Wednesday 5 August 2009
[So easy, yet terribly good – The ultimate chocolate fondant cake]
Apparently, I told you I was going to come back with something glamourous. Pardon me if I’m mistaken, but in my world, a light cake topped with a delicate mousse feels glamourous.
A fondant au chocolat just doesn’t. It’s plain. It’s dark. And it’s damn good.
So good in fact, I had to write about it right away. Just a couple of hours after I hade made it, as a matter of fact.
If this doesn’t convince you to rush to your kitchen and make this fondant, please do listen carefully.
I made a cake. Took pictures. And blogged about it. In less than twenty-four hours.
Since I’m now alone I could let my creativity craziness flow, and ramble about how wonderful it is to blog from a garden table, or how I wish I had the time to change foodbeam’s look, or how I should make a decent portfolio. Oh yes, I could.
But I won’t because I know it’s just going to be a matter of seconds before you realise you left for the kitchen without taking the time to write the recipe down.
Anyway, I think you might have caught something important here: I am a mess. There are so many things I want to do/make/write about, that I just don’t know where to start. So I thought the simpler the better.
I made this cake yesterday with my eight-year old cousin, Sindri, who’s the most adorable little boy ever to be seen. That how simple it gets.
Oh and in case I haven’t mentioned it enough. I am on holidays. In Fouras, my grandparents’ town. And I love it here, so well, I’ll possibly be writing a little more around here during the upcoming weeks.
Fondant au chocolat
adapted from Pascal Lac
As I mentioned above this is a simple recipe. As in many cases, simple does not means average. In fact, this cake is a French classic, and a staple in my house.
It only requires widely available ingredients: chocolate, butter, eggs, sugar and flour; and its confection only needs a dozen of minutes.
The chocolate and butter are melted together. I generally use a microwave (500W for approximately a minute or two) since it’s so convenient, but a water bath would be just as fine.
Then comes the most delicate step: the eggs and sugar are mixed in a heat-resistent bowl over direct heat just so they come back to room temperature. If you don’t feel to work over a flame or simply don’t have gas (electric stoves so remind me of my good old student kitchen), just bring a pan of water to the boil and place the eggs/sugar bowl over it (= water bath again). Mix until just tempered.Finally the two masses are united, and flour is sprinkled over.
Since you know me quite well now, you’ll understand that I forgot to write down the baking time, but I’d say anywhere between 30 and 40 minutes.
If you’re going for the fancy (read individual sized cakes) bakes them at the same temperature, but only for 9 minutes.
In both cases, a knife inserted into the centre of the cake should come out slightly wet with batter, in opposite with the cake edges where the knife would come out clean.
Enough digressing, time for the recipe.
Fondant au chocolat
for a 24cm-wide cake pan or sixteen 6cm-wide cercles
200g dark chocolate, slightly bitter works well (I love Valrhona’s Guanaja here)
8 eggs (400g if, unlike me, you’re super accurate)
Preheat the oven to 170°C, and generously butter a 24cm-wide cake pan.
In a bowl, melt the chocolate and butter.
In a heatproof bowl, mix the eggs and sugar, and place over medium heat (or as said above, on a water bath). Keep on mixing until not cold anymore. It shouldn’t be hot either. Just at room temperature. This step is done, as we say in French, to casser le froid [break the coldness].
Pour the chocolate over the egg mixture, and homogenise. Sprinkle the flour over and using a rubber spatula, gently incoporate it iuntil just smooth.
Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake for 30 minutes until just set.