a Friday fondue night AND a chocolate cake

It’s snowing outside. Large style. We’re expecting a metre of snow this weekend. Brrrr but beautiful. I can’t see across the valley today, it’s all cloud and snow. So I’m tucked up indoors, and generally making mischief, otherwise known as baking.

Back in the summer in Charente we were treated to Marie Chien’s chocolate mousse cake. Why Marie Chien? Well there are two grandmothers both called Marie, so a difference is needed to separate one from the other. So Marie Chien was born, or maybe re-born. She has a miniature white poodle, who is soft and gentle and playful. Now Marie Chien’s pud is a tad exciting for me, I don’t bake a lot but it means I finally get to buy and use a cake ring. Silly I know, but fun nonetheless.

We’re off for our annual Fondue night. A night hosted by our friends on the other side of the valley. We’ll feast well tonight. A rich Savoyarde fondue, some good wine and great company. The evening will probably include a game or two of backgammon, lots of ohhhhs, and ahhhhs, and you “jammy so and so” will be heard.

My favourite bit of the eventing though is when everyone has had their fill of fondue, our hostess will take the fondue pan and the remains of the fondue and crack a couple of eggs into it, and then add the leftover bread, ripped or sliced into small chunks. This will all be gently warmed up until the eggs are cooked through and the pieces of bread are all coated with the cheese and egg mixture. We will be served this divine concoction with our green salad to end our meal. In fact I’ve started to drool at the thought of it.

So to thank my hosts, I decided to recreate the Charente cake. A quick email and the recipe is with me. It’s a bit of a tall order with only one working hand and arm, but with a lot of preparation, some jiggery pokery, and the occasional use of my dodgy arm I made it.

The cake? It’s a rich, chocolatey confection. Not overly sweet. I added the zest of an orange, as Emmanuelle forgot to mention that bit. I’ve copied her instructions verbatim. Including her sarcastic jokey comments. We plan to catch up with them in the half-term holidays, they will be skiing too. Maybe we could ski and eat cake? That’s what I call multi-tasking :)

Marie Chien’s Chocolate Mousse Cake

Ingredients ~

  • 140g plain dark chocolate
  • 100g butter
  • 4 eggs – yolks and whites separated
  • Zest of an orange
  • 140g caster sugar
  • 50g flour

Method ~

  • Melt chocolate and butter (gently … no boiling for God’s sake)
  • Add the 4 egg yolks one by one and please remove the pan from the burner before you do so
  • Add the zest of the orange
  • Add sugar and flour in turn, stirring well and gently.
  • Whisk the egg whites (with an electric whisk which you obviously don’t have in the Alps have you ?) and add them progressively to the chocolate mix.
  • Pour in a buttered tin.
  • Put into oven (about 200°C) for 18 minutes – The cake must be soft.

Cooking Notes ~

I melted the chocolate and butter in a glass salad bowl over a fondue pan with several inches of boiling water in it, on a very gentle heat. It worked a treat. I’m discovering a lot of uses for fondue pan’s and not all of them immediately obvious – they make a perfect dal / curry pot too :)

I had to cook the cake for a few minutes longer, after all I’m cooking at altitude. However I’m wondering if I should rename it as cooking au ineptitude!

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30 thoughts on “a Friday fondue night AND a chocolate cake

  1. Everything here is fabulous – the snow, the recipe (including the comments!) and the photos. But I also especially love the idea of the eggy, bready, cheesy thing….worth making the fondue just to have that afterwards!

  2. Mmmm, melting cheese, yummmm! Love the chocolate cake as it sounds so simple to make. Do you have to have a cake ring to make this? I’m not sure my husband will be happy if I buy another piece of kitchen equipment. I might have to try and use a square tin and pray it doesn’t sink in the middle. We’ll see… meantime, am very jealous of all that snow. I’d much rather be skiing right now!

    • I know what you mean about the “what more kitchen stuff” I justfied this as it’s our friends recipe AND it’s for the blog AND it was made for friends :) I need to gently break the news about a pasta maker :)
      Sorry mean to chat about the cake ring – I guess that is the reason it’s made in a ring – to stop it sinking, and anything smaller (individual pots) would just dry the mixture out too quickly, so I’m not sure how to get round that one, I’m not big on baking…..

  3. So much fabulousness in one meal! I would be so very sorry for it later, but filled with deliciousness and joy throughout the meal and maybe enough to make me risk the payback. What am I say, “maybe”! Of *course* I’d eat such incredibly good and tasty food no matter how much it cost. Mmmmmmmmmmmm!

  4. Well I have been missing out! Eggs and salad, what a perfect ending to a lovely pot of fondue. As long as there is room for Marie’s Chocolate Cake I would say that is a fantastic meal.

    • It’s fabulous isn’t it :)
      And yes, I had a fall, on-piste and now have a small fracture. Not too serious, but I can’t ski for at least a month. But’s it’s healing with rest, so I just have to be calm and collected about it all :)

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