French Chocolate Cake

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45 minutes 1 9–inch cake Print RecipeEmail Recipe


4ounceunsweetened chocolate
1⁄4cupwater (or cold brewed coffee)
1⁄2cupunsalted butter (cut into 16 pieces – room temperature)
1⁄2cupsuperfine sugar
4 eggs (separated – at room temperature)
1⁄2cupblanched almonds (finely ground)
1tablespoonrum, cognac or kirsch
1⁄4cupall-purpose flour (sifted)
1⁄2cupapricot preserves (strained)
  chocolate glaze
  candied violets
  candied roses


Heat oven to 350°F.

Butter two 9-inch round cake pans. Dust with flour; tap out excess.

Combine chocolate and water in top of the double boiler. Heat over hot (not boiling) water, stirring occasionally, until chocolate is melted and mixture is smooth. Remove double boiler from heat.

Add the 1/2 cup butter, one piece at a time, whisking after each addition until butter melts and is absorbed before adding another piece. Stir in sugar. Transfer to medium bowl; cool completely.

Whisk egg yolks, one at a time, into chocolate mixture, beating well after each addition. Fold in almonds and rum. Sift flour over chocolate mixture; fold in.

Beat egg whites in large mixer bowl until stiff but not dry. Stir one fourth of the whites into cake batter. Fold in remaining whites. Divide batter evenly between prepared pans; spread tops smooth. Bake until centers are slightly rounded and wooden pick inserted in center's is withdrawn almost but not quite clean, about 18 minutes. (A few small crumbs of cake will appear to pick. Do not over bake.) Cool cake in pans on wire racks 3 minutes; remove from pans. Cool completely on racks. Wrap layers in plastic wrap; let stand at cool room temperature overnight to mellow flavors improve texture.

Make chocolate glaze.

Place one cake layer on serving plate; spread top with preserves. Top with second cake layer; spread top and sides of cake evenly with chocolate glaze. Decorate top of cake with candied flowers.


Preparation time does not include: time.

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