I regularly buy cooking and pastry books. I have probably 60 or 70 different books into my collection. I’ve never counted them. I love watching their nice pictures and I cannot resist to prepare my favorite recipes. This is exactly what happened yesterday night. I had guests at home and one hour before their arrival I didn’t have any idea about what I would prepare for the dessert. I took into my personal bookshelf the chocolate pastry book “Le chocolat qui me fait craquer” (“The chocolate I would die for”) from Christophe Michalak. Christophe Michalak is a French famous pastry chef who won the title of “pastry world champion” in 2005. His book is wonderful because its recipes are delicious and very easy to prepare. Really convenient and adapted to me, a mum willing to prepare a cake after a whole word day and just one hour before guest arrive!
I had already prepared that chocolate cake many times and I was sure about its success. It is really delicious: smelting and very light texture, a wonderful flavour of toasted hazelnuts and chocolate. It’s indeed a revelation! But in fact to tell you all the story, Michalak explains when introducing the recipe into his book that this recipe comes in reality from his peer, the famous French pastry chef Philippe Conticini. Probably the “pope” of the French pastry. It’s true that chefs between them are often friends and like to pay tribute the ones to the others…
Chocolate cake’s recipe
For 4-6 servings
- Preparation: 30 min
- Baking: 12 min
This Chocolate cake recipe is very easy but for an optimal result weight all ingredients. In general French pastry is very precise in terms of quantity and temperatures.
- 3.17 oz (90g) hazelnut powder
- 3.17 oz (90g) brown sugar – personnaly I prefer 2.82 oz (80g)
- 1 egg (1.76 oz or 50g)
- 1 egg yolk (0.71 oz or 20g)
- 3 egg whites (3.17 oz or 90g)
- 1.41 oz (40g) wheat flour
- 0.07 oz (2g) baking soda
- 0.71 oz (20g) milk chocolate (40% cocoa)
- 1.41 oz (40g) dark chocolate (66% cocoa)
- 2.47 oz (70g) unsalted room temperature butter
- A pinch of salt
- 3.53 oz (100g) Nutella or Homemade chocolate spread
- 5.29 oz (150g) chocolate icing prepared with 3.88 oz (110g) dark chocolate and 1.41 oz (40g) unsalted butter melt together. I personnaly add a teaspoon of water. You can also use milk chocolate for icing if you prefer its taste.
- Dry fruits (walnuts, crushed hazelnuts, unpeeled and unsalted pistacchios…) for decoration
- Preheat oven to 340°F (170°C)
- Put the hazelnut powder into a pan and grill them for several minutes. The powder should get brown but be careful not to burn it. During the process make sure to remain just next to the pan to check it regularly and don’t hesitate to stir quite often with a wood spoon. The more you will grill the hazelnut, the better result you will get for the taste of this chocolate cake.
- In a electric mixer, blend during about 5 minutes the grilled hazelnut powder, the sugar, the yolk egg, the egg, the baking soda and the flour (sieve previously the wheat flour).
- Melt together into a sauce pan at low heat the milk chocolate, the dark chocolate and the butter. This preparation should be at about 105°F (40°C) so as as soon as it gets melted remove from heat. You can also use Waterbath technique
- In a bowl, with an electric mixer, whisk the egg whites with a pinch of salt until they form peaks
- Butter and flour a 6.30 in. (16 cm) diameter cake mould. Even if your mould has a non-stick surface do it otherwise you will get into trouble when unmolding (the cake is not firm but smelting). Pour the chocolate cake’s preparation into it.
- Bake for about 12 min. I baked it during 1 or 2 minutes more. But it depends on your oven.
- Unmold carefully and let cool on a grill
- Pour the Nutella on the top of the cake using a spatula or a spoon
- Pour the chocolate icing above the nutella and spread it on the whole surface of the cake even the sides
- Decorate immediatly with whole walnuts, crushed hazelnuts and unsalted and peeled pistacchio (or only walnuts if you don’t find these pistacchio…)
- When the cake is cooled at room temperature, put it carefully on a presentation plate
- The chocolate cake is now ready.