Almost Fudge Gateau

in Cakes & Cupcakes, Chocolate, Cookbooks

Almost-Fudge Gateau

It’s the day before my Tuesdays with Dorie contribution is due and my oven is empty. My inner Dorista doesn’t want to make chocolate cake. My outer Dorista’s pants are too tight. Sigh. Such is the life of a baker.

I remind myself that life is too short to be skinny so I suck it up, grab my favorite knife for chopping, and start hacking away at some good, dark chocolate. By the time the smell of the melting chocolate from the bowl of the double-boiler reaches my nose, my inner Dorista has shaken her anti-baking funk and we’re ready to roll.

Looking back, I don’t see how I couldn’t have forgotten about the egg whites whipping away in the mixer. Sure, my mixer isn’t whisper-quiet but between the melting chocolate and the smell of buttercream that already filled the first floor of our home, my senses were pre-occupied. And so, the egg whites were forgotten.

Over-beaten egg whites don’t “gently fold in” to anything. The foam is dry and the only way to get the chocolate and egg whites to play is to fold until your arm falls off. By the time they’re actually incorporated, the egg whites have pretty much deflated. There are far worse fates for eggs to meet than a dense chocolate cake – like a travertine floor. So it’s a good thing that we have nothing against a dense chocolate cake.

Almost-Fudge Gateau

How I served the dense cake: I used buttered round pastry cutters to cut the cake into circles. I leveled the rounds and spread warmed blackberry preserves over the top of the “bottom layer.” I topped it with a second cake round and spooned ganache over the top of the cake. I used an offset spatula to coax a bit of the rich ganache down the sides of the cake.

Absolutely divine.

Almost-Fudge Gateau

Dense chocolate cake covered in a rich ganache.


  • 5 large eggs
  • 9 oz bittersweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 5 Tbsp unsalted butter, cubed
  • 2 Tbsp coffee or water
  • 1/3 cup AP flour
  • For the ganache:
  • 2 oz bittersweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream


  1. Center a rack in the oven and preheat the oven to 350F. Butter a 9-inch springform pan, line the bottom with parchment paper, butter the paper, dust the inside of the pan with flour and tap out the excess. Place the pan on a baking sheet lined with parchment or a silicone mat.
  2. Separate the eggs, putting the whites in a mixer bowl or other large bowl and the yolks in a small bowl.
  3. Set a heatproof bowl over a saucepan of simmering water and add the chocolate, sugar, butter and coffee. Stir occasionally until the chocolate and butter are melted; the sugar may still be grainy, and that's fine. Transfer the bowl to the counter and let the mixture sit for 3 minutes.
  4. Using a rubber spatula, stir in the yolks one by one, then fold in the flour.
  5. Working with the whisk attachment of the mixer or a hand mixer, beat the egg whites with the pinch of salt until they hold firm but glossy peaks. Using the spatula, stir about one quarter of the beaten whites into the batter, then gently fold in the rest. Scrape the batter into the pan and jiggle the pan from side to side a couple of times to even the batter.
  6. Bake for 35 to 45 minutes, or until the cake has risen evenly (it might rise around the edges and you'll think it's done, but give it a few minutes more, and the center will puff too) and the top has firmed (it will probably be cracked) and doesn't shimmy when tapped; a thin knife inserted into the center should come out just slightly streaked with chocolate. Transfer the pan to a cooling rack and let the cake rest for 5 to 10 minutes.
  7. Run a blunt knife gently around the edges of the cake and remove the sides of the pan. Carefully turn the cake over onto a rack and remove the pan bottom and the parchment paper. Invert the cake onto another rack and cool to room temperature right side up. As the cake cools, it may sink.
  8. To make the optional glaze:
  9. First, turn the cooled cake over onto another rack so you'll be glazing the flat bottom, and place the rack over a baking sheet lined with parchment or wax paper to catch any drips. Put the chocolate in a small heatproof bowl.
  10. Melt the chocolate over a pan of simmering water or in a microwave oven - the chocolate should be just melted and only warm, not hot. Meanwhile, bring the cream to a boil in a small saucepan. Pour the hot cream over the chocolate and stir very gently with a rubber spatula until the mixture is smooth and shiny.
  11. Pour the glaze over the cake and smooth the top with a long metal icing spatula. Don't worry if the glaze drips unevenly down the sides of the cake - it will just add to it's charms. Allow the glaze to set at room temperature or, if you're impatient, slip the cake into the refrigerator for about 20 minutes.


Yields: 1 9-inch cake

Adapted from Baking, From My Home to Yours by Dorie Greenspan

Estimated time: 1 hour 15 minutes

41 comments… add one
  • What a wonderful interpretation of the recipe. I love that you cut it into small rounds and decorated each one individually!!! Just beautiful!

  • It looks delish, Shawnda!!

  • beautiful!!! I know what you mean about the inner/outer “my pants are too tight” dilema…….life is short, I suppose we should just make cake. Your version is so nice.

  • Your creation on this sounds wonderful!

  • Gorgeous presentation! You guys amaze me every week with how creative you are. Look sooo good!

  • What a gorgeous cake! Great job!

  • How beautiful Shawnda!!

  • Looks perfect! I love how you made two layers out of it.

  • Your inner Dorista! The cake is beauitful.

  • looks beautiful!

  • This is one of Dorie’s recipes that I haven’t tried yet, but I linger over it everytime I flip through the book… soon.

  • Wow – your cake is simply stunning. Kudos!

  • Poor out Dorista! She may need a larger size pant after eating this decadent dessert. Gorgeous presentation!

  • The next time this cake gets made around here (and it will), I’m gonna do it like you did. Such a tasty presentation! Thank you so much for this idea.

  • I love the way this turned out! The addition of blackberries was a great idea!

  • I love your new banner!

  • Those look “absolutely divine!” I love the idea of the blackberries as a counterpoint to the chocolate. I just dusted mine with powdered sugar after I stepped on the scale that morning – these baking events are taking their toll!

  • MMM warmed blueberries over that luscious cake, oh that sounds so amazing. My pants wouldn’t fit if I made that too.

  • I am glad you found youe inner Dorista!

  • Fantastic recovery! I bet the blackberries were fantastic with this…

  • I’m glad your inner Dorista came out to play. It looks great!

  • Life is too short to be skinny…bring on the cake. Looks great.

  • Glad you decided to come out and play this week! Your cake looks wonderful. I love the mini cakes!

  • beautiful! i love the layer of filling in between 🙂 sounds scrumptious!

  • It looks spectacular, and to make you feel better I only have one pair of jeans that fits right now (and I own like 12 pairs of jeans)…too bad next week isn’t steamed spinach and grilled chicken! HAHAHA!!!

  • Melissa L.

    I love how you made the mini tier cakes out of it! I bet that was such a decadent dessert with the sauce! YUM! Your post made me giggle a few times – I really enjoyed your writing!

  • I’m thinking your inner Dorista did just *fine*. Now just get your outer Dorista to a gym. 🙂

  • ooooohhhh… chococlate baby cakes!!! what a lovely idea!! and it looks so chic!

  • Stefany

    So glad I am not the only one that over-beat the egg whites! (of course, I was staring at them while doing so…) I love what you did with it!

  • That is absolutely gorgeous!

  • Kate

    This is the most beautiful TWD dish yet!

  • Just beautiful!

  • Love the addition of blackberry preserves. Sounds absolutely mouthwatering!

  • Amanda

    Yum! Chocolate and blackberries! What could be better? Perhaps I should adopt “life is too short to be skinny” as my new motto. 😛

  • Wow!!! That is absolutely deadly looking. Great idea for how to serve it.

  • Bev

    not a bad way to go!!

    aah so cholatey and good!

  • it looks divine! i love it when things work out in the end!

  • I love the single berry on top. It says *eat me*
    My pants say *Nooooo*

  • Good idea to cut at the end. Love it!

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