The minute I laid my eyes on this stunning cake - adorned with edible gold leaves and sprinkled with fleur de sel - I knew I had to bake it for my family. The cake comes from one of my favourite people, Ellie of Almost Bourdain, who has become a friend and daily source of inspiration. I pray she never stops blogging!
Ellie made this Gateau Au Chocolate based on Trish Deseinea's recipe for Chocolate Cake with Olive Oil and Sea Salt.
I have to say, I much preferred eating it plain. I was fine with the sprinkle of salt (chocolate and salt are a match made in heaven, anyway) ... but not the olive oil. In all honesty, all I craved for was a scoop of creamy vanilla bean ice-cream. Yeah, ice-cream and cake. With hot fudge.
Anyway, I adored the way Ellie cleverly cut out a portion of the cake using a scone cutter. I did the same, but using the largest biscuit cutter I had, and unfortunately it didn't do a very good job making clean cuts, probably due to the scalloped edges. The cake looked crumbly as a result. Still, I liked the effect.
Regal gold leaves I have none (sob!) so a dusting of icing sugar will have to do. Icing sugar is what I term "concealer for cakes". My cake had little crinkles on the top - indentations from the cooling rack - which looked fine on a whole cake, but not on a cut-out portion. Well, nothing some icing sugar can't fix. Besides, I was going for the ... um ... rustic look. Ahem.
As with all chocolate cakes, the taste hinges on the quality of chocolate you use. So use the best quality chocolate possible. I wanted to finish up the semi-sweet milk chocolate my aunt hauled back from Belgium, so I didn't use dark chocolate as the recipe stated. Next time, I surely will.
Thanks Ellie, for showing us how gorgeous cakes can actually look ;) ... and for always inspiring me to cook, bake and blog better.
(originally from Trish Deseinea's Nobody Does It Better, and adapted from Almost Bourdain)
- 200g dark chocolate (min 70% cocoa solids)
- 200g unsalted butter
- 4 medium eggs
- 150g caster sugar (if you are using semi-sweet chocolate like me, you might want to reduce the amount of sugar here, perhaps to 130g)
- 60g plain flour
- 1½ tsp baking powder
- Extra virgin olive oil
- Fleur de sel (sea salt)
1. Preheat the oven to 200C/400F. Grease and flour a 22cm sandwich tin.
2. Melt the chocolate in a heat proof bowl over a saucepan of hot simmering water. Add butter and stir well to mix the two ingredients completely. Leave to cool.
3. Put the eggs and the sugar in a bowl and whisk with kitchen mixer until the mixture turns pale and doubles in volume. Sift the flour and baking powder together, then add a tablespoonful at a time, until no traces of flour are left.
4. Mix in the chocolate mixture, pour the lot into the prepared sandwich tin and bake for 30-40 minutes. Tent the cake with an aluminium foil for it burns quite easily. The cake is cooked when a knife inserted into the centre comes out clean.
5. Leave the cake to cool for 15 minutes before turning out.
6. To serve, cut the cake into slices, set them on plain white plates and pour some extra virgin olive oil around. Sprinkle with some fleur de sel and serve.
Serve with some good ol' vanilla bean ice-cream on the side! Sorry, couldn't resist that. ;)