Melted Chocolate Running from a Whisk
Melted Chocolate Running
from a Whisk
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Zogbaum, Armin
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La Belle Cuisine - More Chocolate Treats

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Chocolate Pound Cake
(Quatre-Quarts au Chocolat)



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"I feel the end approaching.
Quick, bring me my dessert, coffee and liqueur."
- Pierette, great-aunt of Anthelme Brillat-Savarin

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Chocolate Passion
Chocolate Passion
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Our Passion for Chocolate
Our Passion for Chocolate
Art Print

Arnold, Kerstin
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La Belle Cuisine


Chocolate Pound Cake
(Quatre-Quarts au Chocolat)

Paris Sweets: Great Desserts
from the City's Best Pastry Shops

By Dorie Greenspan, 2002, Broadway Books/Random House
Adapted from Boulangerie-Pâtisserie Poujauran

“As quintessentially French as a quatre-quarts is, it’s hard not to see it as
the American pound cake’s next-of-kin, a moist loaf cake with great keeping
qualities, the kind of cake you like to have around for anytime nibbling.
The name means ‘four quarters’, and it refers to the classic four ingredients
in this type of cake, as well as to the fact that the ingredients are used in
equal proportions.
Traditionally, a quatre-quarts is made by weighing 3 whole eggs – to get
the mathematical base, so to speak – and then weighing out equivalent
amounts of sugar, flour and butter. The proportions for the quatre-quarts
from bread baker/pastry chef Jean-Luc Poujaran are almost traditional,
give or take a few grams here and there, but the use of brown sugar and
he inspired addition of chocolate, while timelessly delicious, are not
recorded in the history books – a grievous oversight.”

Makes 4 small loaf cakes

4 ounces (115 grams) bittersweet chocolate,
finely chopped
1 1/4 cups (175 grams) all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon double-acting baking powder
1 1/4 sticks (5 ounces; 140 grams) unsalted
butter, at room temperature
1 cup (180 grams) packed light brown sugar
4 large eggs, at room temperature
1 large egg yolk, at room temperature
1/3 cup (85 grams) crème fraîche, homemade*,
or store-bought, or heavy cream

1. Center a rack in the oven and preheat the oven to 350 degrees F (180 degrees C). Butter four 5 3/4 x 3 x 2 1/2-inch (14.5 x 7.5 x 6.5-cm)
disposable aluminum foil mini loaf pans. Dust the insides of the pans
with flour, tap out the excess, and put the pans on an insulated baking
sheet or two stacked regular baking sheets.
2. Melt the chocolate in a bowl over – not touching – simmering water or
in a microwave oven; set it aside. Whisk the flour and baking powder
together and set aside as well.
3. Working in a mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter
on medium speed until it is smooth and light. Add the sugar and beat
for 2  minutes. One by one, add the whole eggs and the yolk, beating
for 1 minute after each addition. Don’t be concerned when the mix-
ture curdles – it will come together when you add the dry ingredients.
Reduce the mixer speed to low and beat in the cream, followed by the
melted chocolate. When the chocolate is thoroughly incorporated, add
the dry ingredients, mixing only until they disappear into the batter.
4. Divide the batter evenly among the pans. Bake the cakes for 35 to
40 minutes, or until a knife inserted into the center comes out clean.
Transfer the cakes to a cooling rack and cool for about 5 minutes
before unmolding; turn the cakes right side up and cool to room

* Crème fraîche is the kind of cream you could happily eat off a spoon. It is sour cream’s French cousin, but it is richer than sour cream, its texture smoother,
more velvety, and more like custard…
Unfortunately, crème fraîche is not easily found in the United States and
what is available is often very expensive. However, crème fraîche can be
made simply and reasonably at home.
To make 1 cup of crème fraîche, pour 1 cup heavy cream into a clean jar, add
1 tablespoon buttermilk or yogurt, cover the jar tightly, and shake it for about
a minute. Then just leave the jar on the counter for 12 to 24 hours, or until the
crème fraîche thickens slightly. How quickly it thickens will depend on the temperature of the room – the warmer the room, the quicker the thickening
action. When it has thickened, chill the crème fraîche in the refrigerator for
a day before you use it. Crème fraîche can be kept covered in the refrigerator
for about 2 weeks and (or but, depending on your taste) will get tangier and
tangier day after day.

Keeping: Wrapped airtight, the cakes will keep for 4 days at room
temperature or for 1 month in the freezer.

An American in Paris: I sometimes spice up this cake by adding 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon or 1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg to the dry ingredients
or by beating the grated zest of 1 orange into the batter when I’m beating the
eggs and sugar together. In fact, if you like the flavor of orange with chocolate
[yes!], you might want to fold about 1/2 cup chopped candied orange peel into
the batter before you spoon it into the loaf pans.

More from 'Paris Sweets':
Chocolate Temptation
Cherry Clafoutis (Clafoutis aux
Cerises Mulot)

Coffee Tart (Tarte au Café) Adapted
from Pierre Hermé, Paris

Crème Fraîche
Sweet Tart Dough (Pâte Sucrée)
Featured Archive Recipes:
Quatre-Quarts Pound Cake
Chocolate Black Walnut Pound Cake
German Chocolate Pound Cake
Pound Cake - The Ultimate Comfort Cake
Three Chocolate Cakes (Laurie Colwin)

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