Et des morceaux d’arbres tomberaient du ciel – Le cake très chocolat

[And pieces of tree would fall from the sky – The ultimate quadruple chocolate loaf cake]

I plan to spend this autumn collecting dead leaves and horse-chestnuts, drinking coffees with warm mittens on, drawing the nights away, and day-dreaming about je ne sais quoi.

In fact, if I were to plan anything it would be a forever-autumn.

Its blue skies and ice-cold winds, occasional mists and ensuing falling leaves. And, no matter how old I grow, its slight Christmas air that fills my mind with tings tings.

Of course, chocolate cake would be involved. As it usually is when the first cold decides to make an appearance, happily forcing me into warm winter leggings and furry boots.

Always the same one. With cocoa powder. And chocolate chunks. And chocolate syrup. And grated chocolate to top it all.

I made it for the very first time three years ago. On a cold October afternoon. Perhaps it was a Sunday. And by the next day, it had been devoured.

And somehow, the story repeated itself. And somehow, a plateful of crumbs was all that was left.

Le cake très chocolat
Adapted from Nigella Lawson’s Feast.

One of the things I like the most about this cake is not its melt-in-your mouth texture or the fact that it uses four different kinds of chocolate.

No, is that’s it takes longer to bake than to make; leaving plenty of time to fill the house with its warm chocolate essence, and giving you just the right amount of cosy expectation.

It is in fact a doodle to make. A one-bowl kind of cake. And trust me when I say it is pretty satisfying.

Le cake très chocolat

serves 8-10

for the cake
200g plain flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
50g cocoa powder
275g caster sugar
a pinch of maldon sea salt
175g butter
2 eggs
175g chocolate, melted
80g double cream
125g boiling water

for the syrup
one tsp cocoa powder
125g water
100g caster sugar

for the topping
25g dark chocolate, grated

Preheat the oven to 170°C. Generously butter one large loaf tin and line with baking paper, making sure to cut it above the rim.

Put the flour, baking soda, cocoa, sugar, butter, eggs, vanilla extract, melted chocolate and double cream into a bowl, and mix with a wooden spoon until smooth. Slowly incoporate the boiling water and pour the batter into the prepared tin. Now, depemdonding on the size of your tin you might have a bit extra. Just bake it along with the monster cake in a little bowl.

Bake for 45-60 minutes, or until a small knife inserted into the centre of the cake comes out clean.

Put the syrup ingredients of cocoa, water and sugar into a small saucepan, and boil for approximately five minutes, until thickened.

When the syrup is ready, pierce the cake a few times using a skewer or a long match, and pour the syrup as evenly as possible over the cake. Let the cake cool down in its tin before removing from the tin (using the excess baking paper as handles) and place it on your serving plate.

Sprinkle with grated chocolate. And slice the cake away.


  1. You mean I’ve had this recipe sitting around in my copy of Feast for over 5 years and have not made it? Ouch. PS congrats on your best food blog listing–that’s how I found your site!

  2. Simple petite question. Pourquoi beurrer le moule si tu es pour le couvrir de papier parchemin?

    Pour deux raisons. Quand tu beurres ton moule avant de le recouvrir de papier, le papier va “coller” aux parois du moule, et c’est ainsi plus facile a manipuler. Et aussi, car dans les coins du moules, j’ai toujours une petite partie decouverte – sans papier – mais avec le beurre, le gateau n’accroche pas. Bon c’est certain que je pourrais decouper le papier de telle facon a ce qu’il recouvre tout le moule, mais je n’ai jamais le temps, que ce soit au travail ou a la maison!

  3. Ciao, love this post. If it would be up to me it would as well be a forever autumn. What is there not to love about this season? At this moment there is a beautiful sun brightening everything up. This cake looks tempting…I only have to wait for the right occasion to make it. It would be too much for just the two of us – too much cake eating that is.

  4. Just baked this for some friends we will visit this evening, it’s cooling on the table and I can’t wait to taste it!
    And you’re absolutely right, the house smells wonderful!

  5. Ce n’est plus possible Fanny, tu ne peux plus continuer à me faire baver devant mon écran comme ça !! Ce cake est merveilleux, j’ai envie de rallumer mon four et de m’y mettre ! Moi qui n’aime pas l’automne, je suis sûre qu’avec un bon gâteau aussi chocolaté, il passerait tout seul…
    Bises, bon après-midi à toi :)

  6. I have just stumbled across your blog and I have to say I am so happy that I have found you. I can spend hours reading your entries. I just made the quad chocolate cake and it look so wonderful, I made the additions of adding chocolate chunks into the batter and replaced the water in the syrup with coffee ( I enjoy the slight bitterness the coffee adds, and the love the combination of coffee and chocolate ) I have so say the results look incredible. I look forward to reading more in the future, you do have a amazing talent, keep up the good work… to make 5 min. brioche

  7. ahhh that looks and sounds gorgeous !
    here’s to a long and heady autumn filled with warm ovens, sunlit yellow leaves, and cozy dreams.

  8. Hey Fanny!
    Je passais de temps en temps sur foodbeam, puis sur comme un lait fraise, mais là!!!
    Je reviens tout juste de Thaïlande, et la nouvelle présentation de ton blog me fait dire que désormais… c’est TON blog qui va devenir le blog culinaire que je vais visiter tous les jours! Toutes mes félicitations pour tout ce merveilleux travail (blog, recettes, photos… j’aime ton univers!).

  9. PS: Una Semplice Passione ne veut pas cusiner ce délicieux cake pour 2 personnes?!?!?! Et ben moi je vais me le préparer pour moi toute seule, et tant pis si je reprends les quelques kilos que j’ai perdu pendant mon voyage :D

  10. Nicole va t’écrire pour demander la recette au chocolat et dattes sans sucre, ceux que tu as fait à Fouras .


  11. I’m a researcher in the field of food temptation and self-regulation, but I also love to cook and eat! Tonight I am making a lot of your chocolatecakes to present at a meeting on food temptation in my departement. The cakes will be sort of a showcase of our studies. I can’t wait to go home and get started!

  12. bye bye miss G M t’envoie un petit cou cou demain j’ataque les gateaux pour Sindri la fete de son ecole il fait tres froid à FOURAS LES BAINS BRIAN est malade donc il ne va pas àl’ecole repose toi bien et BICHONNE TA CHAMBRE BIZZZ G M

    Oui je regarde la meteo pour Fouras, il fait plus froid qu’a Londres!!! Courage. Je t’aime. xx

  13. ;) beautiful recipe.
    and whilst i understand this is a quadruple chocolate cake, does it work as well without the syrup and grated chocolate?
    and how long can this be kept?

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