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19 August 2008


200g butter
250g chocolate
200g (brown) sugar
on the stove, let cool until lukewarm.
5 eggs
until combined, not fluffy! Add warm chocolate mixture.
1 Tbsp flour.

Pour into tin(s), set into roasting tin, fill tin with boiling water so it comes about 1/2 inch (about as high as the batter) up the sides of the tins.

Cook at about 180°C until lightly cracked on top.

I don't know how well it keeps in the fridge, mine never lasted that long.

-> I think my quantities are right for the butter/chocolate/sugar, but I'd need to check to make sure. I guess sugar depends on what chocolate is used and how sweet you want the cake, you can probably work it out yourself ;-)

I don't know if she'll share the recipe, but Pim's little chocolate pyramids are pretty damned perfect.

I havent tried her chocolate cake yet, but I can bet you any money that Dorie Greenspan's will be just wonderful. Every recipe from her 'baking from my home to yours' has been just amazing.

I think she has a moist chocolate cake that will work well and several others...

[links added by Shuna]

Despite the length of that description, I still have NO idea what he is looking for.
That basically was an overly florid way of saying, I want a delicious chocolate cake, but there was really no description of actual qualities he wants to manifest.
Nice writing though, purdy words.

O Aaron! Has it been so long that you have forgotten how Ninja Linecooks speak?! ~ Shuna

Is this cake legal??? My, oh my, would this be good with an espresso!

John Harper, Legal? I'm gonna say no, when all is said and done... ~ Shuna

If they give the recipe away they are fools, but the best chocolate cake in the history of the known universe is (or was, ~15 years ago) to be found here:

Cafe Latte
850 Grand Ave
St Paul, MN 55105
(651) 224-5687

3 layers, iced between and on top but not on the sides (quite like your picture, actually, but with layers all the same size). Intensely chocolate without the slightest bitterness, moist with a perfectly textured crumb, sweet without anything cloying lurking on the back of your tongue. I like chocolate well enough but I go months at a time without eating a bite of anything sweet but fruit. This. Cake. Is. To. Die. For. They also make an over-the-top caramel turtle something nonsense; don't be seduced by too much. The shy younger sister is the one you want.

No recipe, but here's what you need to do:

0. If you're feeling ambitious, make some ganache with excellent-quality chocolate and freeze it to use for centers. (Half-ounce portions would be perfect.)

1. Start with the best, moistest Devil's Food Cake you know.

2. Turn it into crumbs. The grater attachment on the Cuisinart is good for this, or you can do it by hand if you're a sucker.

3. Make some chocolate anglaise using whole eggs and cream. No need to strain it, but use the best chocolate you have. (Valrhona Manjari is good.)

4. Mix the crumbs and the anglaise until you have a thick, puddinglike batter. Try not to eat it all like that.

5. Portion it into molds (stick in those ganache centers if you made them) and bake in a water bath until they puff up a bit.

6. Devour.

In February 2006 this article appeared in the NYTimes and with it a recipe for the Azo Family Chocolate Cake. I have served it without doing the recommended chilling and unchilling and found it to be delicious. It's probably not as sophisticated a cake as you're looking for, but I decided it can't hurt to send you in this direction.

Luisa of The Wednesday Chef also wrote about it.

You may actually already be familiar with this cake as according to the article, sometimes it's served at Coco500 in SF.

Good luck with the search.

Cooks Illustrated Chocolate Sour Cream Bundt Cake

(Recipe's for a bundt, but can be adapted. I've had leftovers of this cake in my fridge for over a week and it's still moist and incredibly chocolatey, but, admittedly, on the way out.)

Cake Release

1 tablespoon butter , melted
1 tablespoon cocoa


3/4 cup natural cocoa (2 1/4 ounces)
6 ounces bittersweet chocolate , chopped
1 teaspoon instant espresso powder (optional)
3/4 cup water (boiling)
1 cup sour cream , room temperature
1 3/4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour (8 3/4 ounces)
1 teaspoon table salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
12 tablespoons unsalted butter (1 1/2 sticks), room temperature
2 cups packed light brown sugar (14 ounces)
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
5 large eggs , room temperature
confectioners' sugar for dusting

1. FOR THE PAN: Stir together butter and cocoa in small bowl until paste forms; using a pastry brush, coat all interior surfaces of standard 12-cup Bundt pan, see illustration below. (If mixture becomes too thick to brush on, microwave it for 10 to 20 seconds, or until warm and softened.) Adjust oven rack to lower-middle position; heat oven to 350 degrees.

2. FOR THE CAKE: Combine cocoa, chocolate, and espresso powder (if using) in medium heatproof bowl; pour boiling water over and whisk until smooth. Cool to room temperature; then whisk in sour cream. Whisk flour, salt, and baking soda in second bowl to combine.

3. In standing mixer fitted with flat beater, beat butter, sugar, and vanilla on medium-high speed until pale and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Reduce speed to medium and add eggs one at a time, mixing about 30 seconds after each addition and scraping down bowl with rubber spatula after first 2 additions. Reduce to medium-low speed (batter may appear separated); add about one third of flour mixture and half of chocolate/sour cream mixture and mix until just incorporated, about 20 seconds. Scrape bowl and repeat using half of remaining flour mixture and all of remaining chocolate mixture; add remaining flour mixture and beat until just incorporated, about 10 seconds. Scrape bowl and mix on medium-low until batter is thoroughly combined, about 30 seconds. Pour batter into prepared Bundt pan, being careful not to pour batter on sides of pan. Bake until wooden skewer inserted into center comes out with few crumbs attached, 45 to 50 minutes. Cool in pan 10 minutes, then invert cake onto parchment-lined wire rack; cool to room temperature, about 3 hours. Dust with confectioners' sugar, transfer to serving platter, and cut into wedges.

The river cafe's nemesis cake; perhaps a cliche but possibly what you're looking for? A nine inch tin batch;

Beat 5 whole eggs and 100g caster sugar until fluffy but not too voluminous

Make a syrup with 125ml water and 200g caster sugar, heat until a little less than boiling

Add 225g butter (salted, personally sorry no brands i'm not that clever and i live in england so whatever i suggest probably won't mean anything anyway) and 300g 85% cocoa chocolate to the syrup and stir til smooth

Fold this lot into the eggs

Bake in bain marie at 315ish hour and half maybe?...try not to let the top get a crust.... but it's amaaaaaaazing - trust me, your mouth will be doing breaststroke in an ocean of chocolate


p.s. as it's barely a cake, it keeps great for like, at least a week - it's practical to boot!

Hi Shuna,

I love your blog and have tried your delicious chocolate frosting with this adaptation from Ina Garten's Double Chocolate Cake but prepared in one bowl. I found the one-bowl cake recipe online somewhere but found that the ingredients are very close to Ina Garten's except it's a one-bowl cake. I've found it too good to be true to be such an easy cake. Everybody raves...

The Most Fabulous Chocolate Cake

2 cups all-purpose flour
2 cups white sugar
3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 eggs
1 cup cold brewed coffee
1 cup buttermilk
1/2 cup vegetable oil

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease and flour 2-9 inch pans or 2 cupcake pans.

In a large bowl, combine the flour, sugar, cocoa, baking soda, baking powder and salt. Make a well in the center and pour in the eggs, coffee, buttermilk and oil. Mix until smooth, batter will be thin. Pour into prepared pans or lined muffin pans.

Bake in the preheated oven for 20 minutes for cake or 10-15 minutes for the cupcakes, or until a cake tester inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean. Allow to cool.

Frost with your fabulous chocolate frosting and it is absolutely spectacular!

This chocolate torte by Gordon Ramsay will forever be in my memory. I still remember the first time I made it, the crisp crust with the unbelievably moist, decadent interior - decadent is the only word for it! When I make it now I'd leave out the brandy and coffee, as well as reduce the sugar by half so as to highlight the pure flavour of the chocolate. People, please try this!

Dark and Delicious
Chocolate Torte

Serves six to eight

To coat the tin:
25g butter, melted
25g cocoa powder

For the torte:
350g dark chocolate (about 60-70 percent cocoa solids)
1 tbsp instant-coffee powder
2 tbsp boiling water
2 tbsp brandy
4 large eggs, separated
100g unsalted butter, softened
good pinch of salt
200g sugar

1. Brush the inside of an 8-inch (20-cm) round springform cake tin with butter; coat with cocoa powder, tapping out excess. Line bottom with a circle of parchment paper.

2. Melt the chocolate in a microwave on "high" for two minutes, with 30 second intervals. Do not overheat or the chocolate will seize. Stir until smooth and let cool. Preheat oven to 170 degrees Celsius.

3. Dissolve the instant coffee in boiling water. Beat the egg yolks and butter until creamy, then beat in the cooled chocolate to blend well. Add coffee and brandy, beat to combine.

4. In another bowl, whisk the egg whites with the pinch of salt until softly stiff, then gradually whisk in the sugar until you have a firm, glossy meringue. Carefully fold this meringue into the chocolate mixture, about a third at a time, until it is evenly incorporated. Spoon the mixture into the prepared cake tin and gently level the surface. Bake for approximately 40 minutes until risen and the top is crispy. The torte might crack a little which is fine, and the mixture underneath will still be soft.

5. Turn off the oven and leave the cake to cool slowly inside for about an hour. Remove and cool completely, but do not chill. To unmould, run a palette knife around the inside of the torte to loosen it, then invert on a serving plate so the top becomes a crunchy base. Cut into wedges using a knife dipped into hot water.

Henry. The word you want is OPULENT. Decadent doesn't mean what you want it to. Thanks for the recipe! ~ Shuna

I have come back to look at the comments. I think I might bake every cake here. Couldn't hurt, could it?

The recipes here are in a league of their own! Did any of them meet the tall demands?

Or was something entirely new concocted?

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