La Bete Noire

So I knew, after a salad, I’d need something particularly decadent for you guys.

I found something called La Bete Noire.

That’s “The Black Beast” in french.

Its name is well deserved.

It’s sort of a… no holds barred, chocolate punch to the face. It’s the fartheset thing I could find from a salad.

It’s got 6 whole eggs, simple syrup, butter…

and eighteen ounces of bittersweet chocolate.

Then there’s also the eight more ounces of chocolate on top of it, mixed with heavy cream in a thick ganache. Yeah, that’s right, we just topped a dense, fudgey ch0colate cake with a ganache.

This thing is barely a “cake”. It’s really only a cake in shape. There’s no flour, no leavening. The egg whites are not whipped in this one like my other flourless chocolate cake. The whole thing bakes in a bain marie like a custard. It’s only a stone’s throw away from just being a round block of chocolate.

There is nothing wrong with that.

One thing I want to stress about this cake. I’m not usually big on garnishing my desserts unless the garnish is already built into it at the decorating phase. Once the dessert gets cut and hits the plate, my idea of a garnish is a fork. This is mostly due to me being a generally lazy and hungry person.

This is a cake you garnish. With berries. Plump, tart, juicy berries. They are not for show (although they are quite pretty), they are for cutting through mouth coating, rich chocolateyness. I love overloading on chocolate, but these berries take it to another level.

Chocoholics everywhere. Do this. Do this now.

La Bete Noire

Adapted from Epicurious.com

Cake

  • 1 cup water
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 9 tablespoons (1 stick plus 1 tablespoon) unsalted butter, diced
  • 18 ounces bittersweet (not unsweetened) chocolate, chopped
  • 6 large eggs

Ganache

  • 1 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 8 ounces bittersweet (not unsweetened) chocolate, chopped
  • 1/2 pint fresh raspberries
  • 1/2 pint fresh blackberries

Directions

  1. Cake: Preheat oven to 350°F. Butter 10-inch-diameter springform pan. Line bottom of pan with parchment round; butter parchment. Wrap 3 layers of heavy-duty foil around outside of pan, bringing foil to top of rim.
  2. Combine 1 cup water and sugar in small saucepan. Bring to boil over medium heat, stirring until sugar dissolves. Simmer 5 minutes. Remove from heat.
  3. Melt butter in large saucepan over low heat. Add chocolate and whisk until smooth. Whisk sugar syrup into chocolate; cool slightly.
  4. Add eggs slowly to chocolate mixture, whisking constantly until well blended. Pour batter into prepared pan.
  5. Bain Marie: Place cake pan in large roasting pan. Add enough hot water to roasting pan to come halfway up sides of cake pan.
  6. Bake cake until center no longer moves when pan is gently shaken, about 50 minutes. Remove from water bath; transfer to rack. Cool completely in pan.
  7. For ganache: Place 8 oz. of chocolate in a medium sized bowl. Bring whipping cream to simmer in small saucepan over medium heat and pour over chocolate. Let stand 1 minute, then stir until ganache is melted and smooth. Pour over top of cake still in pan. Gently shake pan to distribute ganache evenly over top of cake.
  8. Refrigerate cake in pan until ganache is set, about 2 hours. DO AHEAD: Can be made 2 days ahead. Cover and keep refrigerated.
  9. Run knife around pan sides to loosen cake; release sides. Cut cake into small wedges and serve with 4 or 5 fresh berries per slice.
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3 thoughts on “La Bete Noire

  1. Bourbonnatrix & natalie – It is both insanely over the top and intense. Make sure you cut small slices! And this is coming from someone who loooves to gorge on dessert!

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