When the skies are blue and the days are long and the sun is hot, our sweet tooth needs attention that doesn’t require much time in the kitchen. Something that whisks together quickly, needs little time in the oven and ultimately satisfies the cravings without overly stuffing the stomachs. Several years ago, we found the ticket in, of all places, a French children’s magazine based on the “Juliette” book series. It’s for three year olds, basically, so that tells you something about how easy this cake is. Voilà!
- 3 eggs
- 125 g / half cup sugar
- 100 g / four-fifths cup all flour
- 125 g / half cup butter (the recipe calls for half-salted, demi-sel, butter)
- 200 g / 7 oz. best chocolate (I recommend Lindt 70% dark chocolate)
I’ve done my best to convert the European weight measurements into cups and ounces with the help of the trusty internet, but you might need to experiment a bit to get the amounts of sugar and flour just right. This is not meant to be a cake-y cake, so easy on the flour.
Preheat oven: Gas mark 7 / 425 degrees F / 220 degrees C.
What you do next: Vigorously mix the eggs with the sugar and the flour with a whisk until the mixture becomes smooth and fluffy-ish. Break the chocolate in pieces and melt it in a double boiler. When the chocolate is melted, add the butter and allow it to melt as well. When chocolate-butter mixture is cool enough not to cook egg mixture, add it gradually to the latter, stirring constantly. Pour batter into a buttered cake pan (I use a tart pan so that I can make sure every piece I cut is the same size. My daughters measure such things to make sure I’m being “fair”). Cook for 10 minutes, during which time you can ponder how your garden grows.
The catch with this cake is to be certain to NOT overcook it. It should be, in the end, what the French call mi-cuit. Half cooked. So that the chocolate interior verges on oozy. As you can imagine, given the lack of leavening, this cake is dense and flat. It’s about flavor, not fluff. It’s excellent alone, delicious accompanied by coffee, and exquisite with a raspberry coulis or a dollop of whipped cream or ice-cream. On a final note, if you can muster a little patience, I think this little beauty is enhanced by sitting a while before eating.