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Not for the fainthearted cake

May 30, 2012

Here’s a picture of the cakes Rella had on her birthday – amazingly, bits of each are still waiting to be eaten, but that’s because Arlo’s gone to camp. He’s back tomorrow so no doubt will make inroads into what’s left.

The flat chocolate cake is based on a recipe in the Green and Black’s Chocolate Recipes book. It’s called Marquise au Chocolate, but we think that’s a bit of a pretentious name and call it “that lovely mousse cake thing” – much more snappy. The recipe says “Only make this cake for celebrations” and this is good advice. As Halo noted, it uses far too many bowls, far too much chocolate and there are far too many opportunities to mess it up. You also have to be organised as you have to start the day before you need it. Could be a recipe for disaster.

The cake is in two parts – a fudgy bottom bit and a mousse top bit. For the bottom bit first you need to butter and then dust with ground almonds a 9″ springform cake tin. The recipe says  in a large bowl over a pan of simmering water melt 5 and a half ounces of unsalted butter,10 oz caster sugar and 10 and a half ounces of good quality chocolate  – min 60%cocoa solids. We used a fair trade bar of 70% and the rest was Coop fair trade dark chocolate which was 30 something % cocoa solids. What we lacked in cocoa solids we made up for in ethical correctness.

In a separate bowl lightly mix 5 large eggs (didn’t have large so I used 5 medium eggs and an extra  yolk as I wanted to make meringues) and then whisk in 1 tablespoon of ground almonds (I didn’t think this was enough and wanted a slightly more cakey cake so I put 2 heaped tbsps in).

Add this mixture to the chocolate mix stirring until it thickens. Pour the mixture into the prepared tin and bake for 35 minutes or so at 180c.

Leave to cool in the tin for a couple of hours and, if you can bear it, start to make the mousse bit of the cake. 


For this you’ll need more melted chocolate. I did the same as before and went for ethical credibility over cocoa solids.

Melt 9oz chocolate, remove from the heat –  if you melted it properly in a bowl over simmering water rather than in the microwave (or Aga simmering oven) – and add one and a half ounces of icing sugar (- if your chocolate’s quite sweet (mine was) you might not need this. Add 1tbsp cocoa powder instead) and the recipe says add 5oz unsalted butter. I balked at this. (Five ounces of butter? That’s way too much!) So I added 3oz. It was all I had. To this add 5 large egg yolks one at a time – as before I didn’t have large so I used 6 small yolks and kept the white for meringues.

In another bowl whisk the egg whites with an ounce of icing sugar until glossy peaks form and in yet another bowl whisk 5 fl oz double cream until it forms peaks. Add a third of the egg whites to the chocolate and carefully mix to blend and then gently fold the cream and egg whites  into the chocolate mixture till incorporated.

Pour the mixture over the cooked cooled cake and refrigerate overnight.

Carefully remove the tin, dust with cocoa powder and serve. It is worth the effort, but it’s much nicer if someone makes it for you. I imagine it is anyway.




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