Gateau Noir

This cake is actually named “chocolate nemesis”. It is a wonderful invention of the brilliant ladies at River Cafe in London; and it is simply spectacular.
I call it gateau noir; because, well, it makes me smile. Gateau noir is the name we gave a suitor {not mine} of a girlfriend; whom in my retelling of the 30 year old story, lovingly prepared gateau noir for her in the hope she would be his steady.
Had he used this recipe he might have succeeded.

Gateau Noir
(adapted from river cafe cookbook)
3/4 lb 70% bittersweet chocolate pieces
(please do not make this with nestle or similar chocolate chips–you will not get the result you deserve)
5 large eggs–room temperature
10 1/2 oz granulated sugar
1/2 lb unsalted butter–room temperature
pinch salt (my addition)
1 tsp vanilla (my addition)
1/2 cup water

Place eggs, 1/3 of sugar, salt and vanilla in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. Whisk until the eggs have tripled in volume, and thickened. This will take a minimum of 10 minutes. In the meanwhile, place the remaining sugar in a saucepan with 1/2 cup of water. Bring to a boil and let boil for 3 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in butter and chocolate…letting them melt completely. Allow to cool slightly then slowly pour into the whipped eggs. Whisk for 1 minute, if it doesn’t fully incorporate in that time, use a spatula and fold to fully incorporate. pour into prepared pan.
* to prepare the pan: use a springform pan and spray with pan spray…and then instead of flour, use cocoa powder to coat the pan, tapping out any excess.

there are two ways to bake this cake

To produce a creamy cake, a bit like pudding (this is in tune with the original recipe) bake the cake in a water bath (place your prepared pan, wrapped in foil, into a larger pan that will leave a “moat” of no less than 1″ on all sides. fill the “moat” with enough hot water to reach halfway up the sides of the prepared pan). It is best to do this with the cake pans already in the oven, to avoid spilling water all over the kitchen floor and into the cake batter.
Place prepared pan into a water bath and bake for approximately 35 minutes at 325. the cake is done when it no longer jiggles, but the center still seems a bit soft. if it begins to pull away from the sides, it is over-cooked. After 30 minutes, place your flat hand on top of the center of the cake, if it is no longer liquid, and looks as if it has a skin similar to that of chocolate pudding, and the cake doesn’t jiggle, it is fair to say it is baked enough.

For the more cakey, fallen souffle type of cake; pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake it in the oven without the water bath at 350 for about 30-40 minutes. the cake will rise considerably, then fall. it will look like a fallen souffle and have a light crispy exterior with a dense chewy interior. i love it this way…it tastes just as good and is not nearly as fussy.