Sorry for the radio silence, it’s been awhile since the last video recipe and I apologise for it.
I haven’t been in the right mindset recently and have been playing around with various other elements and things in the kitchen as you have probably see on my Instagram stories to get inspired.
To ease into things and find my footing I’ve been trying to do more instagram bake along lives to connect more personally with everyone and it’s been fun to be able to interact with everyone.
But enough of myself, I hope you have all been well and here is a recipe for you. 🙂
In the theme of many of my other recipes, I tend to get inspired by things that I want to eat and travel. And this particular cake caught my attention.
Part fudge cake, part creamy cake, part smooth ganache. It isn’t too sweet and full of chocolate flavour. Smooth and silky at room temp, semi solid straight from the fridge and gooey when warm. Enjoy it however you want (personally prefer it cold as it feels like I am indulging in a huge piece of not too intense nama chocolate ;))
This is a cake that has been rather popular recently in Japan and Korea (more so over the last year or so) and I had made a Matcha version over the weekend and thoroughly enjoyed it. But today I am sharing the dark chocolate version based off your votes on my stories. You chose chocolate so here I am delivering on it!
As per usual, here are “some” things to note:
Most recipes call for the number of eggs, but as you would know, the weight of eggs may vary from egg to egg even within the same carton. Some might weigh 50g some 60g some 40g, even if they are all labelled as “large” eggs.
For the most part, a few grams either way won’t be too noticeable.
However when it comes to a recipe such at this where there are so little ingredients and each component shines through very apparently, a few grams will make a big difference.
Too much eggs and your cake may be too firm as this cake relies on the eggs to set it. Too little and the cake might be too soft and not set properly.
There is also the more obvious component of flavour. If you have too much eggs in your cake, you do run the risk of the flavour of the eggs coming through more apparently than you might like it to.
Finding the right balance is key. I like my cake to be part soft part firm, but not overcooked at all. This comes down to a few components which brings me to the next part…
Temperature and Timing
Whilst temperature might not seem like too much of a factor I tend to be a little pedantic.
Structure of the cake
I like my cake to be set and part gooey but not over cooked. When I say that I mean I don’t want the middle to over cook but more importantly, I do not want the edges to overcook. If the cake gets too “well done” the flavour of the eggs start to become more apparent. You also run the risk of the cream and eggs curdling. Because there isn’t any flour in this recipe, when the eggs get to a certain temperature, they might scramble and that’s when you see the cake turning slightly grainy. You also would not want your chocolate to get too hot as it might burn affecting the taste and the cream might split too. All in all, I find that less is more and it’s best not to over do it.
Visually, I don’t like it when the cake sinks too much in the middle once cooled due to it being either too under cooked in the center or from a sudden shock in temperature. I also do not my cake to take on colour on the top as that changes the flavour.
To me this particular cake is all about the purity ingredients and about allowing the flavour of the ingredients to shine through so that you are able to taste the chocolate, the eggs, the butter and the cream all in balance without one being too overwhelming or disguised by unwanted flavours (such as a overcooked crust).
As such, we are baking this in a water bath like you would a New York cheesecake as the water controls the temperature of how hot the sides of the tin will heat up to. This means that the cake will bake more evenly and not burn.
You will see below that this recipe calls for preheating the oven at a higher temperature before dropping it down when the cake goes in. This just helps with the initial boost of heat to kick start the cooking process but also means that your oven’s heat element won’t come on too soon during the bake time as your oven attempts to maintain the set temperature which might lead to overcooking the top. It’s a small tweak but something that I find works better for me.
As with the basque cheesecake recipe, the jiggle is always a good visual indicator to ensure if it’s cooked to the right state 😉 Rather than timing (because all of our ovens are different), visual cues are your best guide.
If it doesn’t jiggle, chances are that you may have over baked it. Whilst this is not the end of the world, your cake will simply be firmer and the flavour of the eggs more prominent. It’s still edible but I would definitely recommend going for a under baked cake over an over baked cake. Check your cake after 20 minutes and if it is still not set to your liking, let it go for another 5 minutes. I have let it sit up to 30mins previously and it turned out fine but just that slightly bit firmer in the middle.
Temperature of the ingredients
One key thing to note is that your ingredients should be at room temperature before you begin, especially the eggs and for the most part, the cream (you don’t want it warm but cool is fine).
Take your eggs out of your fridge (if you store it in the fridge) at least 1-2 hours before just to get it to temperature, and remove the cream from the fridge 1hr before you bake so that it is no longer fridge cold. Don’t have it sitting around for hours at end at room temperature as it is a dairy product but an hour or two will be perfectly fine. Alternatively, you can speed up the process by placing the items in a bowl of water that’s around body temperature just to get it to warm up quickly.
The reason for why we want room temperature eggs is that when we go to add the eggs and the cream, it will drop the temperature of the warm chocolate/butter mixture and start to cool the chocolate down, and as you can imagine, chocolate and butter firm up when cold.
It will make it a lot harder to get the ingredients to incorporate smoothly and sometimes it might not come together.
There is an alternative with the cream if you do not wish to let it sit around to warm up, and that is to add the cream to the chocolate and butter before the eggs.
What I mean by that is that once the chocolate and butter mixture has melted as per the video and you turn the flame off, leave the bowl sitting over the water and just add the cream a little at a time and mix it in. The residual heat from the bowl sitting over the pot of steaming water will keep the mixture warm but not too hot as the flame is off.
You are not looking to boil the cream, but rather just ensure it gets incorporated so once it’s mixed in you can take it off the pot. Please ensure you remove your bowl from the pot of water before you add the eggs or you will start to cook the eggs and affect the final outcome of the cake.
This cake is 40% made up of chocolate, so it shouldn’t come as a shock that my first and only rule for this is that you use good quality chocolate. Good quality couverture chocolate to be precise. The way couverture chocolate melts is different from most of your off-the-shelf supermarket chocolates. That and the fact that the flavour of the chocolate is usually better. If you are willing to splurge, you can go for single origin ones or specialty chocolate which you love the flavour of. If you are getting ingredients from the supermarket, just be sure to check the ingredient list and use chocolate that has no emulsifiers that will set the chocolate.
When it comes down to the percentage of the cocoa in the chocolate, I tend to go for something that falls in the range of 70% and add additional sugar. You can definitely go for something in the lower range if you prefer a sweeter chocolate cake.
Whilst this might be a “70% chocolate” cake, it is not a “70% chocolate cake” because we are adding things like cream, eggs, sugar etc. to the cake as well. So the sweetness will be tempered and flavour a little diluted by the addition of the other ingredients. So please just keep that in mind.
I wouldn’t recommend using something too sweet but you could blend some bittersweet 54% chocolate with your 70% chocolate to get the balance that you are after and adjust the sugar as you see fit.
Speaking of the different cocoa ranges, this goes beyond just the concern of how sweet it will be.
Let’s talk fluidity.
70% chocolate from Callebaut has a lower fluidity than the 54% range (if you see the clip on the video, you’ll be able to see the fluidity drops on the bags). What this means is as it reads, it flows less and is less fluid. I also find that they set firmer with more of a snap. If you are using 70% to make nama chocolate (like in my nama chocolate recipe), you would usually need more cream to get that softer consistency in comparison to white chocolate or milk chocolate.
Why do I mention this?
Because you might decide to enjoy this cake straight out of the fridge the same way I would and wonder why its either too soft or too hard. Or you might also wonder why was it that when you use a 85% chocolate or higher cocoa chocolate your cake turned out firmer than expected. This might be one of the causes 🙂 It might not be because you have over baked your cake but rather your chocolate simply sets firmer.
We are using unsalted butter in this cake but if you are really going to go for the premium feel, try using unsalted cultured butter. The flavour of the butter is just lovely with that slight fermented flavour.
Butter can be split into 2 types – sweet butter (uncultured) or cultured butter. Cultured butter is usually when the butter has microbes introduced to it and has aged giving it more flavour, think of butter with a slight cheese funk. Depending on the brand it will vary.
Once again, the only reason why I bring this up is because you can taste the ingredients in this cake so play around with the quality depending on the flavour you are after.
There is also the point of different butter have different consistency at different temperatures. Some butter sets softer whilst some are harder straight out of the fridge which will lend to the final texture of the cake. So once again, head down to your local shops and explore the produce.
This is a pretty standard item and a really customisable one as well.
I chose to go with caster sugar as it is finer than regular white sugar and would result in a smoother final result as the sugar tends to melt a lot faster and much more easily. You could use icing sugar but it is not necessary. But if you do use icing sugar, please make sure there are no anti caking agents in it (like starch) and it’s just pure sugar.
You could use regular white sugar as well should you wish to and the flavour is not going to be any different.
If you want a really deep dark chocolate cake, feel free to reduce the amount of sugar by half. I wouldn’t omit it altogether because there is no other source of sugar in the recipe beyond what’s in the chocolate and this added sugar.
For a slightly different flavour, please feel free to consider light brown sugar as an alternative for a less sweet version but also for an added molasses flavour. Once again, it comes down to what you are after with the flavour.
Do note that when it comes to the sweetness of the cake, cold cake will always tastes less sweet as it numbs your taste buds and the sweetness will be elevated in a warm cake. (Think of how melted ice cream tends to taste sweeter as oppose to it’s frozen counterpart ;))
The Baking Tins
The tin that I am using in the recipe isn’t too common depending on where you are or what you might usually bake. It is sized at 7.5″ x 3.5″ on the top.
The most common loaf tin sizes is a 8″x4″ or a 9″x5″ load pan, this is smaller than your 8″x4″ pan but bigger than your mini loaf tins.
I like this because of how the slightly smaller size gives me more height. This pan is probably more suitable for pound cakes but you can easily use a 8″x4″ tin instead. Just keep in mind your cake might be a little more shallow and you will need to reduce your bake time just slightly as more surface area means that the cake bakes faster.
If you are using a 9″x5″ baking tin, please increase the quantity by 50%. Your cake will still be slightly shallower than mine, so keep your bake times between 20min-30mins and go by the visual wobble.
Which ever size you might choose, be sure that your tin doesn’t rust when in contact with water for a period of time. (No one likes a rusty cake ;))
I am also using a light colour tin which mean it doesn’t absorb heat as well, I personally like using it for this because it doesn’t cook the outside too quickly as a dark colour tin will absorb more heat leading to the outside setting a little more quicker. But this is s a minor detail.
One other final thing to note is that my tin is really quite lightweight and thin, so heat retention isn’t the greatest, which means it cools down quicker. As such, if your tin is really thick, I recommend removing your cake from the oven a few minutes earlier as it will retain heat for longer than mine would and continue to cook the cake for a little longer than mine. It comes down to the texture that you are after of the cake, the longer it cooks the less soft to firm ratio you will have but it wouldn’t be a big deal breaker. 🙂
In short, play around with the bake times, only by testing it with your own oven and tins will you be able to yield the results you want.
The Water Bath
There is nothing special about this water bath, the only thing to really note is that we are adding a paper towel at the base of the tin for the baking tin to sit on to ensure it doesn’t have direct contact with the tin.
Other recipes online may call for adding water at various temperatures, i.e. 50C or 70C etc to ensure it doesn’t kick start the cooking process too quickly.
Me? I say let’s keep it simple, let’s go in with 100C boiling water. The hot stuff. Get that going and get the cooking kick started.
For ease, you could fill your water bath tray with water before placing the cake tin in it to avoid having to work around making sure you don’t accidentally pour water into your batter.
Please be cautious with moving the tray, it will be hot so oven mitts is recommended.
There are 3 wait times here in this recipe.
First is when the batter goes into the mold, and second is once it is done baking and the last wait is the overnight rest in the fridge.
First up, waiting before baking.
I like to pour the batter into the cake tin and let it sit for a bit. I knock the pan on the counter to get any larger bubbles rise to the surface the minute I pour the batter in to ensure a smooth product, I then allow it to rest to do 2 things – let any trapped air bubbles rise to the top and to cool the batter down.
*Please note that in my video, because I had spent quite some time moving the camera around and taking the shots of the batter before pouring it into the pan, it has firmed up slightly and thus not much of the bubbles had risen to the surface. (You can see the texture changed in the video from when the cream was first incorporated to when I finally poured it into the pan, this was because it had cooled down during the filming period as it is winter where I am currently and rather cold)
When making this, it is best to transfer it to the batter the pan once it is ready and immediately tap to remove the bubbles.
Because the chocolate and butter had been heated in hot water, the batter should still be warm and smooth.
Back to the reason as to why we cool the batter, going into the oven with warm batter means the center will cook through quicker, going in with a slightly cooler batter means it will take longer for the middle of the cake to cook giving it more of a contrast in texture between the set outside and soft inside of the cake.
The second wait
Letting it sit in the water bath.
We take it out of the oven and let it to continue to sit in the water bath for another 5 minutes.
This will allow it to slowly come to room temp without creating a huge shock which may result in the cake sinking too much due to the sudden change in temperature.
The final wait is the overnight rest in the fridge.
Whilst the cake is good to eat directly out of the oven, it will be molten on the inside.
Perfectly good to eat if you like a molten cake but if you are after a fudgy cold cake then you are going to have to let it rest overnight.
But before you wrap it in cling wrap and place it into the fridge overnight, please be sure that your cake is cool otherwise condensation droplets may form and drip onto your cake as it cools in the fridge.
Removing the cake
The cake came out of the tin relatively easily for me, all I had to do with give it a tug and it slipped right out, however it might not be the case for you.
If your batter had accidentally overflowed onto the area between the baking paper and the tin, it might cause the cake to stick.
But fret not, all you have to do is warm the sides of the tin up slightly and it will come right out.
You can do that 3 ways, one is to quickly heat up the sides with a blow torch.
The other is to simply place the tin into a hot water bath for a few seconds until it slips out. And the final way is to run a knife along the side of the tin to release it.
The textures of this cake
There are 3 ways that you can consume/enjoy this cake.
1 – Hot out of the oven – all warm, molten and gooey. To warm up your slices, place a slice into the microwave and heat for 7-9 seconds until it softens. Do not place the whole cake in or you won’t be able to portion them once warm. Alternatively heat the slice in a 160C oven for 2-4 minutes or until warm.
2 – At room temperature – fudgey meets soft and creamy. Neither here nor there but there is still a special place for such an experience. Semi-solid semi creamy depending on what your room temp is where you are.
3 – Cold from the fridge – Dense and decadent. This melts in your mouth slowly as you let it warm up on your tongue. Like if ganache and nama chocolate were to have a cake baby. Should you wish to indulge in a cold cake, I prefer to remove my slice of cake from the fridge 10 mins earlier just so it softens up a little bit. It’ll still be cold but not quite as solid.
At different temperatures the flavour of the cake will be different too. The chocolate intensity will be more mellow and less sweet when cold as oppose to a warm cake. I suggest trying it at the various temperatures and do let me know which is your favourite. 🙂
To help you along, here are some of the products used.
(I found one online in the same size but it is slightly thicker in material and a dark colour tin)
Now that we have all of my personal notes out of the way, let’s get onto the recipe!
Chocolate Terrine |チョコレート テリーヌ
Makes 1 loaf – 7.5″ x 3.5″ (See notes above on different sized baking tins)
What you’ll need:
- 200g 70% couverture dark chocolate (good quality ideally)
- 100g unsalted butter, room temperature
- 60g caster sugar (refer to notes above for explanation)
- 150g eggs, room temp (weight without shell, approximately a little less than 3 large eggs)
- 110g heavy/thickened cream, cool not cold (35% fat)
- Small pinch of salt (around 1/8 tsp)
Please refer to notes above for further explanation on ingredients
Before starting, preheat your oven to 180C convection mode and ensure it comes to temperature. Ensure all your ingredients have come to temperature as per explained.
Line your baking tin with baking paper to allow for easy removal. (refer to video for a visual example)
Prepare a bigger tin/tray which you will be able to use as a water bath to place your baking tin on. Fold a kitchen paper towel or thin and place on the base to ensure there is no contact between the baking tin and your water tray.
Place your chocolate, salt and butter into a heat proof bowl and set over a pot of simmering water. Please be sure your bowl doesn’t touch the water.
Melt the chocolate and butter until smooth. Remove from the heat (don’t forget to wipe the base of your bowl to prevent a wet mess on your bench)
Beat the eggs together until smooth and measure it to get 150g. You can go the extra step and strain the eggs if you wish (I didn’t do so for the video but I would advice doing it for the best result)
Add the sugar and whisk until incorporated
Add the eggs a little at the time and whisk until smooth. The batter will go through a few stages, it might start off looking a little grainy but as you mix it it will come together into a smooth almost stick ribbons of batter that will flow from your whisk.
Add the cream and whisk until smooth.
Immediately transfer your batter to your baking tin and give it a few taps on the counter top to get any bubbles to rise to the top. Your batter will start to cool and firm up so it is best to transfer the batter to the tin as soon as possible.
Let your tin of cake batter rest on your bench for 5mins or so to allow the batter to cool down whilst you boil some water.
Pour the boiling water into your water tray and place your cake tin in it (be sure you have a paper towel underneath the cake tin as per the instructions). You want the water to come halfway up the sides of the cake tin, it might be around 2/3 the height of the batter.
Carefully (I recommend wearing oven mitts) transfer tin to the oven and immediately drop the temperature down to 160C and bake for 20-25 mins. I baked mine for 25 mins in the video but if you want it to be even softer you could just leave it in for 20 mins. (If using a 8″x4″ tin please reduce bake time and check at the 20min mark.)
To check when it is done, you will notice that your batter will jiggle and tapping the top will show that it should be wobbly under. (please refer to video for visual cues)
Remove from oven and leave the cake tin in the water to sit for 5 minutes as it continues to cook in the residual heat whilst it cools.
After 5 minutes transfer to a wire rack.
Let the cake cool in the tin, and once fully cooled, wrap in cling wrap and place into fridge to chill overnight.
To serve, remove from fridge and remove the cake from the tin. If it is stuck, you can use a knife to loosen it or place the tin in some hot water for a few seconds to soften the cake edges slightly so it slides out of the tin.
Slice with a warm knife (you can gently heat the knife up over a flame or soak it in hot water). Be sure to clean your knife between slices for a clean slice.
Serve chilled or at various temperatures. (please see note above)
3 Comments Add yours
Hi, this looks like something my daughter would relish & I’d like to bake it for her B’day. Unfortunately I’ll be out of town , can I bake this in advance & keep it in the freezer ? If I can do it how long will it stay good?
Oh, sorry, i read ir again and notice that the receipe is ok.
Hey Sara, how are you doing?
Made this cake yesterday and i’m enjoying it today. It’s excelent.
Just wanted to tell you that there’s a mistake in the written recipe. While in the video you add the sugar before the eggs, in the written text you say sugar must be added afte the eggs.
Cheers and thank you for all of your receipes.