Old Fashioned Chocolate Cake

Old Fashioned Chocolate Cake

In celebration of Julia Child’s 85th birthday on August 15, 1997, the Chocolate Manufacturers Association (CMA) offered the recipe for the chocolate cake served to Julia Child for her birthday. When asked about this cake, Mrs. Child exclaimed, “The recipe is eminently worth dying for.”

Chef Marcel DeSaulniers, of Trellis Restaurant in Williamsburg, VA, created the special cake for the lifetime chocolate lover herself. Guittard Chocolate donated the chocolate for the cake on behalf of CMA.

You will need:
Speckled Chocolate Cake:
1/2 pound unsalted butter
2 tablespoons melted unsalted butter
8 egg yolks
1 1/4 cups granulated sugar
6 egg whites
1 1/2 cups cake flour, sifted
10 ounces semisweet chocolate, finely grated

Chocolate Icing:
½ pound unsalted butter
3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa
1/4 teaspoon salt
4 cups confectioners’ sugar
1/3 cup half-and-half
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

parchment with more melted butter. Set aside. Preheat the oven to 325
degrees F. Heat 1 inch of water in the bottom half of a double boiler over
medium heat. Place 1/2 pound of butter in top half of double boiler. Heat
butter slowly, stirring continuously until it is melted but not separated.
Remove from heat. Place egg yolks and 3/4 cup of granulated sugar in bowl of electric mixer fitted with balloon whip. Whisk on high until slightly
thickened and lemon-colored, about 1 minute. Adjust mixer speed to low and
continue to mix while whisking egg whites. Whisk egg whites in a large
stainless bowl until soft peaks form, about 3 minutes. Add remaining ½ cup
sugar and continue to whisk until stiff but not dry, about 2 to 3 minutes.
Gradually add flour to egg yolks while mixing on low. Add melted butter and
continue to mix on low for 10 seconds. Increase speed to medium and mix for
5 seconds. Remove bowl from mixer and use rubber spatula to thoroughly
combine ingredients. Add a third of beaten egg whites and stir to
incorporated, gently fold in remaining egg white and 8 ounces grated
chocolate. Divide batter between prepared pans, spreading evenly, and bake
until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean, about 25 to 30
minutes. Remove cakes and cool in pans for 20 minutes. Invert cakes onto
cake circles; cool to room temperature, about 20 minutes. Remove parchment and refrigerate for 30 minutes. To prepare icing Place ½ pound butter, cocoa, and salt in bowl of electric mixer fitted with a paddle. Cream
mixture on low until thoroughly combined, about 3 minutes. Add
confectioners’ sugar, half-and-half, and vanilla. Combine on low for 10
seconds. Readjust speed to high and beat until icing is light and fluffy,
about 3 minutes. Remove from mixer and keep at room temperature until

To assemble cake Slice each cake horizontally into 2 layers of equal size.
Place one tablespoon icing in center of cake circle. Place a layer of cake
onto dab of icing and gently press in place. Evenly spread 3/4 cup of icing
over cake layer. Repeat steps for remaining three cake layers. After fourth
(top) cake layer is placed, evenly spread remaining icing over top and sides
of cake. Press reserved 2 ounces of grated chocolate into icing on sides of
cakes, coating evenly.

Serves 12