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And then the cake came forth

Sundays are so very nice. My New York Times and I are very cozy on the couch.

Last night Kate and I made dinner and watched the boats sail in and out of Elliott Bay from her 18th-floor downtown apartment. It was an excellent reason to eat lots of bittersweet chocolate and Plugra, but you can rest assured that we ate our vegetables first.

We traipsed down to Pike Place Market just before closing and snatched up a bell pepper, red and gold tomatoes, a cucumber, two yams, and three sausages from Uli’s: spinach bratwurst, hot Italian, and lamb. Back home, we opened a bottle of white that happened to be lurking in the fridge, and, glasses in hand, put our bare feet up on the railing of her balcony to catch up for a while. There was much girly locker-room talk, and a pearl earring was nearly lost but wasn’t.

Then dinner threw itself together gracefully. The yams were sliced into long, flat fingers and roasted with olive oil, salt and pepper. The pepper and tomatoes were likewise dressed, then tossed onto the grill with the sausages, which sputtered at the heat and quickly began to glisten. The cucumber was sliced into rounds, tossed with vinaigrette and torn basil leaves from Kate’s thriving balcony garden. Meanwhile, the boats sailed on, and soon the cake came forth, trailing in its wake a bowlful of loosely whipped cream. We had two servings each, and poor Kate had to lie on the floor afterwards. It was really something.

And so, with no further ado, the recipe.

Gâteau au chocolat fondant de Nathalie,
or, Kate's Winning-Hearts-and-Minds Cake
Adapted from Je veux du chocolat!, by Trish Deseine

7 ounces (200 grams) best-quality dark chocolate
7 ounces (200 grams) unsalted European-style butter (the high-butterfat kind, such as Lurpak or Beurre d’Isigny), cut into ½-inch cubes
1 1/3 cup (250 grams) granulated sugar
5 large eggs
1 Tbs unbleached all-purpose flour

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit, and butter an 8-inch round cake pan. Line the base of the pan with parchment, and butter the parchment too.

Finely chop the chocolate (a serrated bread knife does an outstanding job of this) and melt it gently with the butter in a double boiler or in the microwave, stirring regularly to combine. Add the sugar to the chocolate-butter mixture, stirring well, and set aside to cool for a few moments. Then add the eggs one by one, stirring well after each addition, and then add the flour. The batter should be smooth, dark, and utterly gorgeous.

Pour batter into the buttered cake pan and bake for approximately 25 minutes, or until the center of the cake looks set and the top is shiny and a bit crackly-looking. (I usually set the timer for 20 minutes initially, and then I check the cake every two minutes thereafter until it’s done. At 20 minutes, it’s usually quite jiggly in the center. You’ll know it’s done when it jiggles only slightly, if at all.) Let the cake cool in its pan on a rack for 10 minutes; then carefully turn the cake out of the pan and revert it, so that the crackly side is facing upward. Allow to cool completely. The cake will deflate slightly as it cools.

Serve in wedges at room temperature with a loose dollop of ever-so-slightly sweetened whipped cream.

Note: This cake is even better on the second day, so consider making it the day before serving. And thank you to Clotilde of Chocolate & Zucchini, whose mention of a clementine cake in Trish Deseine’s Mes petits plats préférés led to my stumbling upon Je veux du chocolat! in the bookstore one day.

Updated on July 21, 2007.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dear GOD!

Molly - thank you for your emergency-recipe directions. i just made one of these, using beautiful bittersweet chocolate and creamy butter from De Laurenti's...lord a mighty...it's GORGEOUS! oohh ohhh ohh i can't wait!

winning hearts and minds, i hope,

4:01 PM, November 26, 2004  
Blogger Su-Lin said...

Thank you, Molly! I made this cake for a party two days ago and it was gorgeous!

12:18 PM, February 21, 2005  
Blogger Molly said...

Su-Lin, I'm so glad to hear it! Thanks for reporting back!

4:22 PM, February 21, 2005  
Blogger Miss Tenacity said...

I made this cake over xmas for family and being the midwesterners that they were I think the richness AND the lack of cloying sweetness kept them from raving. Oh well, I enjoyed it mightily. :-) BTW, I got my recipe from Nigella's "how to be a domestic goddess" and its identical to what you have printed, so the formula has definitely made the rounds.


2:04 PM, February 24, 2005  
Blogger Molly said...

Lucky you, Miss Tenacity! Although it's always nice to have your companions enjoy what you've made, there's more for you if they don't! Waaa haa haaa.

And how interesting to learn that Nigella's recipe is exactly the same...I wonder if Trish Deseine ripped her off, or vice versa? Hmmm.

2:46 PM, February 24, 2005  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oh, Molly, Molly ... I've got another one for you. I went to a potluck in Williamsburg/Greenpoint tonight. I wanted to take something delicious but low on the labor scale. Seems this baby fits the bill, yes?

Well, it fell together with almost no work at all, but something went very, very awry at the "turn the cake out of the pan immediately" stage. I can't figure out what happened really. My best guess is my oven is hotter than it says it is ... I'm more a cook than a baker so I've yet to invest in an oven thermometer. The top looked beautiful, the cake had just a flirty sort of jiggle to it. But when I flipped it over -- there were some funny little craters in the bottom/now top, and a small hunk of it stuck to the pan, and it lacked a certain ... hmmmm ... uniformity? It was a bit ... well ... sort of Ms. Havisham sad.

I screamed and laughed and my roommate took photos. We flipped it many times using all the big flat things we could find in the kitchen, and I even burned two fingers on my left hand when some goopy innards dripped out in protest. Pretty it was not.

I wasn't too concerned though ... chocolate, butter, what's not to love?

And indeed, it floored people at the party. "What IS this?" and "Oh my GODWHOMADETHIS???!?" and "I have never tasted anything like this in my life. Ever. Ever."

So thank you.


6:26 PM, November 20, 2005  
Blogger Molly said...

Lisa, you kill me every time. Thank you, my dear! I'm so glad to hear that my beloved "winning hearts and minds" cake didn't let you down, even if was a little stubborn in stages. A few notes in response to your crises:
-I too have had funny craters form on the underside of mine--not from the cake sticking to the pan, but from air bubbles or something. I've never been able to figure out what causes them, but luckily, when you flip the cake right side up, they're hidden.
-As for the trickiness of all that inverting and reverting, here's what I do. When I pull the cake out of the oven, I put a sheet of aluminum foil over it, and then I put a plate, upside-down, on top of the foil. [I find that the foil helps keep the cake from sticking to the plate.] Using oven mitts, I hold the cake pan and the plate together and quickly flip them. I remove the pan, leaving the cake upside-down on the foil-covered plate. Then I put a second plate upside-down on top of the cake, wedge two fingers between the plates to keep from squashing the cake, and flip the plates, so that the cake is once more facing up. Remove the foil, and taaa daaa! You've got a cake on a plate, right side up, with no burnt fingers or kitchen tools necessary.

9:17 PM, November 20, 2005  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ah ha! But the thing is: if I had properly read your instructions -- that is, had I reverted instead of inverted (back into the pan, mind you, as this cake had to swipe her Metrocard for a little trip on the L) -- I wouldn't have such a great story. Or these tender little burn marks.

(I actually have a tiny scar on my right arm from a tater tot incident that went down during my brief stint as a lunch lady. True story!)

Many thanks for the tin foil/plate instructions. They'll most certainly keep me safe and the cake pretty next time!


8:19 PM, November 22, 2005  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hiya :) Just a wee note before I run off: I made this again, this afternoon, with nary a hitch! Your foil & plates advice was really just the thing. It'll be my offering at a farewell dinner a friend is making for me -- she's making something Japanese that I will remember the name for after I eat it, and I come with this. She's doing an apprenticeship at Payard on the Upper East Side but is as unassuming and welcoming as can be, so I'm not too nervous about bringing dessert.


3:29 PM, February 08, 2006  
Anonymous Flora said...

Molly, I recently discovered your site and I was completely overwrought by the pure hedonistic decadence of your pictures. So much so that I was seduced into making this chocolate cake (more a fabulously rich ganache masquerading as a cake, really)for a someone who's off to France. You should have heard the sounds of pleasure 5s after tasting their first mouthful. Someone even said that he'd travel to eat a slice of this.

I baked my cake in a buttered springform pan and let it cool in it on a rack. A thought - what do you think of lining the bottom of the pan with parchment to make it a little easier to remove the cake in future?

Thanks for the recipe and I am also enjoying your writing immensely.


6:46 AM, February 10, 2006  
Blogger Molly said...

Lisa, I'm honored to know that the winning-hearts-and-minds cake made an appearance at your farewell dinner! I'm not so happy, though, about the farewell part. Hmph. Good luck to you, my dear, and hope to hear from you soon...

And Flora, thank you for your very generous compliments! I'm always delighted to meet another fan of this chocolate cake. And as for the parchment idea, certainly, you could give it a go. I have never really had trouble with my cake sticking to the pan, but I have talked to others who have, and either way, the parchment is a good back-up measure. Thank you for suggesting it.

3:57 PM, February 10, 2006  
Blogger Biggy said...

Dear sweet Jee-bus. Christ on a crutch and Sweet Fancy Moses wrapped up in a cocoa butter blanket. I just made this for the weekly Yay-it's-Friday-we're-kinda-Jewish-let's-Have-a-Big-Shabbos meal. Good lord this cake is... well, how dare it be this good is all I can say. The nerve of it. I'll never bake another kind of cake again, ever, I think. I just had two pieces. The first was dessert; the second was pure gluttony and I am now on the sofa groaning and sort of medicating self with cold white wine. If I live, I will never forget the favor you've done the world posting this recipe.

7:28 PM, June 30, 2006  
Blogger Molly said...

Biggy, I see from your site that you did - phew! - live to see another day after your two slices of this cake, and I'm ever so glad. I mean, heck, it's a shame to let the rest go to waste!


5:50 PM, July 04, 2006  
Anonymous hollyBD said...

I am a blog posting virgin, so here goes nothing.

This cake looks divine. I have a recipe almost identical- for Molten Chocolate cakes. If you are interested in a warm version of this cake, it's chocolate goodness spilling out with your first delectable bite, then read on.

They get rave reviews every time- The main change in the recipe is use only 1/2 C sugar and 1 C unsalted butter. Use greased muffin cups or ramekins instead of a cake pan, and bake for about 9 minutes at 450 degrees F, or until the edges are set but there is a jiggly spot in the center. Overturn on plates and serve immediately with cream and sugared rasberries.

11:38 AM, August 28, 2006  
Blogger Molly said...

Ooooh, molten chocolate cakes! I love those things, HollyBD. Who can resist hot, oozing, buttery chocolate? Not me! Thanks so much for sharing your tips. I've seen lots of recipes out there, but I'll have to try yours next...

11:44 AM, August 28, 2006  
Anonymous tracy said...

i've been reading your blog and eyeing this post for months now; and decided to make it for a new year's eve party...only to have it completely collapse on me, even after baking for nearly 40 minutes!!! so sad...but i recovered to make the sour cream banana cake, can't wait to make the chocolate ganache, and will have to find an occasion to make this recipe again in the new year!!!

6:40 AM, December 31, 2006  
Blogger Molly said...

Oh my gosh, Tracy, I'm so sorry! What a mess - and on New Year's Eve, too! I'm impressed that you persevered and went on to make the sour cream banana cake - three cheers for you, lady! But as for this cake and its collapsing, hmmm. I've never had mine collapse, although it does sometimes rise a bit while baking, souffle-like, and then sink a little upon cooling. But even counting that, it still winds up looking pretty much the same every time. Say, do you have an oven thermometer? I keep one in my oven at all times, and I recommend it to nearly everyone who crosses my path. Most ovens, mine included, are never quite the temperature that you set them to be. I wonder if your oven might be a little off? That could explain why the cake took so very long to bake, at least. Lastly, did you cut into the cake and/or taste it? How did it look inside? It's supposed to be a fairly fudgy - even bordering on gooey - cake, and sometimes, mine have looked a little messy or collapse-y. Keep that in mind.

I hope that helps at least a little. Happy New Year to you and yours!

9:22 AM, December 31, 2006  
Anonymous Tracy said...

Hi Molly - yup, the oven temperature was checked, double-checked, and triple-checked, so I don't think that was it...not sure what it was, but when I flipped the cake it was okay and then when I re-inverted it, it just went SPLAT!!! Thanks for your tips though! I'll just have to try again (when the holiday excess has worn off...) Happy New Year!

3:57 PM, January 01, 2007  
Blogger Molly said...

That's so weird, Tracy! I'm really miffed. But kudos to you for considering giving it another go! I hope you do, and I hope it turns out properly. It really is delicious.

Happy New Year to you!

2:00 PM, January 02, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I´m European and I´m not sure how much flour is needed for this cake that looks so delicious.What does 1 Tbs mean?Respond please or I won´t be able to bake this sweetie:)Thanks a lot and carry on!

8:00 AM, January 13, 2007  
Blogger Molly said...

Hi C. -
"1 Tbs" means one tablespoon. I'm not sure where you live, but in French, for example, a tablespoon is called une cuillere a soupe. In weight, a tablespoon of flour weighs anywhere between 7 and 10 grams, depending on how you pack it. This cake is fairly forgiving, so it would be hard to go wrong. Good luck!

9:38 AM, January 15, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Tracy -- I've tried this cake no less than 3 times now (it looks too good). I even got an oven thermometer after the first two times failed. It falls on me every time -- the center stays goopy and pudding-like. Using all high quality ingredients as suggested. I'm baffled, so if you ever figure it out, please post again...

1:01 PM, January 25, 2007  
Blogger Molly said...

Anonymous, I'm so sorry to hear that! I'm just as baffled as you are - and SO sorry that you've had to waste all that spendy chocolate. Yikes.

I wish I could tell you something conclusive, but I've honestly never had trouble with this recipe. I also have a good handful of friends who make it regularly, and they haven't yet reported a problem. If any other readers have suggestions, please pipe up! Help!

Thanks, and again, so sorry.

5:04 PM, January 25, 2007  
Blogger Vida said...

I've baked a similar recipe (The Oaxaqueño Fondant). It went pretty well in my gas oven, but I had the same too-gooey-center issues when I tried to bake it in an electric one.

I tried one of the usual fondant tricks then, and it worked: you just chill your pan and batter in the fridge for about 10 minutes, just before you put it in the oven. The sudden change of temperature will help the batter to bake evenly.

6:59 PM, January 26, 2007  
Blogger kayenne said...

a sign of a good post, and a good recipe, is one that keeps on resurrecting, time and again. this one's been running for over 2 years now... WOW!

i've made a similar cake before, i know this as 'Almost-flourless chocolate cake'.

hmm... i hear you on those bottom indentations on cakes... my theory is that it could be caused by hot spots... i notice it tend to happen when i don't use baking parchment to line my cakes. except for silicone pans which i use with a baking sheet, i prefer using parchment, easier clean-up, and the bottom doesn't get too dry or toasted.

flopping in the middle as mentioned, supposing the eggs have really been blended in very well, may have been caused by a too-hot oven. the outside cooks so much faster, leaving the middle too gooey.

is it possible that a different type of oven was used by others? one of those convection-fan ovens... which calls for recipes to lower the required temperature by around 25C? or will a bain-marie help?

or just cool and refrigerate the whole thing until the chocolately center firms up... get a few spoons and dig in! =D

now, you're making me crave chocolate. two years after posting.

10:46 PM, February 28, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Where I live, I was unable to find a cake pan the right size for this recipe. The smallest was 10 1/2 inches. So I multiplied the measurements of the recipe by 1.5 (300 gr butter, 300 gr chocolate,... 7 eggs). Also, I didn't have access to unbleached flour. I thought about substituting all purpose white but after I read about the problems some of you had with the center texture, some hunch led me to use whole wheat flour instead. Whole wheat flour needs to sit in liquid for about an hour to perform like white flour, so I let my 1 1/2 Tbsp flour sit with 7 beaten eggs in the fridge.

The cooking temperature was the same, but the time came to about 30 minutes.

The result was wonderful! I made this as part of a birthday meal for my husband. Another part was his beloved blackberry pie. He thought that the pie was great but this cake was fabulous!

Now, I did have problem reverting but it is not something I cannot deal with next time. I was very tired at that point and misjudged the centering of the cake on the cake stand. A very small sliver of cake flopped off onto the counter.

Since my cake was bigger than all the plates we have, I used a floppy plastic cutting board while reverting. This made wax paper unnecessary.

If I ever get my hands on a smaller pie pan I will experiment with this using fructose rather than sugar. This should make the cake have a fairly lower glycemic index without any compromise from taste.

Thank you Molly for sharing this wonderful recipe. Mark thought I gave him the best birthday meal. I can't wait for your book.



11:30 PM, March 08, 2007  
Blogger Molly said...

Vida, I'm woefully late in responding to your comment - oof! - but I wanted to thank you for sharing that trick. I hadn't heard of doing that before, but it sounds very promising! I'll most definitely give it a try, and I hope other readers will too.

Kayenne, as always, your thoughts and suggestions are so smart. I've been working on a version of this cake for the book, and I was thinking of calling for the pan to be lined with parchment paper, mainly to prevent any stickage. But now that you mention the hot spots, wow, it would terrific if the parchment would help with that too. Brandon and I are also considering using this cake - or, rather, 30 of them! - as our wedding cake, and it would be nice to avoid those craters on the underside or other inconsistencies. I'm going to be testing it in coming weeks, and I'm eager to see what happens.

And Eden, what ingenious improvising you did! I'm very impressed. Thank you for sharing your thoughts and tweaks - and happy belated birthday to your husband!

9:53 AM, March 09, 2007  
Anonymous Mary said...

This cake is the bomb. I've used Maida Heatter's recipe and find that her tips are great: butter the pan, line it with parchment paper, butter the parchment paper and "flour" it with a 50-50 combination of flour and cocoa powder (so that you don't get an ugly greasy white film on the top of your cake), bake in a bain marie, unmold after a 10 minute cooling time, refrigerate overnight, then remove the parchment paper and dust on some cocoa - it genuinely does taste better the next day.

Molly, thanks for your site, you are an inspiration.

5:30 PM, March 10, 2007  
Blogger Molly said...

Maida Heatter is terrific. Thanks for passing along the tips (and kind words), Mary!

12:06 PM, March 11, 2007  
Blogger sarah said...

regarding the goopy cakes: i always end up cooking mine about 10 minutes longer than the recipe says - sometimes more. i open the oven and give it a nudge, and if any more than about a 2-inch diameter section in the middle jiggles, i leave it for another three minutes. this means that the outside is often a little drier than i'd like, but i've never had a problem with it turning into a puddle. and besides, the dryness is a nice foil for the silky middle and the whipped cream (i usually make bourbon whipped cream for this!)

2:35 PM, March 12, 2007  
Blogger Kathy said...

Oh, my does that look good! Have to make that up sometime...when I have a lot of yoga and exercise planned ;-)

By the way, I just watched the video of you and Brandon and couldn't help but smile. Food is such a shared, joyful experience. It's also amazing to see how the Internet acts as a bridge for so many people to connect in ways that wouldn't have happened before. Nice to see that we all can do something positive :-)

10:02 AM, April 11, 2007  
Anonymous blair said...

oh dear Molly...you have just described my perfect evening! And then the picture of the cake too!?

7:46 PM, April 21, 2007  
Blogger the glutton said...

Wooohoo!!! What a chocoliciously great recipe, Molly! Thank you so much for posting it - this is my birthday present to my future mother-in-law. I hope I can finally wow her with my culinary skills! =)


3:40 AM, July 05, 2007  
Anonymous tracy said...

it's been six (plus) months since the new year's eve fiasco, but goodness, after reading about your in-preparation-for-the-wedding-cake-a-thon, i *had* to try this again...and lo and behold, 34 minutes in the oven, two flips, and it turned out beautifully...and deliciously worthy of every minute of anticipation and fret!

(though i'm not sure why it didn't turn out last time, but oh well; sigh...)

5:27 PM, July 19, 2007  
Blogger pam said...


I stumbled onto this recipe yesterday afternoon and had to make this. Had no ingredients on hand because we just moved, so made a special trip to buy everything.

Here's a few tips that worked for me....I microwaved the butter in a big bowl, then just added the chocolate as I chopped it, so by the time I added the last handful of chocolate, all I had to do was stir a few times to blend...it was all evenly melted.

However, I couldn't find my regular baking pan, so substituted a fry-pan with sloping sides. This meant the middle was a bit thicker than it would have been, so the cake needed to cook longer. I took it out after a half hour, but it was still smooth in the center. We went off to dinner and when we got home I checked it and did the knife test. A bit too gooey. So, I threw it back in the oven, and kept checking it, and about ten minutes later, the middle puffed up, soufflee-like and was all crackly, which I figured was about perfect.

I wanted to cool it for about a half hour, but every five minutes, my boyfriend asked if it was ready yet, so we dove in after about 15 minutes when it was still nice and warm and deliciously gooey.

Even though I'd shown him the picture of this cake, Steve didn't quite realize what I was making, until he took a bite. "I didn't realize you were making THAT cake." He said, very impressed.

It was a huge hit!

:) Pam

1:31 AM, July 21, 2007  
Blogger s@bd said...

just wanted you to know:

I made this cake with brandy-filled chocolates and regular-old salted butter (b'c in an unusual state of complete disorganization, I forgot to bring my list with me to the grocery store) - it was fabulous.

also, served it with some rum-soaked pineapple & strawberries.

1:11 PM, July 21, 2007  
Blogger Jillian said...

molly! i made this cake this morning and alas I had some of the same Splat! problems the other posters did! clearly i need to learn to read the comments first.. i baked for ~30 min in a 9 inch pan, and when to flip it out immediately i just spilled all over my counter.... I think i should have maybe cooked it a bit longer and then put the plate on top, and flipped 180 degrees more carefully, instead of trying to flip it out like a normal cake. and maybe have cooled in the pan for a few minutes? Anyways-- i will enjoying eating all my gooey chocolate bits today and attempt the cake again asap. also-- made the lemon yogurt cake last night-- delicious success!

1:16 PM, July 21, 2007  
Blogger Molly said...

Hey all -

Just a quick note to say that I've updated the recipe instructions above to reflect things learned this past week, when I made twenty(!!!) of these cakes for our wedding. Hope it helps...


1:32 PM, July 21, 2007  
Blogger Sarah said...

Hi Molly, I made this the other day and it was devine.. I can't wait till I have an excuse to make it again. I am going to try your macroon recipe next. By the way, I find your recipes very well explained and easy to follow. Good luck with the wedding stuff. Thanks, sarah (nz)

6:30 PM, July 25, 2007  
Anonymous emily said...

oh my goodness.

i made it last night for my husband's birthday. i had saved the recipe after reading about your wedding, knowing it would be just right for this particular birthday.

and it was amazing. amazing. amazing. we loved it.

every single thing about it. making it was so simple - and a pleasure with those lovely ingredients. and eating it. oh my.

seriously, we LOVED it.

thank you, molly!

6:03 AM, November 15, 2007  
Blogger Laura said...

AMAZING! It came out of the oven at 3pm and went straight to the freezer in foil until dinner started at 5:30. I took it out to sit during the meal and it was perfect for dishing by dessert! My mother asked for only a small slice, as she's not a huge chocolate lover, then promptly dished herself another within minutes. I took the leftovers to the neighbors because I was certain I'd finish the plate myself, and got an almost immediate phone call telling me they wouldn't even share it with their kids and needed the recipe. I'm already craving another. Thanks for a fabulous and simple dessert! (Oh, and although I used great chocolate, I used regular salted grocery store butter.)

7:50 PM, November 17, 2007  
Blogger nino said...

It wonderfull cake, but Is 1 Tbs unbleached all-purpose flour enough?

7:49 AM, January 08, 2008  
Blogger Molly said...

Yes, Nino, that's right - just 1 tablespoon flour! That's all it takes.

3:12 PM, January 09, 2008  
Blogger nino said...

thank you so much
i'm happy :)
I'm trying this cake, today....

6:50 AM, January 10, 2008  
Blogger nino said...

thank you molly. i made this cake yesterday and it was delightful.

4:01 PM, January 13, 2008  
Blogger roula said...

hi molly! i've been reading your blog since august and am loving every bit of it, so thank you so much. most of all, it's helped re-inspire my motivation to overcome my fear of baking! i was steadily making progress and then we moved to a new house with electric appliances and i had to learn all over again and largely had given up... but no longer! :)

*ahem* well, since you seem to check back and respond to comments sometimes, i have a question about this cake. i'm in the process of baking it and i think it's going to be amazing, but do you think it's possible to make it gluten-free? it's so close to gf except for that one tablespoon of flour! can it be omitted or replaced?

6:31 PM, January 13, 2008  
Blogger Molly said...

Roula, I'm so glad you're overcoming your fear of baking! HOORAY! And as for this cake, yes, it's very easy to go a gluten-free version. Instead of 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour, you can use 1 tablespoon of most any gluten-free flour - or even 1 tablespoon cocoa. I've made this for my friend Shauna, who has celiac disease, and I find that cocoa is the easiest way for me. (I don't always have a gf flour on hand.)

Hope that helps!

8:32 PM, January 13, 2008  
Blogger roula said...

oh wow, cocoa is such a good idea -- some of my favorite desserts use both cocoa and solid chocolate to make sort of a rounder, multi-faceted chocolate taste, so i bet the cocoa substitution might even be a secret weapon. thank you!

and is that the celiac shauna who writes glutenfreegirl? i found her blog after a good friend discovered she had celiac disease, which incidentally was the reason for my question to you. this friend is as much of a chocoholic as it sounds like you are, especially since her diagnosis as it has ruled out a lot of other sweets.

sorry this is getting so long; my last to-do item is to thank you again for this cake! it turned out fabulous and i still can't believe how easy it was. this is *exactly* the kind of occasional confidence-booster that keeps a wary baker going.

ps - even the batter was tasty (albeit a little raw-egg-mucus-tasting)...

10:50 PM, January 13, 2008  
Blogger Molly said...

Oh good! So glad the cake was a hit, Roula. Good, good, good.

And yep, the Shauna I mentioned is indeed the force behind Gluten-Free Girl. She's wonderful, isn't she?

9:13 PM, January 14, 2008  
Blogger charlotte s said...

hi molly! im just making this chocolate cake and wanted to ask- do you keep it in the fridge or at room temp if making it a day early? and do you have any instructions for freezing it (as i see you made 20!)- i'd love to make a few ahead of time for my hubby's bday...
thanks so much!

6:30 PM, January 24, 2008  
Blogger Molly said...

Charlotte, I would suggest keeping the cake at room temperature. That's what I do, and so long as it's going to be eaten within a couple of days, it's fine. Plus, its texture is best at room temperature. (If you put it in the fridge, you have to pull it out several hours before serving, which is kind of a pain; straight from the fridge, it's too dense and cold.)

If you want to freeze it, simply wrap the fully cooled cake in plastic wrap and then again in foil. (This is easiest if you put the cake on a cardboard round; then you can move it and wrap it easily without mangling it. I either buy cardboard cake rounds from a kitchen supply company or make them myself, from cardboard boxes. I don't know if this helps, but here's a picture of one of our wedding cakes on its cardboard round, in mid-wrap.) You can freeze it that way indefinitely.

6:44 PM, January 24, 2008  
Blogger Dana said...

Hi Molly,

I made this cake for my husband on Valentines Day and his response was: "this is the kind of cake that makes you feel good to be alive."

Heart. Mind. Won.

Thanks so much for all the loveliness,

11:48 AM, February 25, 2008  
Blogger ~M said...

Hi Molly,

Thank you so much for this recipe and the tip on how to make it gluten-free (GF) by using 1 T of cocoa instead of flour. If you can't have flour, might as well have cocoa, right? :)

I am getting married to the most wonderful man this October and keep trying chocolate cake after chocolate cake with no success. My hope is that your's will be the ticket to a cake that I can use as a tiered wedding cake. If you have any thoughts or recommendations, please let me know!

7:09 AM, March 04, 2008  
Anonymous Carly said...

I've made this cake easily a dozen times since I first read the recipe a couple of years ago. But I upped the ante and used you for inspiration recently, and made nine of them for my wedding this past May. Everyone thought I was crazy for doing it-- "you'll be too stressed!" so I stopped telling people :).

I recently got a call from the caterer saying that a handful of dessert plates were missing from our returns. I mentioned it to my husband, and he said, "oh yeah, people were taking extra pieces of cake home on the plates. Your cousin even wrapped a piece in a napkin and stuck it in her purse to bring home to her husband." It was a hit.

Thank you so much for sharing the recipe, for sharing how you made and stored these for your wedding, and for setting in to motion an absolutely delicious wedding cake!

12:08 PM, June 11, 2008  
Blogger Chantal said...

Wow, I think I gained 5lbs licking the screen and looking at that slice.

Will definitely be trying this. How many people does it serve? (Hearty, shameless slices now, not posh party you only get a sliver)

6:27 PM, July 04, 2008  
Blogger Molly said...

Chantal, I usually cut this cake into eight pieces, but in general, I would say that it serves 8 to 12, depending on the appetites of the people involved...

12:31 PM, July 06, 2008  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Molly,- Your cake looks like it'll be amazing- and may even be my saving grace. My daughter is getting married in 3weeks exactly, and she just lost the baker of her wedding cake. The cake looks like it will be straight-forward to make, but can you maybe show a picture of how your wedding cake was decorated and presented? I'd so appreciate it since I am hosting the wedding in my back yard, and making the favors. There will be approximately 240 people at the reception, can you tell me, is it around 20 that I need to make too?
By the way, I found your site today and just started reading and reading, I love your writing and appreciation for all things sinfully decadent as well as your sense of humor. Your book is one that I definitely need to get. Thanks for the recipe!


8:13 PM, July 19, 2008  
Blogger Molly said...

Laura, this cake is very straightforward, and it was a huge hit at our wedding! Here is a photograph of the way it was displayed (scroll down). We chose not to decorate it too much; our caterers simply put a few of the cakes on ceramic cake stands and topped them with roses. (The rest of the cakes were in the kitchen.) To serve them, the caterers cut the cakes into slices of varying sizes (because the cake is rich, it was nice for there to be some smaller pieces) and arranged them on a table, and people came and selected the size they wanted. We also served ice cream, which the caterers scooped to order, but unsweetened (or lightly sweetened) whipped cream would be lovely too.

As for the number you'll need to make, well, each cake serves 8 to 10, so if I were you, I would make 30 cakes. It sounds like a lot, but if you start making them now and freeze them, it shouldn't be too terrible a task. I made all 20 of ours on my own, moving at a pretty relaxed pace over the course of a few days. Just be sure to remove them from the freezer 24 hours in advance, so that they can come fully to room temperature before you serve them.

3:37 PM, July 21, 2008  
Blogger Adrienne said...

Hi Molly,

When I discovered your site back in March of 08 I read the ENTIRE thing and emailed myself this recipe. It's been sitting in my inbox since, but I finally made it this weekend when a friend was visiting from across the country. This cake is so wonderful! I used GF flour since she has celiac and I found that my cake was "quite jiggly" even after a good 35 minutes - it's possible my oven wasn't hot enough but I was surprised at how long it took to set. Maybe if I had used cocoa instead of gf flour... but I had to go to Whole Foods to find European style butter anyway (my local market doesn't carry it) so I grabbed a bag of gf flour, too. Anyway, she was touched that there was a desert she could eat, so thanks a lot for the recipe :)

7:28 AM, August 25, 2008  
Blogger Cat said...

Something has definitely gone awry... But let me start from the beginning. I woke up this morning and decided I would bake a cake for a BBQ tomorrow. This may have been my first mistake, since my right hand is broken and wrapped in a not-so-stylish cast. I should also say that since the break I have not acclimated to the world as a lefty. But I'm a sucker for this cake and I decided to push on through... I've made it many times before, how hard could it be? Hard, actually.
The second mistake was doubling the recipe (two cakes are always better than one) without two cake pans. This left me to "eye out" the amount of batter that qualified as half, something I'm notoriously bad at. When the amount seemed about right, I popped it in the oven and crossed my fingers.
For a while it was touch-and-go, but by 20 minutes I thought things were shaping up nicely. When I came back at 22 a clear liquid was pooling on top of the cake. Trying not to panic, I let the cake bake for another couple of minutes until a toothpick came out clean and then pulled it out hoping the clear liquid would seep back into the cake as it cooled.
It did, and though I knew something was strange, I decided to go ahead and flip the cake. So there I am with an oven mitt on my left hand and another awkwardly shoved over my cast. I went for it. In one slow motion, I flipped half of the cake onto the plate and half of into onto the floor. For a second, I actually thought I was going to cry. But then I did the only logical thing I could do... I got out a fork and took a few bites.

Now I'm off to clean up the remains and bake cake number two... This time I'm waiting for my hubby to get home to do the flip! The good news is, this cake is so delicious it was worth the trouble :)

1:44 PM, August 30, 2008  
Blogger Lisa said...

Hey, miss. So I'm going to whip up one of these for the election party tonight. I came here for the recipe again, and was reading through the comments ... and now it makes me smile to wonder: how many people have made this for their weddings? I bet it's quite a lot. We did!

Yip-yip-yippeeeeeee. I'm beside myself - can't wait for tonight!

3:34 PM, November 04, 2008  
Blogger Katy said...

Oh, Good Heavens! I made this cake the day before a dinner party that my Mom and I were having. It almost didn't make it to the party. If I had had enough ingredients to make a second cake, I probably would have dived right into it with a fork all by my self!!! Everyone loved, loved, loved it! It will be difficult for me to ever make any other cake.
Many Thanks!

5:36 PM, January 07, 2009  
Anonymous christy said...

Can someone tell me if it will work with regular butter?s f And as for the chocolate, the best I could find is Giradelli 60 % cacao chips. ???
thanks! Christy

1:24 PM, January 14, 2009  
Blogger Molly said...

Christy, yes, it will work with regular butter. When I posted this recipe - I can't believe it's been over four years now! - I had only made it with European butter, but I have now made it with regular butter on a number of occasions, and it work just fine. In fact, I made it with regular butter for our wedding! Also, the Ghirardelli 60% chips work beautifully for this! I've made it with them many, many times.

1:29 PM, January 14, 2009  
Anonymous christy (purplepepehawaii) said...

One more question... I'm right in the middle of making it now, and noticed when I added the sugar to the chocolate and stirred and stirred, it is still very grainy from the sugar. Is it supposed to dissolve? You mentioned at the end it should be "smooth"... mine is smooth but grainy. wondering if okay. since you're not sitting here in my kitchen, guess I'll just give it a try... :)

7:12 PM, January 14, 2009  
Blogger Molly said...

Christy, you're in luck! I happened to be sitting at my computer when your comment came in. Anyway, yes, your batter is fine. The batter does get quite grainy when you add the sugar, but after you've added the eggs and flour, it will be much smoother. So don't worry. Oh, and when you stir in the eggs, don't worry if it looks gross and slimy; just keep stirring! By the time you've added all the eggs and the flour, it should come together into a very smooth, lovely batter.

7:21 PM, January 14, 2009  
Anonymous christy (purplepepehawaii) said...

Thank you so much!
It turned out great. So smooth, just melts in the mouth!!
It did have some 'craters,' but like you mentioned, they're hidden on the bottom!


5:36 AM, January 15, 2009  
Anonymous emily said...

i don't know why i feel compelled to tell you every time i make this cake, but it seems that i do. melting the chocolate and butter now, and looking forward to its rich goodness after dinner tonight. (and wishing that scharffen-berger sold their chocolate in 7 ounce packages so that i didn't wind up with this little bit left over each time.)

12:07 PM, January 16, 2009  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Molly - I'm an Australian living in London and absolutely love my food. I found your blog a few weeks ago and have just finished reading your new book. You have such a fantastic writing style. It feels like having a good chat with a good friend about stuff I love when I read your blog. The photos are fantastic too. Getting back to the point, I made this cake on the weekend and am about to eat the last piece now. It was so simple and delicious. We served it with some Green & Black white chocolate and raspberry ice cream and I think it will also be fantastic with a berry sorbet when the English summer berries start to come out. All the best getting Delancy's ready - something tells me that you and Brandon are going to be just fine.

1:44 PM, March 30, 2009  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


I made this cake last night, and I have to say it was incredible!

I've got a question though, next week is Passover and I'm curious if you have any insight into substituting for the tbsp. of flour so that it could come with me to a seder. Would using potato starch work just as well, you think? I know this lovely would be drooled over to no end if there was a way to make it wheat flour free!


9:54 AM, April 03, 2009  
Blogger Molly said...

Rifka, I don't have much experience with potato starch, so I'm not sure what to tell you there. But I have made this cake a couple of times for a friend who cannot eat gluten, and instead of the flour, I used 1 Tbsp. of unsweetened cocoa. Works like a charm. You might try that!

10:00 AM, April 03, 2009  
Blogger Stephanie said...

Oh my...I am always (ALWAYS!) on the hunt for excellent chocolate cake recipes. I'll be trying this very soon. I hope the results are as outstanding with non-Plugra, yet unsalted butter...

p.s found you via Simple Lovely. I bookmarked your blog for future reference...

11:03 PM, June 02, 2009  
Anonymous Lisa said...

Hi Stephanie -- not to speak on Molly's behalf, but I have made this cake roughly 817 times, with Plugra and Valrhona chocolate and with Kroger butter and Trader Joe's chocolate. Delicious every time.

8:02 AM, June 04, 2009  
Anonymous Lisa said...

Seems totally gratuitous to add yet another comment but I have to let you know my husband declared this the best cake he'd ever had when I first made it a couple months back, so I decided to make it again to celebrate the arrival of our first, Henry. It will always have a special place in our family history.
I'm a recent but devoted fan- given your book as a gift three times already and probably will again soon. Thanks for all the culinary inspiration. Happy to see you posting again.

12:11 PM, July 18, 2009  
Anonymous Lisa said...

Oh- forgot to add I tried a dairy free gluten free version with Earth Balance and the cocoa you recommend. It fell apart when I took it out of the pan but I reformed it and it tasted delicious even if presentation was a little lacking.

12:13 PM, July 18, 2009  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Molly, I just have to tell you that my contribution - your Winning Hearts-And-Minds cake - to our get-together with family friends yesterday went down a hit, to my great surprise...they're the first midwesterners I've met who haven't screwed their noses up at dark chocolate (my husband's family ate my version of Nigella Lawson's Torta Alla Gianduia in polite silence - their next birthday cake will be a cloyingly sweet clod of dry sponge from King Soopers!! :P). There wasn't a crumb left by the end of the evening. In fact, it received the ultimate compliment from their 16-year old son, that I just had to pass on: "I am *so* not worthy of this cake..." Your friend Kate titled the cake perfectly.

- Rachel -

6:47 PM, July 19, 2009  
Blogger Hillary said...

Molly -

I've already made this cake the normal way and it did, indeed, everything you claimed it would do.
But tonight - and I'm not sure that the original can be improved upon, so maybe this was just a lateral move to something different but equally good - my neighbor's fig tree dropped 8ish figs into my driveway. I pureed them and stuck them in with the chocolate and.... well... you should try it. :)

10:10 PM, August 13, 2009  
Anonymous Kandace said...

I ended up making three of these cakes for my husband's b-day after reading about it in your book. It was delicious. I used different chocolates and I did like the more expensive chocolate better. In one cake I even used one chocolate bar with chile pepper and cinnamon. I liked all the variations. Like I said I made three because the first one I just couldn't bring myself to wrap and place in the freezer and I ended up eating it all by myself! I found there is a difference in stirring with a spoon or using a whisk and I found stirring with a spoon the results were more like you described and took less time to bake meaning the jiggle was less. Does that make sense? Thank you for your delicious recipe!It was a hit at the party and made the day easier since I made it ahead of time

3:32 PM, August 18, 2009  
Anonymous Emily said...

DE-licious! On a chilly, rainy, Friday night, this cake is just what the baker ordered. :)

4:15 PM, September 11, 2009  
Blogger Judy said...

I love this cake and have made it many times, but the cake ends up shaped like a mushroom, overhanging the edges of the pan, but much higher on the sides than in the middle. I use an 8" X 1 1/2" aluminum cake pan, and have tried a 9"; that came out too flat. I noticed in the picture it does have higher sides, but not nearly as high as mine. Should I be looking for a deeper cake pan? As everyone here has said, the cake is always such a hit, but I could never call mine gorgeous...

7:30 PM, September 19, 2009  
Blogger Molly said...

Judy, I do think the solution is a deeper cake pan. I use an 8-inch pan with sides that are 2 inches high, and when it bakes, the cake rises right up to the top. (Then it sinks down a bit as it cools.) With a pan that's less deep, you could definitely wind up with a weird mushroom effect...

11:28 AM, September 21, 2009  
Anonymous Lauren said...

Dear Molly,

I have wanted to post a comment for some time now after stumbling across your book. Reading the cover flap, I was struck by several parallels, feeling as though I was reading about my life, my thoughts about my place in the world. I devoured your book and, throughout the course of this past summer, many of your recipes. But now I finally feel compelled to "take the plunge," and post on your blog.

I too am a child of a subsequent marriage, my father's third. I always felt blessed to have a man of such character, generosity, wisdom, even stubbornness as my father-a man full of life fifty years my elder. Even and especially after his death from cancer seven years ago. Your memories of watching your strong, vivacious father become weak with disease brought back so much from that time in my life.

Food, food preparation, and meals have also always been the central fixture of my family, holding my family together through thick and thin. We live, breath and dream about food.

Another facet of your book spoke to me as well. I also find myself at a sort of crossroads, trying to figure out exactly what path I want to follow, what shape I want my life to take. I just graduated from college. Thankfully, I received a yearlong travel fellowship to carry out my proposal- exploring food and death ritual and customs in central Mexico. I am a proud new resident of Cholula, Mexico. I am grateful to have some time to contemplate my next step. As you related your life-changing experience in Paris in your book, for me, travel has always meant time for reflection, for self-nurturing, for broadening my world view and at times, making those decisions that change, in some way, life waiting back home. I simply want to thank you for publishing a book that speaks to me at this time in my life, giving me an example of someone who has made a major, and ultimately fulfilling, life decision and has come out on the other side! Maybe up to your eyeballs in pizza dough, but living life!

Finally, after this long-winded introduction, my excuse for posting! I love this cake, love love love this cake. I decided I had to make it for my wonderful landlord’s birthday, a self-proclaimed pastelera (lover of all things sweet). I remembered the online recipe listing ingredients in grams, making it much easier to buy at my local mercado. An oven thermometer or measuring cups cannot be found in this tiny town, where mothers and abuelas cook by taste, smell, sight and memory. I weighed the sugar by filling a small coffee cup and comparing it to the 200 grams of chocolate in a second mug, “Now, is this 25% heavier, or only 20%?” Not exactly precise. Somehow, the batter ended up just as silkily smooth, with the slight suggestive resistance of the incorporated eggs in the batter. My second obstacle was to confront my ancient oven. The temperature gauge ranges from 1-5, with no indication of degrees Celsius. Let's just say that I misjudged. I blame distraction. After airing out the smoke, restraining myself from finishing off the delicious concoction lying underneath the charred crust, I lumbered back to the market to buy more chocolate amargo and mantequilla. With a little more monitoring, the second cake turned out like a charm, and I can’t wait to dive into it in a few days. I love the freezer tip; it definitely makes the cake more devilishly dense and moist. Hopefully my adopted family here will agree.

Wishing you all the best from Mexico,


P.S. Your work inspired me to overcome my fear of taking myself "too seriously," as you put it. I started a blog to record my experiences here. Not nearly as delightful as Orangette, but a good outlet nonetheless. A refreshing change from my last major writing project, my thesis.

12:57 PM, October 03, 2009  
Blogger Macy said...

I am so thrilled to see this recipe! It is essentially the same cake that a French friend taught me how to make when I was 11 or 12. I never bothered to write it down, and when I went away to school and stopped cooking I forgot how to make it, much to my chocoholic father's deep, deep regret. Just as easy as I remember, only now I know the proportions! Thank you, thank you!!

7:08 PM, November 20, 2009  
Blogger anna said...

I brought this cake to my friend Steve's house for dessert on Thanksgiving. There were two four-year-old girls at dinner, and when dessert was brought to the table, they were asked "do you want apple, pumpkin, pecan, or chocolate?" They both screamed "Chocolate!" and scarfed down a hefty slice apiece. They then proceeded to tear their clothes off and spin in circles, screaming "I'm Cinderella! I'm Cinderella!" before being dragged away by their apologetic parents. I gotta say... this is one pretty amazing cake. Thank you.

6:08 PM, December 08, 2009  
Anonymous Tom said...


My girlfriend propositioned me to make this wonderful cake while she slept on the couch will a cold. However, I made two variations to your recipe.

1. I omitted the TBSP of flour, albeit accidentally ;).

2. I used a water bath to prevent cracking on top and promote even cooking.

The result was a ridiculously creamy texture, like a dense mousse or a silky fudge.

I used cheap chocolate and value butter, but I intend to go all out next go around with the best Whole Foods has to offer.

Thanks for the recipes.

BTW, my girlfriend is loving your book.

6:18 PM, January 09, 2010  
Blogger christina said...

"I think I died and went to chocolate heaven"...this was my response upon spooning piece into my mouth!!! I baked this cake for my birthday just the other day (the 12th!) and it is just so WICKED good!!! (I'm from NE!) It is sooo good I am going to make another one just to freeze it so that later on when this one is gone I can have more ready and waiting for me!!

On a side note, I baked mine in a springform cake pan as I can not find my round ones (just moved) which of course required no flipping over when done!

Again thank you so so much for sharing this recipe. I like how you commented in your book about sharing recipes and not keeping them to yourself. I totally agree!!

9:53 AM, February 14, 2010  
Anonymous Stacey said...

Finished reading your book last week and now I'm making my sister bake me this cake for my birthday! Can't wait!

1:49 PM, March 26, 2010  
Blogger Kari Crowe said...

Wowwers...I just read your book, actually stayed up all night when camping with a head lamp glued to my head drooling over these recipes only to wake up and eat camp fire food:)

Needless to say the moment I arrived home I ran to the store to buy chocolate to make this here cake...all the while my mouth watering. My husband nearly cried at 11 pm we sat down for slice then he asked for it for breakfast.

Mine was not very pretty but I could care less, it was to die for.

I have already called my mother, sister, best friend and sister in law with the details of this recipe.

thanks molly for not keeping it a secret!

9:13 AM, April 09, 2010  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Someone posted they used bittersweet chocolate. I have a lot of this and was wondering if that would work fine or should I get something more decadent. Thanks

7:39 PM, April 26, 2010  
Blogger Molly said...

Anonymous, bittersweet chocolate is ideal for this recipe. It's what I use at home.

1:59 PM, April 28, 2010  
Blogger none said...

Molly -- Loved your book. I borrowed it from the library and then ran out to buy a copy that I could send to my cousin as a gift. Wanted to let you know that I made these as cupcakes (just a few over a dozen) and I think I underbaked them a little bit which caused them to collapse upon cooling, leaving them very convex on top. At my husband's suggestion, I filled the crater with some liquidy caramel and then sprinkled some coarse sel gris on top and then brought them to a potluck, where they managed to vanish instantly to loud acclaim.

I'm going to try to make this in a loaf pan next, with salted caramel baked in, since I don't seem to like to follow directions exactly.

4:32 PM, May 12, 2010  
Anonymous Laura. said...

is it too late to ask a question here? i have an Important Event coming up, where hearts and minds must be won and this is my trusty stand-by. however! some of the hearts and minds in need of winning are gluten-free and i'm wondering if you know what will happen if i leave the flour out. any thoughts? would it be better to substitute? should i just try it and see what happens? i ask because i thought the question may have been raised before.

9:57 AM, May 19, 2010  
Blogger Molly said...

Laura, yes, it's very easy to do a gluten-free version. Instead of 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour, you can use 1 tablespoon cocoa. I've made it that way for gluten-free friends, and it works like a charm.

11:05 AM, May 19, 2010  
Anonymous Laura. said...

ooh, cocoa! that makes sense, thank you so much!

2:11 PM, May 19, 2010  
Anonymous Danielle said...

Thank you so much for this recipe Molly!! I brought the cake into work for a co-worker's birthday yesterday and I swear, every time I looked, someone else was drooling over it. People were even eating it at 8:30am, that's how good it was. I just absolutely love that everything I've made from your blog has turned out flawless!! Thank you for posting recipes, I always look forward to your new entries!

8:04 PM, May 28, 2010  
Blogger Emily C said...

Thank you so much for sharing this recipe! It was incredible. My boyfriend loved it so much that now he won't let me make it for anyone else :) Her ate about 3/4 of the cake all by himself!

10:07 AM, June 26, 2010  
Anonymous candice said...

Molly, a friend of mine made this for a party and I had to have the recipe! What a delicious cake!

Do you think it would work to use agave instead of sugar?

12:44 PM, July 01, 2010  
Blogger Molly said...

Candice, I'm afraid of using agave here, because it would add so much liquid. (You're talking about agave syrup, right?) I think it would alter the texture quite a bit, and I'm not sure that it would work. But if you try it, do let me know!

12:56 AM, July 02, 2010  
Blogger elizabeth said...

So, I realize I'm coming upon this years after you posted it but I just took this cake out of the oven and I think I'm in love. I made it because my husband and I are celebrating our 2 year anniversary tomorrow. Can't wait to try it!!!

1:02 PM, August 13, 2010  
Blogger Ed said...

I've made this a bunch of times. It's a reliable recipe. I've recommended it to friends, too.

And one of those friends just now served one to me, on the occasion of my 40th birthday. I must have good chocolate karma.

Thanks, Molly! May all be well with you and yours.

3:49 PM, September 09, 2010  
Blogger Kelli said...

You know a recipe is surely a hit when people are still commenting 6+ years later. I finally made this cake last night.....wow, simply amazing!! It's even better than I anticipated.

7:08 AM, September 30, 2010  
Blogger John Borneo said...

hey molly, great recipe. took it out of the cake pan an hour ago, the whole time worrying that it would fall apart as per the comments. i took the liberty of doing a calorie countdown btw.. i'm a freak but here goes
carbs - 314.5 g
fat 251.7 g
protein 32.6 g

caloies for the whole cake = 3654 calories

if the cake is divided into 8 it is 456.8 calories each
if 12, it would be 304.5 calories each

i am going for a run before and after i eat this tomorrow night. but thank you so much for posting this recipe up. me making the cake is hopefully a symbol of a relationshipthat i am trying to repair... wish me luck.

8:36 PM, October 24, 2010  
OpenID linseykitchens said...

A 3,600 calorie cake. No wonder I love it so much. Molly, had to return AHL to the library, and I just made this cake two weeks ago, and I'm in withdrawl, so here I am, finding it online. AND...I am going to freeze it and bring to Thanksgiving, cause if I bake it here, oh--! That's ALL 3,600 kcals for me (which sounds wonderful!)

Oh dear. Just realized that doesn't count the globs of whipped cream I used on top...

9:06 PM, November 21, 2010  
Blogger Dorothy Cheng Jewelry said...

Hi! Just wanted to let you know that I made this last week and wrote about it on my blog. Perfection in chocolate form, it was.

11:32 AM, December 12, 2010  
Blogger Social Science Girl said...

I was wondering if anybody's made this with an 8" square pan? All I could find was 8x1.5" or 9x1.5" round pans! Thanks in advance - can't wait to try it!!

4:06 PM, December 17, 2010  
Blogger Social Science Girl said...

Hi again - just wanted to say that I made this with a 9x1.5" pan, and they worked great (although I have yet to try it)! A note re. the bubbles - if you drop the pan onto the counter, it helps get rid of the air bubbles.

Any thoughts on icing/sauce to go with this? Whipped cream seems boring, but maybe the best bet given how rich it is?

10:11 PM, December 17, 2010  
Blogger Molly said...

Social Science Girl, glad that 9-inch round pan worked for you! (The 8-inch should also be fine. That's what I use.) And re: sauce, I would keep it simple. I use either very lightly sweetened whipped cream or whipped cream with a splash of vanilla and no sugar at all. Perfect.

11:13 PM, December 17, 2010  
Blogger Sassy Critic said...


Do you use unsweetened chocolate for this recipe? I'm guessing yes...but wanted to confirm.


11:37 AM, December 19, 2010  
Blogger Social Science Girl said...

I went all out and did a chocolate sauce (chocolate chips, a bit of butter and corn syrup), topped it off with blackberries and it was fab!! I'm actually contemplating copying you and making these for my wedding in the new year!

11:50 AM, December 19, 2010  
Blogger Molly said...

Sassy Critic, I'm sorry for the slow reply! I use bittersweet chocolate for this recipe - anything from 60 to 70 percent cacao.

9:58 PM, December 26, 2010  
Blogger Maria said...

Hi Molly,
I know you posted this years ago.... but I just wanted to say, I used to make something similar years ago, from a Spanish cook book I had years ago as a child. The book was called simply Chocolate. I loved the book, but this was the best and easiest recipe in it!
That recipe called for 250 gr each of butter, sugar, and chocolate, 3 eggs, and 3 spoonfuls of flour. It also suggested cooking the cake itself in a double boiler - insert cake pan into pan of hot water, in the oven and cook for 2 & 3/4 hrs on low. The house always smelled absolutely delicious!

2:03 PM, January 09, 2011  
Blogger Marilu said...

I made this recipe last night and it turned out more like a brownie because I used a square pan - but an absolutely delicious, fudgy, gooey, oozy, sinful brownie!

I will definitely try it with a round pan to see if it makes a difference.

I also LOVED how easy it was to throw this cake together. So simple and perfect when you only have a couple hours and limited pantry stocks before people arrive for dinner!

Thanks for posting the recipe!

10:05 PM, February 04, 2011  
Anonymous Sophie said...

I just made this and am using every once of self restraint not to tuck into it before dinner!

We are having it with brandy whipped cream and rasberry drizzle (raspberries, a touch of lemon and sugar blended then sieved), if this brings on a heart attack it will be well worth it!

Thanks for the recipe, if the cake tastes like the scrapings that stuck to the pan (oh yes I unashamedly tucked in) it will near perfection.

11:06 AM, February 16, 2011  
Anonymous Sara said...

I have made this with "flavored" dark chocolate (orange or mint specifically) and it adds a nice touch.

12:33 PM, February 16, 2011  
Anonymous Luisa said...

Oh my goodness!!!!!!! Molly you are amazing! My boyfriend and I refer to you all the time, 'Molly says this''Molly suggested that'... We aren't mad i assure you, but having made this cake you have won our hearts and minds completely. Since making this for the first time the other day I have already been asked to make six more. This is so so so so so wonderful, words cannot express!

10:20 AM, February 18, 2011  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am planning to make this for my fathers birthday but I would like to know what type of toppings/sides would go good with it, or is it already very sweet on its own?

1:19 PM, March 24, 2011  
Blogger Molly said...

Anonymous, since this cake is so rich and chocolatey, I like to serve it with unsweetened whipped cream. Sometimes I add a splash of vanilla extract while I'm whipping it, but that's it.

8:37 PM, March 25, 2011  
Blogger Ellen Brickley said...

Hi, yet another late visitor to this entry!

I made this last week and it turned out fab. I probably baked it for a bit too long (35 minutes), next time I plan to do it for 5 minutes less and try a lower cocoa-chocolate.

I just wanted to add one tip. After I added the first egg, my mixture separated into a big ball of gloopy, sugary, sticky mess, surrounded by a pool of thin brown water. Possibly the least appetising chocolate substance I've ever seen :)

Of course, I started freaking about how I couldn't even mix ingredients properly, but rather than throw it out, I decided to persevere. I added the second egg and stirred it with some serious gusto (arm got tired after very few rotations!) and after that it was fine.

So if you get a weird curdly mess - just keep going and mix really hard!

Thanks so much for the recipe Molly, it was utterly delicious and went down very well with the birthday bloke :)

2:55 AM, May 04, 2011  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am slowly working my way through every recipe in your book, Molly! I just finished making this cake, and the whole apartment smells absolutely wonderful. However, as some other posters have mentioned, my cake came out a little convex- sunken in the middle and very flat overall. It's spring in the incredibly humid northeast- maybe the humidity is the cause? I'll be making it again in the dry wintertime to see if it makes a difference. Either way, though, I'm sure I'll love it!

8:33 PM, May 07, 2011  
Blogger The Coppertop Doll said...

Hi Molly! I just finished your book a week or two ago, and I LOVED it! After dreaming about this cake since I finished the book, I finally made it last night, and it was AMAZING! I won't even bat my eye at another chocolate cake ever again, I swear. I shared some with a friend, and she declared that this cake was her soulmate. I posted about it today on my blog! Thanks for all the amazing recipes and the stories! :-)

12:54 PM, June 15, 2011  
Blogger A said...

WOW this looks amazing... I searched your fabulous blog for a chocolate cake recipe and this one came up so going to give it a go tonight for my flatmate's birthday. Aren't I a good flatmate! Gotta love that Lurpak butter.. I could eat it straight.. Thanks Molly!!

2:13 PM, June 21, 2011  
Anonymous Emilie said...

I read your book two days ago and last night I made the cake. I stood in my kitchen with my kindle open to the page with this recipe and tried to avoid getting any batter on it. I made it with milk chocolate and while it was a strange cake/pie consistency, there was also a big clean plate where it had set less than 30 minutes before.
I just wanted to thank you for you book. I've recently dealt with the illness of my mother and grieving for your father, your family and you helped me made me feel relieved. You perfectly captured the guilt of watching someone suffer and the less glamorous side of dying without asking for pity. I cried with you beginning with the sentence telling us he was ill and didn't stop until you detailed your marriage.
I found your grad school flip-off a real inspiration as well. I wish I had the 'nads to follow food as you did.
Anyway, I've rambled long enough. Thanks for curing some mid-evening ennui for some Arkansan folks. We enjoyed it!

10:18 AM, July 12, 2011  
Blogger Michelle said...

Its amazing that you first posted about this cake in 2004. Here I am in 2011. I just finished your beautiful book and decided the first recipe of yours I would try would be your wedding cake recipe!!! Thank you for your writing and inspiration. Your book made had me in tears and laughter! WONDERFUL all around!!!

2:55 PM, August 07, 2011  
Anonymous Pia said...

Hi Molly,

I've been meaning to leave a comment and tell you that I shamelessly copied you and made these for our wedding cakes (over a year ago now! Yikes.) They turned out beautifully...probably due to all the "test runs" I did. Many, many test runs. Here's a picture of the cake we cut:


I'm Indo-Canadian and my husband is very white and for some reason these owls made me slightly hysterical whenever I looked at them.
Thank you so much for the recipe and your book and your blog.

5:28 AM, October 12, 2011  
Blogger Lauren said...

What a fabulous cake! Words alone cannot encompass the sheer chocolatey bliss that is blessedly bundled into this squat little package. I knew it would be good from all of the comments, and from the fact that you chose this as your wedding cake ... But geez. If mouths can have orgasms, this is the sweet to facilitate an earth-shattering climax. Since this happy-to-be-single-forever gal will probably never have a wedding to serve this at, I think I'll just go ahead and marry the cake instead! Til death do us part with this recipe.

4:21 PM, October 17, 2011  
Blogger kvcooks said...

Molly- I made 2 of these cakes 2 years ago for my women's group silent food auction. They were a huge hit and got the highest bids. The 2 ladies who won them are still raving about the cakes. So, I'll be making them again for our holiday luncheon so that everyone can taste the divine chocolate-y goodness!

4:30 AM, October 28, 2011  
Blogger Katy Maleski said...

Still making this cake. Still a hit with the family! Making it again today for Thanksgiving :)

7:32 AM, November 23, 2011  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Molly - Thank you so much for sharing this recipe! (I realize I'm 7 years behind the curve, but I only just finished reading your wonderful book and am in the process of rediscovering my kitchen.) Long story short: I brought this cake to my aunt's for Thanksgiving, and it was a HIT! I'm definitely adding this to my binder of favorite recipes. Thank you thank you thank you. (And Happy Thanksgiving!)

7:50 PM, November 24, 2011  
Blogger citybeet said...

Loved your book :)

I just had to try a recipe after reading all the lovely stories that inspired them.

Fondant avec framboise for the boyfriends birthday the other day. The cake is gone - our hearts were touched and our minds cannot forget how good a melting chocolate cake can be!

X Emilie

10:30 PM, November 28, 2011  
Blogger Kim said...

Hi, I just wanted to let you know that I made 20 of these cakes for my daughter's wedding reception. They froze very well. In fact, I think that I PREFER to enjoy a small slice while still frozen! (mmmmmm) It was a "cake to remember". Everyone loved it! Thank you for sharing.

One more benefit, I was able to make several gluten-free versions for my friends on special diets. I just substituted a tablespoon of cocoa powder for the tablespoon of flour.

It was a huge hit!!! Thank you SO much!

Here is a picture collage of the cake created by our photographer: https://fbcdn-sphotos-a.akamaihd.net/hphotos-ak-ash4/319055_155633711193470_123773264379515_279283_1394363697_n.jpg

9:20 AM, January 31, 2012  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm hanging out for the next opportunity to make this cake (once our new kitchen is complete - I'm cooking on a small unreliable stove in the garage at present). It's amazing, I fantasize about it. I made one as part of Christmas Day's many dessert offerings and took the leftovers away on holiday (still amazed that there were leftovers!). To my surprise and delight I discovered that it is also amazing cold from the fridge, like some dense chocolate wonder. Paired with an espresso: heaven!

Thanks for the continuous inspiration Molly,
love Maja

3:54 PM, February 15, 2012  
Anonymous Michelle Venetucci Harvey said...

I'm a bit of a lurker on your site, but thought I'd vinally post! I love your recipes but I have Celiac Disease and can't eat many of them. I adapted this recipe to be gluten and dairy free - I think it turned out pretty amazing! Thanks so much. You can view the adapted recipe on my blog here: http://www.spinningspoons.com/2012/02/chocolate-cake-for-allergen-challenged.html

5:24 PM, February 25, 2012  
Blogger Nathan said...

I've found that adding a touch of vanilla rounds out the chocolate flavor, and a touch of salt with the original recipe does wonders as well. When using regular butter, I take about 1 oz of it and clarify it, removing a bit of the liquid content ups the overall butterfat to free liquid ratio of store butter.

4:12 PM, April 22, 2012  
Blogger Sara Franklin said...

I just made this cake yesterday to celebrate a friend having passed her nursing boards, and also as a test run for my boyfriend's upcoming birthday.

I, too, had a host mother in France who made an extraordinarily good and simple chocolate cake (as cited in your book, not in the post here) as part of her weekly rotation. And I was hoping yours would be quite similar.

But I found yours to be softer on top (hers had a thin crispy, crackly film on top) and, and I also found yours to be very delicate-- it cracked down the middle when I was wrapping it in plastic after inverting and reverting again. Any ideas?

Needless to say, I LOVED your book and tore through it in two days, as cited in my own blog: http://citytradecountrylove.blogspot.com/

All the best, and congratulations on the soon-to-be little one!


7:19 AM, May 14, 2012  
Anonymous Sarah said...

Dear Ms. Molly,

Many years ago now a woman from my church made this cake as her contribution to a "birthday cake potluck" for our pastor (I did not actually contribute a cake myself, just ate as much as I decently could while dodging sugar-high children flying around the folding tables.)

All of the cakes were tasty, but this one was flooring. I asked for the recipe and was told, "oh, it is so easy" and directions to your blog. At the time I was still acclimating to my 36 square foot kitchen and was not sure what "easy" meant. German pancake easy or Match Stewart wedding cake easy? In any case, I never looked up the recipe.

Having more or less made peace with my horrible but nonetheless beloved kitchen, I have at many points wanted to make this cake, but could not remember the name of the cake or where to find it. Orange something? Cake what? Hmm.

And then tonight I stumbled on it! The winning hearts and mind cake! That was it! Woo! Hurrah, cake, I found you at last!

I do not know if you are still answering questions on such an old post, but I will throw mine out there.

#1: I know you do not call for it in your recipe, but do you think a water bath would be useful? My oven is the worst oven I have ever used, anywhere--tiny and narrow, but worse, the most unreliably calibrated oven ever. Ever. The heating element is rusted in spots and my landlord could care less. I have two oven thermometers because the oven fluctuates so wildly without any pattern that I thought my thermometer must be broken, but no, the oven just sucks. I bake all the time and usually just cope, but have had bad luck with water-bath-less bread puddings on a few occasions when the oven temp jumped randomly halfway through baking. This recipe looks very custardy.

2. Could you do this in four little 4" cakes? I thought then I could freeze three and then eat them a bit more slowly, if it only keeps a few days. (I do that with a lot of things anyway--the freezer is my substitute for willpower.)

Thank you for your recipe--I enjoyed it so much at the potluck (as did everyone else, to my selfish dismay.) I hope to enjoy it again soon!


8:34 PM, May 22, 2012  
Blogger Molly said...

Hi Sarah -

To answer #1, I've never tried baking this in a water bath, and my hunch is that it would change the texture somewhat. But I can't imagine that it would be bad! If I were you, with such a truly wonky oven, I would try it. I imagine that the baking time might be a little longer?

And re: #2, you can absolutely play around with making this in smaller pans. You'll want to really keep an eye on them as they bake, of course, because they'll take less time than a single big cake, but you can definitely do it. And this cake is one that improves quite dramatically somehow with freezing: the texture gets smoother, and to my taste, the flavor also deepens. I often recommend that people make it ahead of time, freeze it, and defrost it before serving. So your little cakes fit will within that strategy!

Best wishes.

11:22 AM, May 23, 2012  
Anonymous Sarah said...

Dear Molly,

Thank you for replying to my questions so kindly and helpfully. I think I will bake it in a water bath, if you think that will be okay, and definitely as little cakes. It makes me happy that they freeze well. I love things that freeze well.

When I make them (which will be as soon as my husband and I can get through three dozen cookies) I will let you know how they turn out.

Your blog is just lovely--I cannot believe I did not see it before now. I have put your book on hold at the library and look forward to reading it.

Again, thank you so much for your help!


p.s. wait, who's Match Stewart? Hmm.

9:07 PM, May 25, 2012  
Anonymous Casey W. said...

I read your book a few months before getting married last year and decided to make this cake as my wedding cake, along with an earl grey flavored cake. I was absolutely in love with the idea of using cupcakes and so I made about 12 dozen of both kinds of cupcakes.
The cupcakes turned out very well. They sank quite a bit in the middle, but that was just fine, as I topped them all with some lightly sweetened, whipped cream cheese frosting (I couldn't use whipped cream, as it wouldn't stand up to the summer heat). Everyone who tried them loved them.
I made the cupcakes again recently, and discovered that leaving them frozen is quite nice, especially in the middle of summer. I just put them all in a ziploc bag and took one out when I wanted one. Very hard to get out of a wrapper, though. I just got some silicone baking cups and plan on using them next time.

Oh, I noticed the recipes on your blog and in your book are slightly different. Any particular reason?

8:57 AM, August 02, 2012  
Blogger Laura said...

I know this comment is on a 8! year old post, but I just wanted to tell you that I made this amazing cake for the first time for my boyfriend's mom's wedding this weekend. It is the most insanely delicious chocolate anything. Everyone was asking for the recipe over and over.

I loved your idea of transporting the cakes in pizza boxes, so I did the same (we travelled 8 hours, and both cakes arrived without as much as a crumb out of place!). They pizza place thought I was a little nuts, but oh, well.

Thanks again for the amazing recipe, and have a great time with your new joy, June! Looking forward to getting up to Delancey and seeing Essex soon.

Laura, Tacoma, WA

11:56 AM, October 02, 2012  
Blogger Mary TdC said...

Molly, I made this for my birthday yesterday and it was perfect. Perfect! Tasted similar to my French mother-in-law's recipe and I still got raving reviews from my husband. Congratulations on baby June - my 2nd is on the way for January and I'm sure this cake made him very happy.

5:52 AM, October 10, 2012  
Blogger M said...

I was introduced to this recipe last summer and since then it has been my go to dessert recipe for any party. This past weekend though I decided to experiment with the recipe (not that it needs improving whatsoever) and I was delighted with the results. I threw in a teaspoon of cayenne pepper while I melted the chocolate and butter and cut out 1/3 cup of sugar. I love the relationship between cayenne and chocolate. The cayenne gave a nice pop of flavor.

10:35 PM, May 21, 2013  
Blogger M said...

I was introduced to this recipe last summer and since then it has been my go to dessert recipe for any party. This past weekend though I decided to experiment with the recipe (not that it needs improving whatsoever) and I was delighted with the results. I threw in a teaspoon of cayenne pepper while I melted the chocolate and butter and cut out 1/3 cup of sugar. I love the relationship between cayenne and chocolate. The cayenne gave a nice pop of flavor.

10:36 PM, May 21, 2013  
Blogger Ellen said...

Can you translate this into American measurements for those of us who don't typically deal with ounces? Say cups instead of ounces? I'm guessing this is a heaping cup of chocolate bits and 1 3/4 sticks of butter?

1:55 PM, July 19, 2013  
Blogger Molly said...

Ellen, I don't measure chocolate by cups because everyone chops their chocolate to different sizes, so there's no way to accurately measure by cups. That said, it's usually pretty easy to deal with chocolate by weight, even if you don't have a scale, because the package it comes in usually has a weight written on it. The same goes for butter. But yes, 7 ounces of butter is 1 and 3/4 sticks, or 14 tablespoons!

2:03 PM, July 19, 2013  
Anonymous Laura said...

Hi, finished A Homemade Life yesterday and loved it. Already made your pesto and your ratatouille...both wonderful. Today I made your Winning Hearts and Minds cake. I had to tweak a little based on what was in my cupboard (regular unsalted butter, organic sugar, ghiradelli bittersweet chips, organic jumbo eggs....)...however, it's divine. I expect to wrap and freeze it according to the book directions and have it thaw on the drive to Boston and be ready to consume that night or for the next day's lunch. Thank you so much for your book and blog.....you're terrific.

1:33 PM, August 07, 2013  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Congrats on being picked up by Huffington Post!

10:08 AM, August 12, 2013  
Blogger Chad Eby said...

I love you. That is all.

3:08 PM, August 16, 2013  
Blogger Divya Bajaj said...

Hi Molly,

This is my first time commenting on your blog. I read your book (within 2 sittings), which was fantastic!!!! It lead me to this blog, and I have to tell you - Thank you! For this blog, for this book - you are a wonderful writer, a true story teller and I think we have all fallen in love with you and your family!

I made this cake yesterday for the first time for my husband's birthday. It turned out amazing! The crust, on the side and on top was perfect, crackly and gave a nice bite. Once I cut in, the center however, was still soft, jiggly, and somewhat fell apart when cutting slices.

I just wonder is that how it's supposed to be? Mousse like, or chocolate lava cake like consistency? If so, it turned out perfect! I was just worried that I hadn't cooked it fully, and I was serving my guests raw eggs!

Either way, it was delicious. One of the best cakes I've had ever! Thank you!

6:04 AM, August 21, 2013  
Blogger Haley Sides said...

I've made this cake twice now in the last week and anticipate make it many many more times. Hands down my favorite chocolate cake!

I do have a confessions/tip.

Once I've allowed the cake to cool and then have turned it out of the pan and reverted it back onto a plate, I cleanly trip the edges about half an inch all the way around. I love how it displays that way, with the lovely center part exposed, but still crusty on the top. But I think I may just tell myself that because I get to eat the trimmings...what can I say, it's just too good to wait!
<3 Haley

3:46 AM, August 30, 2013  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

10 years later and this cake is still winning hearts and minds! I stumbled across this recipe tonight and couldn't have been happier with the results. So delicious, so moist, so forgiving (used Plugra with Nestle semisweet chocolate chips, shhh)! This is my new go-to recipe, thank you!

9:10 PM, March 03, 2014  
Anonymous Rose Quartz said...

Dear Molly~ I went shopping for the best chocolate I could find and came home with Scharffen Berger Fine Artisan Dark Chocolate~but I was only able to find Unsweetened 99% and Semisweet 62%~
Which one should I use?
P.S. I belong to a Dream Group~we get together once a week and someone brings a dream to work on~I'm the dreamer this week, and the dream I'm bringing was all about cake~In the dream I was baking a heart shaped cake using a square pan and a circular pan; turning the square into a diamond position, cutting the round in half and
perching the two halves on the topsides of the diamond. (Paul Klee, in his treatise on the heart shape, calls it the perfect marriage of the square and the
circle)~ So I want to bring the most wonderful chocolate cake possible to accompany my dream, and yours
clearly seems to be it !!! Dream Group meets tomorrow, so I hope I'll get lucky and hear from you soon !!!

11:34 AM, March 06, 2014  
Blogger Molly said...

Rose, I love the sound of your Dream Group! Wow. And as for the chocolate, I would use the 62%, and then cut back a little bit on the sugar in the cake. Good luck!

1:49 PM, March 06, 2014  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Molly, a quick question about baking options... could you make cupcake size cakes with this? Or too small? I want to find a way to make a half batch, but my only small pan is ceramic, which I imagine would be problematic? Thanks so much for any advice. I can't wait to try this!

6:58 AM, March 17, 2014  
Blogger Molly said...

Anonymous, I'm sorry for not replying sooner! If it's not too late, well, let's see: I do think you could make cupcake-sized versions of this, yes. You'd just need to really keep an eye on the oven, because I think they'll bake much more quickly. As for ceramic baking pans, I have no idea! I have a friend who swears by baking brownies in a ceramic pan, though, so I have to guess that it would work just fine for this cake, since it's quite brownie-like. Good luck!

3:21 PM, March 20, 2014  
Blogger Megan Low said...

Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! The cake was perfect on my first attempt. I used 50gm of 99% chocolate with 150gm of 70% chocolate. Am writing this as I'm enjoying it... Ok, gtg... My cake is calling... Thank you again!

7:22 AM, April 08, 2014  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I've been making this cake for several years--since reading your book. Love them both! Recently I've been wanting a small sweet to sell in our (wine) tasting room kitchen where we have sandwiches and salads on the weekends. The requirements are that it be something I can freeze and defrost AND that it be good with a dry red wine. I tried cheesecake a couple years ago (big thumbs down from the winemaker hubby) and played with ginger cookies, but they just didn't go. So I'd been wanting to try this in mini form. Last night I tried the recipe (with cocoa powder because of passover and Jewish friends visiting). I baked in cupcake tins (with little parchment rounds--the most labor intensive part). It made 18. I need to tweak, but I think if you use a 1/4 cup measure it would be ideal. I baked for 15 minutes in my convection oven at 360 and they were perfect. Any ideas for decorating? Thought I would package in little plastic treat bags...

8:10 AM, April 18, 2014  
Blogger Angela said...

do you think it would be too much to top this cake with a teeny bit of chocolate ganache? I'd love to try this as a birthday cake for my mother-in-law this weekend but want to dress it up a bit somehow.

8:12 PM, April 23, 2014  
Blogger Divya Bajaj said...

Hi Molly,
I commented on this post last year. Just a few scrolls up.
I love love love this cake.
Like I mentioned, the side and the top are nice and crackly, but the center, looks and feels uncooked. Very jiggly and falls apart once I cut it.
Any suggestions? I wonder if I'm just cutting it too soon?
Thank you,

7:55 PM, April 29, 2014  
Blogger Molly said...

Hi Divya! My apologies for not getting back to you earlier. My instinct is to say that you're probably underbaking the cake. Does the center jiggle when you take it out of the oven? If so, I would leave it to bake for a few minutes, so that it no longer jiggles, or just *barely*. If you feel pretty certain that you're cooking it long enough, then I do think the problem has to do with not letting it cool long enough. I made five of these cakes for an event last week, and I made them the day before I planned to serve them, so that they could fully cool and set up. I think that's the best plan! They sliced beautifully.

9:04 PM, April 29, 2014  
Blogger Divya Bajaj said...

Thanks Molly!
I will try your suggestions. Will let you know how I do.
This cake is definitely worth another shot. :)

I also just posted on your Granola No.5 recipe. So Good! Thank you!

9:48 AM, May 05, 2014  
Anonymous Caroline said...

Dear Molly or anyone out there- have you used espresso powder in this recipe and if so how much? I am not trying to make it mocha- only I have heard that adding a bit of espresso powder adds another layer to the flavor. And yes I would use the Plugra and Panther bar chocolate (85%) by endangered species ( and no I have no affiliation with that company other than loving the chocolate). OR Molly what chocolate is your favorite with it? Also what about vanilla- would a little fresh vanilla bean also be good in this? Would that Espresso make it too dark with such dark chocolate? I cannot wait to make this cake!

11:52 PM, June 23, 2014  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi there, I read your book and have made this cake many, many times. I would like to make cupcakes with this recipe and was just wondering if you've tried this... it's for a birthday party and I want to avoid forks/plates :)

9:54 AM, September 18, 2014  
Blogger Rachel Page said...

Oh, that looks positively heavenly.

4:13 AM, November 21, 2014  
Anonymous Julianne said...

Oh my goodness! I have been waiting for just the right opportunity to make this for my gluten intolerant boyfriend, and his birthday was this week, so I seized the chance.

I swapped out the flour for some Scharffen Berger cocoa powder to make it gluten free, as you suggested in the comments, and used Plugra and Theo dark chocolate bars. I was so focused on the inverting and reverting step that I accidentally forgot to let it cool for ten minutes first, and it sort of fell apart - oops! I pushed it back together and decided to soldier on with a Julia Child "Never apologize!" kind of attitude, though it didn't look very pretty.

It turns out it didn't matter at all. EVERYONE loved it! It garnered countless oohs and aahs and comments like "

10:27 AM, December 12, 2014  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I just made this and it fell to be an inch tall. What did I do wrong!?

4:18 PM, February 21, 2015  
Blogger sue said...

Hi Molly!

Thanks to this post, I've been making your "winning hearts and minds cake" for years and it never fails me! We love it so much around here that I'm planning to make a whole bunch of them for my wedding. So here's my question- I'm sure that it freezes well- but haven't tried that because it never sticks around long enough to make it to the freezer. Have you frozen this cake before? I was thinking that if I made a bunch and then froze them, then I wouldn't have to be baking the day before the wedding. Do you think that's a crazy idea?

9:57 AM, February 26, 2015  
Blogger Molly said...

Hi, Sue! Yes, this cake freezes beautifully. (In fact, I prefer it after freezing!) Look through my comments earlier in this thread, and you'll find more on the topic...

10:00 AM, February 26, 2015  
Blogger sue said...

Thanks, Molly!

10:11 AM, February 26, 2015  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is true love in a cake. Thank you for introducing it. This is my 7th year baking it - Thought I should finally send my gratitude through your comment section. ~ Linda

2:29 PM, May 06, 2015  
Anonymous Delicious Chocolate Recipes said...

I've been making this cake for several years--since reading your book. Love them both! Recently I've been wanting a small sweet to sell in our (wine) tasting room kitchen where we have sandwiches and salads on the weekends. The requirements are that it be something I can freeze and defrost AND that it be good with a dry red wine. I tried cheesecake a couple years ago (big thumbs down from the winemaker hubby) and played with ginger cookies, but they just didn't go. So I'd been wanting to try this in mini form. Last night I tried the recipe (with cocoa powder because of passover and Jewish friends visiting). I baked in cupcake tins (with little parchment rounds--the most labor intensive part). It made 18. I need to tweak, but I think if you use a 1/4 cup measure it would be ideal. I baked for 15 minutes in my convection oven at 360 and they were perfect. Any ideas for decorating? Thought I would package in little plastic treat bags.

7:40 PM, August 21, 2015  

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