Chocolate cake, French classic version

Chocolate cake, French classic version


Difficulty Easy
Prep time 20 min
Cook time 25 to 30 min in 300F oven
Servings 4 to 6

A French classic and sure party favorite, this chocolate cake tastes like a light and moist version of a brownie. Chocolate buffs may ask that you double the dose!    


- 7 oz / 200 g dark chocolate (55% to 65% cocoa content) 

- 5.3 oz / 150 g cane sugar

- 5.3 oz / 150 g salted butter, European-style preferably (contains more butterfat hence melts quicker)

- Note the recipe also works well with only 3.5 oz / 100g of both sugar and butter.

- Baking sheet or pat of butter

- 1.75 oz / 50 g all-purpose flour

- 4 large eggs

As always in cooking, quality of ingredients matters, and quality chocolate will make a difference.


4 mixing bowls, one heat-resistant; large pot, only if using Bain Marie method to melt the chocolate; baking pan (9x13-inch if rectangular); wooden or heat-resistant silicone spatula; electric mixer with whisk, or manual whisk; board or dish slightly larger than baking pan; any knife.


Step 1

Pre-heat oven to 360F.

Step 2

Place baking sheet or butter baking pan.

Step 3

Put chocolate squares in a heat-resistant bowl and melt them in a microwave, or in the pot, "au Bain Marie".

The video below shows the Bain Marie method, which allows a gentle melting of the chocolate. When the water starts boiling, rest the bowl in the pot and turn burner down to medium heat. Water should simmer, not boil. From time to time, stir the chocolates for even melting.

Step 4

Separate yolk from egg whites and pour egg whites in a squeaky clean bowl. The bowl should be wide enough to allow the egg whites to expand.

Separation of egg whites is the only slightly tricky part of the recipe. Make sure no egg yolk ends up in the bowl with the egg whites. Otherwise, beaten egg whites will not rise well.

Step 5

Beat egg whites with mixer or manual whisk.

Start beating medium speed, progressively increase speed and beat until egg whites have expanded and look firm. Egg whites at room temperature will rise better.

If you don't have an electric mixer, the video below shows how to beat egg whites with a manual whisk. You will notice the chef adds a sprinkle of salt and a zest of lemon; this is totally optional.

Step 6

Dice butter and mix with sugar until all sugar grains are incorporated to the butter.

Butter should be soft (a few seconds in the microwave) but not melted.


For each of the steps 7 to 10 below, stir with a spatula until mix is homogenous:

Step 7

Add and mix melted chocolate to the sugar and butter mix.

Step 8

Add and mix egg yolks, ideally one by one.

Step 9

Add and mix flour.

Step 10

Incorporate egg whites in 3 1/3rds of roughly equal volume. Be careful not to squash the egg whites with the spatula. Instead, fold them gently into the chocolate from the bottom of the bowl, making your way up the bowl with the spatula in a circular move.

Step 11

Lower oven temperature to 300F.

Step 12

Poor mixture into baking pan and place pan in the oven.

Step 13

After 25 minutes, gently dip blade of a knife into the cake. The cake is ready when slightly moist chocolate sticks to the blade.

Step 14

A few minutes after taking the pan out of the oven, turn out the cake.

Bon appétit!

Any questions? Contact us!