Friday, August 13, 2010

La bete noire

Old friendships are like the nook of a lovers arm; natural, comforting and familiar.
New friendships are like a new pair of heels; it takes a while to figure out which outfits they match and how to walk in them and in time, whether they will become worn-in or a pair you hardly wear.

After I met my husband, we made new friends, I befriended his, and he befriended mine, but we also made some together. After attending a previous school mates 21st with whom he had been just a friendly acquaintance, they suddenly found common ground that hadn't been there in their youths and established a friendship. Not long after, this friend met a woman, and eventually they got married one month after us. It was fortunate that not only do I get along with him, but that I also formed a friendship with his wife. When we all catch up we spend hours talking over good food, all together at first, and then his wife and I will find a cosy corner to really dish the dirt whilst nibbling cookies and they will wander off to play pool, pinball or some other boys toy whist munching on chips and being completely oblivious to our animated conversations, mostly about them.

After we both returned from our respective holidays abroad, we got the call that their new house (only a 5 minute drive away) was finally ready for guests, and could we please come over for a casual dinner and catch up. Naturally, we were asked to bring nothing, but how can I possibly come empty handed? My mother would have had a conniption if I brought nothing to a dinner/house-warming, she raised me better than that.

My first thought instinctively ran to a dessert. But as this friendship is still in its early bloom, I didn't know what flavours or sweets they liked most. So, as I often do when I want to please all tastes, I chose chocolate, as it's the safest bet sweet-wise. Because really, how could you possibly not like chocolate?

 No inside shots I'm afraid as this cake was a housewarming gift.

ease: 4.5/5.
prep time: 10mins.
cooking time: 1hour plus 3 hours chilling.
total: 1hour & 10 mins plus 3 hours chill.

taste: 4.5/5. This truly is a 'black beast' of a cake.

If you want one truly great flourless chocolate cake recipe, then look no further, this is it. All chocolate, eggs and sugar this cake is rich, satsifying and death-by-chocolate inducing. But I asure you, after a short eating break, you will be going back for more.

The cake's texture is fudgy and divine, and once it hits your tongue it begins to melt. Coupled with a silky ganache...well...I'm currently wishing I had a piece left over. I've made this with both 56% chocolate and 70% chocolate - hubby loved the first whilst I loved the second. Next time, I shall use the 56% for the cake and the 70% for the ganache.

It would be easy to play around with different spices (perhaps cinnamon), alcohols (Grand Marnier?) and even perhaps a sprinkling of Fleur de Sel on top.  I'd recommend tarter fruits if you wish to adorn the cake with them, raspberries, strawberries, blackberries etc.

would I make it again: Yes - this is the second time already.

recipe: La bete noire


  1. Mmmmhhh, so yummy! I cannot resist anything chocolaty...



  2. Beautiful photos again my dear, well done! I particularly love the touch of the strawberries :)

  3. I would certainly be ecstatic if a friend brought a flourless chocolate cake to my housewarming party. And even more so if said chocolate cake had fresh strawberries nestled on top and looked like yours.

  4. Okay, I need a bite of that cake. Like, now.

  5. I want to be your friend. And live really close to you.

  6. sometimes a dessert just begs to be eaten. this one, i think, is begging to have me drink it down--it's pure lusciousness!

  7. I just have to say: that cake? Oh my God, that cake? Seriously. That. Cake. DROOL.

    I'm not even a huge fan of chocolate but it just looks so amazingly good! And the photos are beautiful. I did a chocolate ganache cake myself recently (for the departure/pre-birthday celebration of the boyfriend), but it was a monstrosity that we could barely manage two bites each of.

    Your cake, however, may have to get tucked into the recipe files for another occasion...

    Jax x

  8. I think my favorite part is the strawberries are from your garden... lovely chocolate chocolate... great pics and lovely dessert. You surely will be closer friends now!!

  9. Such beautiful colors in these photos! This looks to be an amazing treat when you're in the mood for all-out chocolate indulgence.

  10. i made this last week, too!
    i made the river cafe "chocolate nemesis" version
    i keep eating it for breakfast.. very naughty.
    you're so right regarding the short eating breaks and coming back for more.

  11. oooh I've been wanting to make a flourless chocolate cake for a while now. I'll have to try this recipe, it looks divine! Thanks for the gorgeous post xo

  12. are those strawberries from your garden? they look so lovely! I especially love the beautiful glossy ganache ontop. I kinda want to see the inside, but totally understand how it was be a little socially unacceptable to bring a cake with a slice missing to a party. Maybe we could start doing that and it will eventually become normal?

  13. This is stunning! Look at that glossy dark chocolate. I'm sure it was well received by your friends :)

  14. Oh man this looks delicious! And your photographs are beautiful! Everything here looks great!
    I recently launched my own blog, I'd love for you to check it out and let me know what you think! :) Thanks!