

Anna of Life’s too short for mediocre chocolate made lemon vanilla tea cakes.

Anne of a Foodie froggy in Paris made delicious-looking tiramisu cupcakes.

Y of Lemonpi made super*cute christmas cupcakes. Don’t you wish December was around the corner?

Sandra of Un tocco di zenzero made lemon and goat cheese cupcakes.

Caitlin of Engineer baker made chocolate cupcakes with peanut butter mascarpone frosting.

Lauren of I’ll eat you made pina colada cupcakes with a tangy lime frosting!

Kittie of Kittens in th kitchen made banana cupcakes topped with chocolate goo. Yum!

Elizabeth of Red kitchenaid made grown-ups all chocolate mousse cupcakes.

Marija of Palachinka made blueberry, raspberry and blackberry cupcakes.

Ivana of My little things made adorable cupcakes fragrant with vanilla.

Katherine of Earl grey truffle found perfection as she made fig and honey cupcakes.

Isa of Isa’s cooking made white chocolate cheesecake strawberry cupcakes.

Cindy of Hungry girl por vida made coffee cupcakes topped with almond streusel.

Janet of Pretty tasty cakes made pretty pumpkin cupcakes, perfect for autumn.

Nicky Jean of Miss cupcake face made peanut butter and jelly cupcakes.

VF of Virtual frolic made a sweet come-back with Bill’s bakery chocolate cupcakes.

Alexa the Artsy foodie made lgluten-free lemon meringue cupcakes.

Joanna of Salute to sanity made cookies and cream cupcakes with strawberry marshmallow frosting.

Anita of the Dessert first made saffron and vanilla cupcakes with rose water buttercream.

Steph of A whisk and a spoon made vanilla datte cupcakes with buttermilk fudge frosting.

Elizabeth of Cake or death made black and white angel food cupcakes.

Martha of O-ink made very lovely chocolate, cinnamon and pear cupcakes.

Anna of Morsels and musings made pink grapefuit cupcakes, drenched with syrup.

Aparna of My diverse kitchen made honey and peanut cupcakes with a chocolate ganache.

Suzanna of Home gourmets made amazing saffron and cupcakes with lemon curd.

Sarah of Sarah cooks made white chocolate moccacino cupcakes, which do sound heavenly.

Cakelaw of Laws of the kitchen made pretty in pink cupcakes (me pink lovey).

Clara of I heart cuppycakes made election-friendly cupcakes for a change.

Kja of Il pranzo di babette made banana and caramel cupcakes; but also redcurrant ones!

Sheena of the Casual baker made drop-dead delicious blueberry cupcakes.

Denise of Chez us made vanilla cupcakes filled with strawberry jelly and fristed with peanut butter.

Lisa of Confessions of an apron queen made chocolate cupcakes with a peanut butter frosting.

Elodie of Mon petit biscuit cuit made Oreo cupcakes. So happy Oreao are now available in France.

Ivonne the sweetest Creampuff in Venice made cinnamon cupcakes with caramel frosting.

Ariana of Maduxa made posh chocolate cupcakes with fleur de sel caramel, ganache and fresh fig.

Patricia of Recipe book made Greek cupcakes topped with honey and walnut halves.

Leticia of Food, wine and friends made the always cute chocolate cone cupcakes.

Head over Anita’s blog for November’s SHF, which is all about spices!

SHF. And then we cupcaked. It was totally awesome. Part un.

It’s quite crazy how those past five days went by. I arrived home. Unpacked my (thousands of) bags. Baked a little. Filled in paperwork. Visited Pascal Lac to say hello and make sure he still wanted me to work for him.

Answered an interview. Put some green tea recipe together for an online magazine. And then, October showed up. So did deadlines.

Can you believe I forgot about the daring bakers‘ challenge. Yes, forgot! And I do really feel sorry for that. However, I did not forgot about you guys who sent me terrific pictures and recipes for delicious and creative cupcakes. You made my day, week and even month!

So here comes the first part of it. Thirty six lovely cupcakes. Just what I need to cheer me up. I’m starting my internship tomorrow and I am downright scared.

ps. thanks to all of you who so kindly offered to send me s’mores kits. You truly rock and I’m so happy to count you as my friends. However, Allison of the best blog ever for sushi addicts like me: Sushi Day. So thank you all, and now… onto the cupcakes. Enjoy!


Denise of Chicky Egg made those terrific cupcakes, fluffly as little clouds

Nic of Cherrapeno made Banoffee cupcakes. Now, may I suggest we focus for a sec.

Ash of Butterflyfood made beautiful lemon cupcakes with strawberry frosting.

Deedee of Bricole at home finds the perfect remedy to procrastination: cupcakes!

Michael of Herbivoracious made inspiring beet and goat cheese cupcakes.

Natashya of Living in the kitchen with puppies made corn cob-like cupcakes.

Vera of Baking obsession made self-icing ricotta and plum cupcakes.

Tori of Mama baker made the cutest capital city cupcakes, aka: nanaimo bars turned into cakes.

Monica of the Sour plum made delicate rosemary chiffon cupcakes.

Vaishali of Holy cow! made vegan baking easy by putting lemony vegan cupcakes together.

Joyce of Te@mo made simple yet delicious oreo cupcakes with a twist: honey and green tea!

Mae of Rice and noodles made drop-dead gorgeous pandan cupcakes with nutella frosting.

Illyana of NYAM made fluffy chocolate pavlova cupcakes topped with fresh fruits.

Cathy of La prochaine fois made crunchy peanut butter and chocolate cupcakes: puppy chow.

Elsa of Buzz et companie made adorable pink and blue hello kitty cupcakes.

Sylvie of Amuses-bouche made crispy crackles chocolate cupcakes; love them, eat them.

Vanille of Down under made sophisticated pistachio and chocolate cupcakes.

Enza of Da grande made luscious ricotta-frosted chocolate cupcakes encased in crisp pastry.

George of Culinary travels of a domestic goddess made brownie cupcakes with Baci hearts.

Hannah of Bittersweet made stylish adzuki bean-mousse filled cupcakes.

Laurel of Corpus bon vivant made organic chocolate and marshmallow cream cupcakes.

Rita of Clumbsy cookie made genius yoghurt cupcakes served in yoghurt pots!

Rachel of Coconut & lime made chocolate and vanilla tiger cupcakes.

Candice of Mmm tasty! made chai latte cupcakes. Trust me, I’m bookmarking the recipe.

Holly of Phemomemon peanut butter banana chocolate chip cupcakes with ovaltine frosting.

Arika of Yummy life made beautiful cherry and chocolate black bottom cupcakes.

Stef of the wonderfully cupcakey blog Cupcake project made toasted ravioli cupcakes.

Brilynn of Jumbo empanadas made delicate and deliciousvanilla cupcakes. Me lovey.

Shari of Whisk made stunning cupcakes baked in clementine shells.

Annalisa of the cutest Pera cotta made to-die-for pear, cinnamon and chote chocolate cupcakes.

Aimée of Under the high chair made pink buttermilk velvet cake cupcakes.

Elga of Semi di papavero made pomegranate cupcakes con panna. Perfect for autumn!

Jasmine of Jasmine cuisine made comforting apple and spice cupcakes.

Lorraine of Not quite nigella made gorgeous Ispahan cupcakes. Not quite Nigella, quite Pierre!

Laura of Earth muffin bakes made breakfast gingerbread cupcakes with apple and raisin.

Kelly of Sass & veracity made walnut and apple cupcakes, with apple chips. So delicious!


Part deux, coming very very soon(ish). I promise!