Le Gâteau au Chocolat l’Éminence Brune (BITTERSWEET CHOCOLATE CAKE)
Le Gâteau au Chocolat l’Éminence Brune (BITTERSWEET CHOCOLATE CAKE)


For the cake:
2 tsp instant espresso
1/4 cup boiling water
7 ounces semisweet chocolate
2 ounces unsweetened chocolate
4 large eggs, separated
1 cup extra fine sugar plus 2 Tbl
4 ounces soft unsalted butter
1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
Pinch of salt
3/4 cup cornstarch
For the Filling & Glaze:
4 ounces semisweet chocolate
1 ounce unsweetened chocolate
1 tsp instant espresso
2 Tbl boiling water
2 ounces unsalted butter

This chocolate cake is quite the mouthful and has a tale to tell – told by Julia Child, no less. Teaching Kitchen Chef Matthew Stansbury prepared this cake for Opera Louisiane’s comic one-act opera Bon Appetit – a lively, light opera that chronicles an episode of the Julia Child show and the makings of this classic French cake.

The cake was a bit of an undertaking – true to Julia’s child. The result is a dense, flourless torte that requires only a sliver to deliver satisfaction. Bon Appetit!


1.First, make the cake: preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter two 8-inch cake pans; line with parchment, and then butter and flour. Blend coffee and water in top of double boiler over simmering water. Remove from heat. Add chocolates; cover and set aside to melt.
2.Beat yolks and gradually add 1 cup sugar. Continue beating until yolks are thick, pale yellow. Beat melted chocolate until smooth. Beat in butter, 2 tablespoons at a time; gradually beat chocolate and butter into yolk mixture.
3.Beat whites until foamy; beat in cream of tartar and salt. Continue beating until whites form soft peaks; gradually beat in 2 tablespoons of sugar and beat until whites form stiff, shiny peaks. Sift on 1/4 of cornstarch and scoop on 1/4 of whites; stir with spatula. Scoop rest of whites on top; sift on 2 of remaining cornstach and fold. Sift half of remaining cornstach on top and fold in; sift on remaining cornstarch and fold to blend.
4.Spoon batter into pans and smooth. Bang once on work surface to settle batter, then bake for 15 minutes. A cake tester inserted near the edges should come out clean. Cool pans on racks. Wrap and chill for an hour before unmolding.
5.For the filling and glaze: Melt chocolates with coffee and water; beat in butter. If mixture is too liquid to spread, beat over cold water until lightly thickened.
6.Unmold one layer of cake onto serving plate and spread top with 1/4 inch of icing. Unmold second layer on top of first and cover top and sides with remaining frosting. Serve, refrigerate or freeze. Return to room temperature before serving.

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