This is typical of a French homemade cake - dense, dark, and delicious. It is a European sponge cake, with a different texture than its American counterparts. It is excellent dusted with confectioners' sugar and served with lightly sweetened whipped cream or a fruit coulis.

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Ingredients

12
Original recipe yields 12 servings
The ingredient list now reflects the servings specified
Ingredient Checklist

Directions

Instructions Checklist
  • Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F (165 degrees C). Generously grease a 9-inch springform cake tin. Dust with a little sugar, and tap out the excess.

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  • Set aside 3 tablespoons of the sugar. Place the chocolate, butter, and remaining sugar in a large, heavy-based pan. Cook over moderate heat until the chocolate and butter have melted, and the sugar has dissolved. Remove the pan from heat. Stir in the vanilla, and leave the mixture to cool slightly.

  • Beat the egg yolks into the chocolate mixture one at a time, beating well after each addition. Stir in the flour.

  • In a large bowl, scrupulously clean and grease-free, beat the egg whites until foamy. Add the cream of tartar and salt, and beat to stiff peaks. Sprinkle reserved sugar over egg whites, and beat until stiff and glossy. Use a whisk or spatula to fold 1/3 of the egg whites into the chocolate mixture, then carefully fold in the remaining whites. Carefully pour batter into the prepared tin, and tap the tin gently to release air bubbles.

  • Bake until well risen and a skewer inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean, for about 45 minutes to 1 hour. Check the cake after 30 minutes: if the cake appears to rise unevenly, rotate after 30 to 35 minutes. If the cake starts to crack or become too brown, place a piece of foil lightly over the top. Transfer the cake to a wire cooling rack, and remove the sides of the springform tin. Cool completely, and then remove the base. Do not attempt to remove the cake before it's completely cooled as this cake is very fragile.

Partner Tip

Reynolds® Aluminum foil can be used to keep food moist, cook it evenly, and make clean-up easier.

Nutrition Facts

293.5 calories; 4.7 g protein; 24.3 g carbohydrates; 108 mg cholesterol; 30.9 mg sodium. Full Nutrition

Reviews (50)

Read More Reviews

Most helpful positive review

Rating: 5 stars
02/16/2005
I had to do a report on France for my Global Studies class and I decided to make this for everyone in the class. Everyone loved it! Also I took it to my French teacher whom lived in France for 30 years and she said that indeed it was French and she wanted the recipe as well as 4 other teachers! Read More
(51)

Most helpful critical review

Rating: 1 stars
09/12/2003
I followed the directions but this did not turn out at all-I ended up throwing it out. Sorry! Read More
(37)
59 Ratings
  • 5 star values: 48
  • 4 star values: 5
  • 3 star values: 2
  • 2 star values: 2
  • 1 star values: 2
Rating: 5 stars
02/16/2005
I had to do a report on France for my Global Studies class and I decided to make this for everyone in the class. Everyone loved it! Also I took it to my French teacher whom lived in France for 30 years and she said that indeed it was French and she wanted the recipe as well as 4 other teachers! Read More
(51)
Rating: 5 stars
02/16/2005
I had to do a report on France for my Global Studies class and I decided to make this for everyone in the class. Everyone loved it! Also I took it to my French teacher whom lived in France for 30 years and she said that indeed it was French and she wanted the recipe as well as 4 other teachers! Read More
(51)
Rating: 5 stars
01/05/2007
I think this cake is great! Working as a pastry baker I have made cakes like this before. The cake usually sinks in a little at the top after cooling. I like to fill the indention with whipped cream freeze it overnight and then glaze with a melted ganache icing. Sooo elegant but still pretty easy. Read More
(43)
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Rating: 1 stars
09/11/2003
I followed the directions but this did not turn out at all-I ended up throwing it out. Sorry! Read More
(37)
Rating: 5 stars
09/15/2010
I have to admit I was a little skeptical especially after it came out of the oven and it looked so dry on the outside. I was afraid that it was just going to be a dry crispy mess. Boy was I wrong!!!! This was absolutely delicious!!! It had the richness of a chocolate cake without the sickly sweetness that you get from traditional cakes. I served it with raspberry sauce and homemade whipped cream and everyone thought it was great! Read More
(22)
Rating: 5 stars
05/14/2006
I was concerned about the cake having only 1/4c flour so I doubled it and it turned out to be about the consistency of a brownie. Everyone loved the flavor and it was very pretty with the powdered sugar sprinkled over the top. I will make again. It would be very good with a raspberry sauce or drizzled with a chocolate syrup. Update: I've made this cake several times without adding more flour and it is wonderful as written! I do sometimes substitute bittersweet for some of the semi-sweet to give it a richer chocolate taste. Fantastic! Read More
(21)
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Rating: 5 stars
04/30/2007
It's my go-to recipe for a rich dense and impressive cake for get-togethers. People always ask for the recipe! If you don't have cream of tartar on hand a pinch of salt will do just fine. I serve the cake with a dusting of powdered sugar and strawberry or raspberry sauce on the side. Read More
(15)
Rating: 5 stars
07/15/2003
I LOVE this torte. It is very rich and flavourful. I always serve this for desert when I have dinner parties - everyone asks for the recipe. I use the recipe for Raspberry Sauce and top the torte with that along with fresh whipped cream (no fake stuff for this desert!) Read More
(11)
Rating: 5 stars
02/08/2006
Lovely cake - rich on chocolate (used chocolate with 56% cacao content) but not too sweet. The texture was slightly brownie-like...not sure why because I was careful with the amount of flour after reading the reviews. Served it with rasberrry sauce and whipped cream for my BF's bday. He loved it! Bonus part... the cake kept well for over a week (it's just the 2 of us). Will definitely make again. The Hague Netherlands Read More
(8)
Rating: 5 stars
02/16/2011
I made this for our Valentine's Dessert tonight. Oh. My. God. AMAZING! I thought it sounded like a lot of work when I first read the instructions but it was actually really quick and easy! I cooked mine in a flan pan instead of the spring-form so it cooked in about 45 mins. I covered it with a half batch of chocolate ganache (1/2 cup good quality semi sweet chocolate chips melted with 1/2 cup whipping cream and a splash of real vanilla) I'm for sure adding this to my list of favorite recipes! Read More
(8)