The chocolate cake
Appearance : rounded, uniform cooking
Texture : airy, a little dry
Decorated with icing sugar, ganache or candies, it is a must-have for a snack.
Discover the recipe for Chocolate and Butternut Squash Cake
© Akiko Ida
Thick and airy, the texture of the chocolate cake is similar to that of the cake. To obtain it, nothing could be simpler. Start with a chocolate semi-cooked recipe, but bake it at 180°C for 40 minutes. To check that the cooking is perfect, insert the blade of a knife into the cake. If it comes out clean but moist, it’s ready, if not, let it cook for a few more minutes. However, be careful not to overcook the softness or you will end up with a very dry cake.
Finally, some recipes recommend incorporating egg whites into the dough to fluff it up. This step remains optional, however, because the cake already contains yeast.
Too hot an oven, too long a baking time… and your cake is too dry. To fix this, cut it in half lengthwise, then fill it with ganache or pastry cream. Neither seen nor known, it will bring a little softness and deliciousness to your cake.
Appearance : rather flat, slightly crusty
Texture : moist, melting
It is very often accompanied by a delicious homemade custard.
Discover the recipe for easy chocolate fondant
© Grégoire Kalt
More cooked than the smooth, but less than the soft, one might believe that the chocolate fondant is a perfect compromise. However, while it is true that it has an intermediate cooking time, this unique texture is obtained thanks to its composition. Indeed, chocolate fondant is more generous in eggs than its cousins. Count 5, on average, for 200 g of chocolate. Note, however, that you will need much less flour than for other recipes. In general, the proportions are around one unit of flour for triple the sugar, or 40 to 50 g.
It is also thanks to this that you will be able to recognize real chocolate fondant recipes. The name is sometimes used, indiscriminately, to designate semi-cooked or soft foods.
Another particularity is that chocolate fondant is often flat, because it is made without yeast. Indeed, the latter could counteract the desired “pasty” effect.
Finally, chocolate fondant can only be cooked gently, at 165°C, for 30 minutes. A thin, slightly cracked crust should form.
For a truly fondant result, let your mold, filled with cake batter, rest for a few hours in the refrigerator. Changing to cold will expel the air present in the dough, allowing you to obtain the desired density.
Appearance : cooked edges, trembling at the core
Texture : cooked on the edges, sinking in the center
Semi-cooked is often called “chocolate coulant”.
Discover the chocolate cake recipe
© David Japy
With its runny center and soft crust, the chocolate semi-cooked has everything to make us succumb. His secret? Quick cooking at 200°C, to obtain the contrast of textures. And when we say fast, we mean very fast. Between 6 to 8 minutes depending on the size of the mussels, not one more. We often tend to wait (wrongly) until the edges of the cake are well cooked before stopping cooking. However, this is a mistake since the semi-cooked mixture continues to cook, even once it is taken out of the oven. In reality, it should still have a raw appearance, because it is by resting that the crust forms. So be sure to follow the recipe instructions carefully to obtain the desired texture.
In the early 1980s, Michel Bras created the “flowing chocolate biscuit”. Rather than simply undercooking the cake batter, he made a cylinder of chocolate ganache which he left to set for 12 hours in the freezer. He then inserted it in the center of his dough, then let everything rest for 6 hours in the fridge, before cooking. Thus, he succeeded in preserving the heart of his semi-cooked product, which, in the process, acquired international fame.
If, like Michel Bras, you don’t have 18 hours to spare, use a square of chocolate instead of the cylinder of ganache. Then, bake your half-cooked dishes as indicated in the recipe.
You are now an expert on the subject of chocolate cakes. All you have to do is choose your side, then head to the kitchen.