Valentine’s Day, meh. Not my thing. I tend to watch horror movies and eat junk food.
This year, though, I’ve stepped up my junk food game and have made a wicked chocolate cake. Gâteau fondant au chocolat de Nathalie is another back-pocket recipe, decadent and easy to make. I’ve made a little video to show you how.
Appropriate for special occasions, including for a genuine Valentine’s Day celebration, this cake will please chocolate lovers.
Valentine’s Day: Not for Me
I love Valentine’s Day not. It’s just too cheesy, and I can’t. For decades, I’ve had a horror movie fest on Valentine’s Day, even (especially?) when I was dating someone. There is junk food.
I used to do this with evil glee, but I’ve mellowed over time. Also, the quality of my junk has vastly improved. This year, I’ve made a chocolate cake. A deep, dark, evil chocolate cake.
Gâteau fondant au chocolat de Nathalie: a darling of the early aughts food blogs
If you followed food blogs in the early aughts, you may remember a version of this cake, a gâteau fondant au chocolat de Nathalie (here’s another one from Orangette). Blog posts from this era have titles like Orangette’s, “And Then the Cake Came Forth,” and contain lots of oh my gods. I first found it on Chocolate & Zucchini ages ago and baked it for a dinner party. We ate it in stunned silence.
Another back-pocket recipe
It’s become another back-pocket recipe. My mom adores it, and I make it for her birthday cake most years (she is not going to like that I’ve blogged about it in the context of horror movies. Sorry, Mom!). I actually wound up making it for my Merry Little Solo Christmas Dinner, because it absolutely poured, and the Pavlova I planned on making would have failed in the damp. Christmas Dinner dessert, saved, with ingredients I tend to just have on hand.
This cake is wicked good, as we say in New England. Dark chocolate melts with an unholy amount of butter before coming together with sugar, too many eggs, and the tiniest bit of flour. Before baking, sprinkle with fleur de sel. While you need good ingredients (break out the good butter and chocolate), the recipe comes together quickly and bakes easily.
Like all chocolate cakes, it’s a good idea to bake it the day before to allow the flavors to intensify. I usually serve it with a simple, barely sweetened whipped cream. Sometimes, including this time, I’ve made a mascarpone whipped cream. If I have raspberries or strawberries, I include those too.
For my cake, I follow the C&Z recipe linked above. However, and I think this is important, I put the extra egg and additional sugar that she took out of the recipe back in (it’s in the post). I’ve made it both ways, and it’s better with the extra egg and sugar.
As perfect for a special occasion as it is for a horror movie fest in my jammies, if you love chocolate, this recipe belongs in your repertoire. As it isn’t mine, I’m not going to write it out here, but I’ll show you how it comes together. Behold, my first ever food video.
Gâteau fondant au chocolat de Nathalie
This cake is super rich, obviously, so take it easy on the portions, or you’ll be sad. It keeps well, so fret not.
A note about serving for more formal occasions: This cake does have a top that cracks like brownies, and might not look perfect. When topped with whipped cream, no one will know, and no one will care.
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