Saturday, December 5, 2020

Chocoladetaart - Belgian Chocolate Cake


One of the things that I greatly miss during these times is our visits to Belgium, in particular our Saturday-day-trips to the more than charming City of Antwerp (Antwerp lies in the Dutch/Flemish-speaking part of Belgium, the city plays the role of unofficial capital of Flanders). But you know what they say - if you can’t travel there, make a treat from there, a kind of soulfood, a feel good moment during the Advent season. 

When I feel a yearning for the distinct taste of Belgian chocolate or a slice of Belgian chocolate cake with my afternoon cup of tea, I dig into my secret hoard of Belgian chocolate. I take one hundred and fifty grams from my carefully stacked piles, take a smell at the dark bittersweet baking chocolate and bake a slightly fudgy Chocoladetaart, a Belgian Chocolate Cake with only six ingredients. This is what I call a simple recipe, yet I find it very pleasing, it seems to fit my current state of mind so well - less is indeed more.

A fudgy center is expected and desired with this recipe. No need to pull out your hand-held mixer either, do it by hand, all you need is two bowls, a whisk and a cake pan that measures about 23cm (9in). And this recipe, of course.





Chocoladetaart – Belgian Chocolate Cake

Ingredients

  • 200g unsalted butter, plus some for greasing the baking pan, cut into chunks
  • 150g bittersweet chocolate (with a cacao range of 70%), OR semisweet chocolate (which has a cacao content of around 60% and can be used interchangeably with bittersweet chocolate), preferably Belgian baking chocolate bars, roughly chopped into smaller pieces for melting
  • 225g superfine baking (caster) sugar (feinster Backzucker)
  • ¼ tsp fine sea salt
  • 4 eggs (L), free range or organic, room temperature
  • 100g plain (AP) four

  • unsweetened cocoa powder, preferably Belgian - for dusting the cooled cake (optional)
  • powdered sugar - for dusting the cooled cake (optional)

In addition

  • springform baking pan (23cm/9in) 
  • baking parchment



Preparation

  1. Pre-heat your oven to 165°C (325°F).
  2. Melt the butter, add the chopped chocolate and stir. Let stand for about 2 minutes to melt.
  3. Line a 23cm diameter round springform pan with baking parchment, butter and flour. Knock out excess flour.
  4. Then to the butter mixture add the sugar and whisk. Then whisk in the salt, then the eggs, one at a time. And last, stir in the flour. 
  5. Transfer the batter to the prepared cake pan.
  6. Bake for 15 minutes, cover loosely with baking parchment. Continue to bake for another 30 minutes (45 minutes total) or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out with fudgy crumbs.
  7. Transfer to a cooling rack and let the cake cool for about 15 minutes, remove the outer ring of the springform pan, then cool completely and remove the bottom of the cake pan.
  8. Dust with dark cocoa powder and/or a bit of powdered sugar (I like the look that it lends to this simple cake) and serve with softly whipped cream and homemade caramel sauce (I rather like the a Salted Caramel Sauce), or fresh berries or seasonal fruit, or just plain - that way you will really taste the wonderful chocolate.





If you are interested in more pics and history from the City of Antwerp, take a look at: 

  • A Visit to Antwerp (Belgium) - Part I (HERE
  • A Visit to Antwerp (Belgium) - Part II - Market Day (HERE)
  • A Visit to Antwerp (Belgium) - Part III - Antwerpse Handjes & Philip´s Biscuits (HERE)


Looking for pics and a typical recipe from the City of Bruges, you can take a look at:

  • A Visit to Bruges (Belgium) - Part I (HERE)
  • A Visit to Bruges (Belgium) - Part II (Speculoos) (HERE)



If you are interested in another recipe for a Belgian-inspired cake, take a look at:

August Baking: Belgian Salted Butter Pound Cake - Backen im August: Belgischer Salzbutter Kuchen (HERE)


And for Gentse Waterzooi & Geraardsbergse Mattentaart recipes (Belgian Stew and Puff Pastry tarts), have a look HERE - one of these dishes was much beloved by the wonderful Julia Child.




2 comments:

  1. This is THE perfect timing. I just this morning - before getting your post - bought a pound of 72% Belgian chocolate. Really - I am not joking! It was a complete whim - I must have known somehow that you were about to post this. I have been craving a chocolate torte and now I can make one! (I also bought a pound of Irish butter for no reason... ) Your calendar is in the mail - I hope you get it before the New Year! Big hugs, David

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  2. Que bien que se ve.
    1 saludito

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