Salted caramel + chocolate, the perfect combo

By Mélanie, on Sunday, November 9, 2008

This summer, I spent one week at the Ile de Ré. Not only did I bake the addictive plum and almond tart I told you about, but I also had one of the best chocolate cake ever*.
Now, I’m very bad with naming chocolate cakes. I’ve seen everything under every name. I thought a “moelleux” would be more cakey, like a traditional grand-mother cake, while the “fondant” would be more dense and chocolaty, sometimes with melting center. But then I had a “moelleux coeur fondant” (melting heart), which, basically, was a lava cake, a “fondant” which was more cream-like, a brownie that tasted like a fondant, and now, I’m lost!
If you have answers to my metaphysical questions, I need your help...

But, back to the cake.
It was rich, but not too dense. On the contrary, the border was very soft and cake-like, and the centre was slightly undercooked, melting in my mouth. Have I told you before that I’m not a huge fan of chocolate? If I had to choose a dessert, it’d be a fruit pie without hesitation. But this cake was heaven.
Maybe the difference was that behind the chocolate, I could taste salted butter. Better than that, salted butter caramel.

It was quite logical that they would use butter with Fleur de sel, because the Ile de Ré is one of the famous place where it is produced. The name Fleur De Sel comes from the aroma of violets that develops as the salt dries. It is the least salty, purest part of the saline. This artisan sea salt is comprised of "young" crystals that form naturally on the surface of salt evaporation ponds. They are hand harvested by traditional "Paludiers" (salt farmers).

Of course, I tried to reproduce it at home. The first attempt was not bad, but nothing exceptional. The second went directly to the garbage. The third one was close, but then, I got tired (or, more exactly, I got apples!!). Fortunately, a post on one of my favorite blog put me on the right track again, and, after two more attempts, here it is!

*The competition for the Best chocolate cake is raging between the 3 finalists: the chocolate cake from the farmers’market at Les Portes en Ré, the brownie from Le Pain Quotidien, and the moelleux from le Cak’T at Loches.

Salted caramel chocolate cake

3/4 cup sugar
3 Tbsp heavy cream
1 1/2 stick salted butter
2 eggs + 2 yolks
5 oz dark chocolate (60%)
4 Tbsp flour

Preheat oven to 350°.

In a large saucepan, bring half of the sugar and 1 teaspoon water to a boil, stirring the sugar as it melts. Cook until the sugar has a golden color. Add the butter and the cream and stir it in.
Remove from heat and add chocolate gradually, whisking it until you get a smooth sauce.

In another bowl, beat with an electric mixer the eggs, yolks and rest of sugar. Add the chocolate caramel mixture, and the flour, while beating until well incorporated.

Pour the mixture in a cake pan or into cupcake liners, and bake about 15 minutes for the cupcakes, and 25-30 minutes for an entire cake. The center should still be soft and slightly uncooked.
Let cool and serve at room temperature.

Gâteau au chocolat au beurre salé

150g de sucre
50g (5cl) de crème liquide
140g de beurre demi-sel
2 œufs et 2 jaunes
140g de chocolat
40g de farine

Préchauffez le four à 180°.

Dans une casserole de taille moyenne, mouillez 75g de sucre avec 1 cuillère à soupe d’eau. Portez à ébullition, et laissez sur le feu jusqu’à ce que le caramel ait une jolie couleur ambrée. Ajoutez le beurre en morceaux et la crème, et mélangez. (Faites attention à ne pas vous brûler, car cela créera de gros bouillons au moment de l’ajout).
Retirez du feu et incorporez le chocolat en plusieurs fois, en remuant jusqu’à ce qu’il soit complètement fondu.

Dans un autre récipient ou dans le bol de votre robot, battez les œufs, les jaunes avec le sucre restant pour les blanchir. Ajoutez le chocolat au caramel et la farine, en battant jusqu’à ce que le mélange soit homogène.

Versez la préparation dans un moule à manqué beurré et fariné, ou bien dans de petites caissettes en papier. Faites cuire 15 minutes (pour des caissettes) ou 25-30 minutes (pour un moule à manqué). Le gâteau doit encore être fondant et légèrement coulant en son centre.
Laissez refroidir un peu avant de le démouler et de le servir.

4 commentaires:

cax2010 said...

je le fais pour ce week end !

Sandrine said...

Il a l'air délicieux!!
Je le fais aussi ce week-end ;-)
Et merci de m'avoir rappelé le fondant au chocolat de Loches!
Par contre je ne me souviens pas du gâteau des Portes... :-(

Marsha said...

Finally I look back and find your blog address, and am AMAZED at what you have done with your blog since it's beginning. Your pictures are beautiful... and now the hard choice is to choose one recipe to make for 'guests' who arrive for our Thanksgiving.... Love you much, Marsha

cax2010 said...

Je l'ai fait et à l'unanimité (sauf moi...) il est délicieux.
j'ai quand même du mal avec le caramel au beurre salé mais Arnaud, Julie, Matthieu et mon père (ceux qui ont goûté en fait) ont adoré. merci !

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