The Fresh Loaf

A Community of Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts.

chocolate cake

leighbakes's picture

Read the original blog post here!

On Valentine's Day, I rediscovered a heart-shaped cake pan in the back of my pantry and knew I had to put it to use. Since it was my first cake attempt, I wanted to use another fairly simple recipe, so I found this recipe for dark chocolate cake on Dark Chocolate Cake. It got some pretty excellent reviews from the site's readers, including one person who wrote, "I am a pastry chef, and this is the only chocolate cake that I will make from now on." Awfully high praise! When I pictured the finished cake, I couldn't get the image of a glossy chocolate ganache-covered heart cake out of my I dug up a recipe for red wine chocolate ganache I'd seen on What could be more sexy and romantic than dark chocolate cake with red wine ganache for Valentine's Day? Okay, here's something you should know about me (if you haven't already noticed): I'm a chocoholic. This means that I often don't consider a dessert worth eating unless it contains a fair amount of chocolate. This also means that I'll need you guys to urge me to try recipes that aren't all about chocolate. I'd gladly welcome any non-chocolate recipe suggestions any time! I didn't really run into any problems mixing the batter, although it did take a long time to prepare the chocolate mixture, sift all the dry ingredients, and beat everything together. I tend to be a slow worker, but I also lack some of the tools that would make all this a lot easier, like a freestanding mixer. The cake came out looking good, though I found those big cracks down the middle distracting. Is that normal for a cake? Maybe I filled the pan too high. Because I wanted to cover this cake with poured ganache instead of frosting, I knew I had to flip it over to hide those cracks. I did, and it looked pretty great. Because I had a lot of extra batter (the recipe fills three cake pans, which I don't have), I made some extra cupcakes. These looked nicer than my last ones, but just like last time, one oozed in the oven. Seriously, why does that happen? Of course, the oozy cupcake became my taste test. I liked this cake a lot, and I can see why it got good reviews: it had a delicate texture and a nice chocolate flavor. It wasn't as moist as my last batch of cupcakes, though, so I think I'll stick with that other recipe the next time I make chocolate cupcakes. But if you're looking for a classy dark chocolate cake, this is a lovely one. More on those cupcakes later! Back to the cake... The ganache was a breeze to make. I liked the way it tasted, though it's not for the faint of heart--that stuff is rich. The very thin layer I poured over the cake turned out to be plenty; if I'd spread it on, it might have been overwhelming. As for the pouring process, it went well except for two snags. Because the cake was so rounded on the bottom, it cracked a little when I flipped it over, which showed through the ganache. Second, it was difficult to coat the sides of the cake as thickly and neatly as I'd have liked. If I were to do it again, I'd make a little more ganache for that purpose. Here's a photo of the cake covered in ganache, plus an ill-advised decoration attempt. I've learned my lesson: ganache and edible red gel do not look good together. I wanted to make a border of gel hearts, but they barely showed up on the dark background. Should've known better. As you can see, I ended up with more of a broken-heart cake than a heart cake...which seemed a little more cynical than what I was going for. I decided to cover up my bad decoration and the crack down the middle with a design using pecans. It was very experimental, but I'm pleased with the outcome. The result was a tasty cake with just the right amount of tasty ganache. The pecans didn't hurt a bit, either. My mom, who loves all things rich and chocolatey, was in love. This was the first thing I'd baked entirely from scratch that I was truly proud of! I'll save my stories about frosting those cupcakes for my next post. As always, thanks for reading and thanks for commenting! It's great to have supportive readers to keep an eye out for me as I stumble through this self-taught baking course.


teketeke's picture

My favorite's Gateau au chocolat

August 26, 2010 - 12:17pm -- teketeke

This is my favorite's Gateau au chocolat that I got from is posted by Keyua.( )Thank you, Keyua!! Recently I have made this cake changing diffrent kind of chocolate, milk chocolate and dark chocolate.  I like using dark chocolate to taste bitterness. 

The cake's problem is what I have to wait until next day so that the cake has lots of moisture.


 : Dark chocolate used

pmccool's picture

What with having dinner guests on Saturday and more coming on Monday, it was a wonderful excuse for puttering around in the kitchen this weekend.  I started with Pain au Levain from Leader's Local Breads Saturday morning and followed with Rich and Tender Dinner Rolls from The King Arthur Flour 200th Anniversary Cook Book and finished up with a Chocolate / Chocolate Chip cake, source unknown.  

Having posted about the Pain au Levain previously, I won't go into detail about the process here.  This bread is consistenly good, in both outcome and flavor.  This bake resulted in lovely oven spring and big ears, in spite of some rather deficient scoring.  It hasn't been cut yet, so I don't know about the crumb but the exterior suggests that the interior ought to be good.

The dinner rolls were a typical enriched roll, with butter, eggs, sugar and milk.  The two differences that set it apart from most such rolls was the addition of some whole wheat, maybe 20%, and no refrigeration.  The former was a pleasant addition in flavor and the latter was a real convenience since I was a bit pressed for time.  I just shaped them as simple pan rolls.  As the name suggested, they were rich and tender and a good accompaniment with dinner.

The cake was a bit over the top (which won't stop us from making it again!), what with a cup of butter, 4 ounces of melted chocolate, 5 eggs and buttermilk in the batter.  Oh, and chocolate chips, too.  My wife halved the frosting recipe (it called for 5-1/2 cups of confectioners/icing sugar), since we baked it in a 9x13 pan instead of in 3, 9-inch round cake pans.  This is not a light and airy cake.  It is moist, it is heavy, and it is sweet!  Good stuff, in other words.  Best of all, with others to help eat it, the danger of too much snacking on the leftovers is reduced.

Before going to bed Saturday night, I mixed a biga for Portugese Sweet Bread.  Today I finished the bread, shaped it as hamburger buns and baked it.  Now we have the base for some barbecue sandwiches for our guests Monday evening.  I've learned that the store-bought buns just don't stand up well to the sauce that comes along with the barbecue, so something like PSB is less likely to go all floppy in mid-bite while still being tender.

No pics of anything described here.  Just lots of enjoyment in both the baking and the eating.


Janedo's picture

I make several different versions of this very famous cake as it is probably my very favorite of all chocolate desserts and perfect for a fancy presentation. The only thing that may cause problems is finding the ingredients in the States. I don’t know what’s available over there, so I’ll do my best to describe how it’s done here.
For Sean’s birthday we had a very nice dinner of marinated, then BBQ’s duck breasts, a zucchini – chèvre tian and sautéed potatoes. I decorated his cake with maltezer’s and white and dark chocolate Mikado’s and 4 sparklers.

French Royal or Trianon

Gâteau Royal or Le Trianon

Marcaron base :

60 g finely ground almond
130 g sugar
15 g flour
2 egg whites
1 tsp cocoa

Preheat the oven to 220°C
In a bowl, mix 60g of the sugar, the almond, the flou rand the cocoa.
In a mixer, beat the egg whites and when they start to foam, add the rest of the sugar and let stiffen. Fold in the dry ingredients.
Prepare à springform pan (around 22 cm), line it with parchment paper and fill with the batter.
Bake ten minutes. Let cool and then remove from the pan.

Prepare a cake ring, or the spring form pan that has been cooled and washed. I use a ring that is placed directly on to the serving platter. I lined the outer edges of mine with a plastic ring so that when it came time to take the cake out, the plastic stops the cake from sicking on the side of the pan and then can be simply peeled off.
Place the baked base in the ring by cutting it to size.

Praline layer :

In France we have a brand of chocolate called Poulain 1848. They make a praline bar that is used for this cake. I don’t know if anything like that exists. You can also use milk chocolate blended with Nutella. Less « chic » but it works. Soft, pralne chocolate of any kind should do the trick. The gavottes may pose another problem. Here they are:


200 g pralinoise (Poulain 1848)
90 g crêpes dentelles « gavottes »
40 g ground praline

Melt the chocolate. Crush the gavottes. Mix the praline and the gavottes in to the chocolate.. Spread this mixture on to the macaron base, making sure the corners are filled and it is level.

Mousse au chocolat :

75 g sugar
1 egg + 3 yolks
200 g baker’s chocolate (good quality !)
300 ml whipping cream

Beat the egss and the sugar with 2 tbsp of hot water. This should triple in volume and become very light in color.
Melt the chocolate and then blend it in to the egg mixture.
Whip the cream until it form a « whipped cream » and fold this gently in to the chocolate mixture, making sure it is fully incorporated.
Spread this on top of the praline layer and even the top as much as possible.

Place the cake for 8-10 hours in the fridge. I placed the fridge at 1°C for the setting period.

Comments :

This recipe can be found on a great number of French cooking sites and blogs. The recipes vary somewhat. This one comes from a very nice blog called Amuses bouches

I wanted to try the macaron base because I usually do a génoise-type base and often soaked in kirsch. I have to say, I prefer the génoise base. You can also skip the praline layer and make a chocolate brownie base. I do that sometimes and make a thicker mouse layer using only whipped cream and melted chocolate.

Trianon with sparklers

I also made this cute Batman cake for his friends at school. He was quite delighted with it. It was one of those things... 9pm, wanting desperately to go to bed, but I had to figure out how to do a Batman theme because it was Sean's special day. It worked out just fine. I was rather proud of myself!

Batman cakeBatman cake

Adelphos24's picture

“The Chocolate Cake Sutra” by Geri Larkin

March 21, 2008 - 12:17am -- Adelphos24

I realize it's not specific to bread, but I just wrote a review of “The Chocolate Cake Sutra” by Geri Larkin here: It's pretty brief, but I figured anyone interested in pastry and baking in general might like it. Note: don't buy this book until you've had a chance to look at a copy of it. It's not really a cookbook, so much as a social commentary.

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