Recipe: Anna’s Moelleux au Chocolat

Earlier this week, a new colleague joined our team from Brussels, so I thought it only fitting that her welcome cake be French (as is she), made with Belgian dark chocolate. Enter moelleux au chocolat, the greatest chocolate cake in existence.

I didn’t time myself, but from start to finish it lasts roughly one ‘Gilmore Girls’ episode – so roughly 40 minutes. I also have a tendency to keep rewinding funny scenes, so make it a clean hour to account for Lorelai Gilmore’s fantastic wit and timing…

Anyway. The cake.

I bought some beautiful dark chocolate – 80% – from Leonidas in Brussels, using beans grown organically in Ivory Coast. I accidentally kept munching on chocolate as I cooked. Part of the chef’s perks, I guess.

I’ve seen many recipes where it’s made in a sort of soufflé tin, and that’s lovely too since you get an extra gooey centre. But I much prefer moelleux au chocolat baked in a cake tin, so it’s almost brownie-like in consistency, and this way is a lot more communal. Plus, I don’t have that many soufflé tins.

The batter was enough for one and a half tins, so I had a smaller portion alllllllll to myself. This is best served warm, straight out of the oven or reheated just before heating.

200g dark chocolate – at least 70%

200g butter – cold, cubed. I used lightly salted French butter, so if you use unsalted be sure to add half a teaspoon of salt

225g sugar (if you have measuring cups like I do, it’s a lot easier since you need a cup of each!)

5 medium eggs, at room temperature

1 tbsp cornflour or plain flour

Optional: 1 tsp ground coffee, or 1 espresso

Melt the butter and chocolate together in a bain marie. You could do this in a microwave of course, but I find this is a much better way to control the temperature, and a much better way to temper the chocolate. Add the coffee, if you’re using it, at this point.

When both have melted, and while it’s still warm, beat the sugar into the chocolate and butter. Leave for about five minutes – this isn’t intentional. I got completely distracted and had to control my hysterics because Rory Gilmore was losing her shit at her therapist. I cannot get enough of the way she says ‘coffee cart’!

When the mixture has cooled a little, beat the eggs into the mixture one at a time.

Carefully fold in the flour, and then tip into cake or pie tins.

Bake in a preheated oven at 180C for about 20 minutes, or until a knife inserted in the middle comes out clean.

Try and resist cutting into it right away, but definitely enjoy as soon as possible!

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