“Be yourself; everyone else is already taken.” ....Oscar Wilde

Tuesday, 15 March 2011

Chocolate and Cognac Cake

Wow...I think I've found my perfect chocolate cake.
It's elegant, indulgent and perfect for the 'chocoholic'. Yes, that's me - I confess.
This cake rises like a souffle, since that's really what it is....
It would be perfect for Easter.

Remember the quality of chocolate you use is directly proportional to the quality of the cake. The rule also applies to cognac.

Recipe below....

The smell of the cognac wafting through the kitchen was so powerful, but there again it was mid morning on a Sunday. When my other half entered the kitchen, he raised an eyebrow, but then noticed thankfully that the aroma was coming from a measuring jug and not a glass.

I loved the pattern of the cream mixing with the chocolate ingredients...

I have to admit I didn't do the test of placing the stiffened egg white bowl over my head, as with many cooking demonstrations, to prove the whites are whisked enough.

I've never had the nerve to try that.

The smell at this stage was unbelievable...

I placed a little crème fraiche to accompany the lovely chocolate gooeyness

Chocolate and Cognac Cake - serves 8 (or 12, or 1 depending on your willpower and willingness to share!)

400g good-quality dark chocolate
6 eggs, separated
150g caster sugar
100ml good-quality cognac
300ml pure cream
cocoa powder or icing sugar, to serve

Preheat the oven to 175C. Cut a piece of greaseproof paper to fit a 20cm round cake tin, with a double layer for the side and a single layer for the base. Spray the tin with cooking oil and fit the greaseproof paper snugly.

Melt the chocolate in a stainless-steel bowl set over a saucepan of hot water. Don't let the water boil, as you can scald the chocolate. Remove the chocolate from the heat and let it return to room temperature.

In a large bowl, beat the egg yolks and 100g sugar until pale and creamy. Add the cognac and continue to beat until well combined. Add the chocolate and stir until completely incorporated, then slowly stir in half the cream. Set aside.

Whip the remaining cream until soft peaks form. Set aside. Whisk the egg whites in a very clean bowl. When soft peaks form, slowly add the remaining sugar and whip until very firm. Fold the whipped cream into the chocolate mixture. Fold in the egg whites.

Pour the cake mixture into the prepared cake tin, place the tin in a baking tray and add enough hot water to come 2.5 cm up the side of the tin. Bake for 45 minutes.

Turn down the oven to 150C and bake for a further 45 minutes. Turn the oven off and leave the cake in the oven for 40 minutes, then remove to a cake rack. Cut around the edge of the tin and turn it onto a plate - the cake should slide out easily. Sprinkle with cocoa powder or icing sugar. To slice the cake, use a knife dipped in hot water and clean the knife after each cut.

This cake will last for three days (if your lucky) covered, outside the fridge. Don't refrigerate it: it will set like a brick!

I'd love to hear what you think about the recipe....it was one of Neil Perry's

I'm off now to have a little piece with my cuppa....after typing all this I'm drooling....
anyway, I have to before its all gone!


  1. Yum.. wish I was there to try a piece.. although there probably isn't any left now ;o) xx

  2. I'd have saved you a piece if I'd have known....it's certainly been a hit and there was no problem about only being able to keep it for three days. Chance would be a fine thing ;-)
    Lucky to get past two days! XXX

  3. Hi Nessie, I'm thinking of attempting with half of the measurement. But i'm curious why the hot water & baking tray are needed. If I skip those, what would be the consequences?
    And 90 mins cooking time, and afterwards another 40 mins in the oven (door closed?) - not too long?

  4. Hi Sherley,
    Apologies for taking so long in responding to your comments. I've sent you an email, but I'm not sure that you'll receive it due to Blogger having been off line for the last 24 hours (access to read only)
    I thought I'd reply here in case you have been waiting for my response.

    Anyway, I hope this helps....
    You may have even tried baking the cake by now? If so, how did you get on?
    I'm not sure how reducing the measurements would affect the outcome, I've never tried. It would obviously need the timings altered too.
    Personally, I needed the larger cake for Easter and all my guests, plus having two guys in the house that devour any baking, a half measure just wouldn't do.
    This cake is beautifully moist and delicate. The water bath moderates the temperature and bakes the cake very gently and evenly.
    Without the waterbath the oven temperature would dry out the cake on the outside but leave the middle uncooked. Also the timing plus leaving the oven door closed, slowly reduces the heat. All these things gently control the baking evenly.
    If you take the cake out of the oven making the temperature drop suddenly, the cake may sag in the centre or be undercooked.
    It does seem quite a long time, but I view this cake for a special occasion. Its very indulgent but well worth the time it takes. It really is easy and the results are delicious. I'm sure you'll not be disappointed ;-)

    Let me know how you get on...
    Happy Baking


I get so excited to see you here and love to read your thoughts and comments.
I always try to answer each one personally (I think it's only polite)
...♥...I truly appreciate your precious time here so thank you ...♥...

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...