Roald Dahl wrote a book called Matilda and now I’m eating chocolate cake for breakfast.
Welcome to my life.
By the way, this is not just any chocolate cake. Try more like a perfectly dense and moist flourless (almost) chocolate cake that only requires 5 ingredients and can be baked into bars and is topped with the world’s best and most chocolatey and most simple frosting. THAT is what I’m eating for breakfast.
When Roald Dahl wrote his book Matilda, he included a cake-loving character named Bruce Bogtrotter whose punishment for stealing cake was eating a whole ‘nother cake. Poor Bruce! That is cruel. Oooor is it? That’s what I love about Roald Dahl – he makes us think deep thoughts about chocolate cake.
My girls and I enjoyed reading this story together in school,
and then Bjork and I invited them over to watch the movie at our apartment, because we like to see how many kids we can cram into one teeny room when it’s 100 degrees out.
And yes, they want blankets when it’s 100 degrees out.
So naturally, after that, I had to make the cake. Had. To.
This comes from a really wacky picture book/cookbook of all of Roald Dahl’s craziest book foods. Like frobscottle and snozzcumbers from the BFG, hot frogs from James and the Giant Peach, and lickable wallpaper from Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. To the person who understands what I’m talking about: I love you.
This original chocolate cake recipe is meant to be baked, um, as a cake. Deeeep thoughts today.
But even though it’s a cake, I actually baked it into something more resembling bars, 1) because I have a thing for dessert bars, and 2) because I don’t have a round cake pan here in the Philippines. Annnnd I maybe don’t have one at home, either. Bad food blogger. Usually I buy one of those round tinny ones for 99c and try to wash and reuse it at least 50 times until it’s so flimsy that I can’t even lift it into the oven. I made another chocolate cake (sooo good) where I actually did use a 99c tin cake pan and TOOK THE PICTURES IN IT without even realizing. And then I ate the whole thing in 2 days, and you guys liked it, so whatever. We’re all good.
Since I don’t have a real round cake pan, but I do have something resembling a brownie pan, I decided to go with the sheet cake and/or bars approach. And oooo-ey. These flourless (almost) chocolate cake bars were just as good as they looked in the movie. That frosting? Oh, you guys. I live for that ganache-y frosting right now. It’s thick and luscious and creamy and sets up into a firm frosting layer when you keep it in the fridge like we do with all chocolate in this 100 degree land, kind of like this old fashioned frosting in a different, more chocolatey way.
These bars are not for the faint of heart. Lots of butter, lots of chocolate, lots of thick, dense, fudgy chocolate cake bar texture going on here. You wouldn’t expect anything else from someone named Bruce Bogtrotter, would you? Bruce just knows.
These simple fudgy chocolate cake bars only have 5 ingredients and taste like a combination of brownies and flourless chocolate cake.
8 ounces semisweet chocolate chips
1 1/2 sticks salted butter, about 170 grams, softened
1 cup sugar
1/4 cup all purpose flour
6 eggs, yolks and whites separated
8 ounces semisweet chocolate chips (for the frosting)
1 cup heavy cream (for the frosting)
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Melt 8 ounces of chocolate chips in a double boiler, or if you don’t have a double boiler, just melt it in a heat-safe bowl over a pot of boiling water. Stir in the butter until it’s all melted.
Transfer the melted mixture to a cooler, larger bowl and add the sugar and flour. Lightly beat the egg yolks and stir them into the bowl.
Using an electric mixer, beat the egg whites until they are stiff. I find that it helps to have a cold bowl when I do this, and usually it takes about 3 minutes. Fold the stiff egg whites into the chocolate mixture.
Pour the batter into the rectangular bar pan (9×13) or a round cake pan (8 1/2 inches) lined with parchment paper and bake for about 30-35 minutes. The cake should have a thin crust on top when it’s done, but the inner texture might appear underbaked. That’s okay – the cake settles and firms up as it cools. It’s meant to be thick and fudgy. I baked for 35 minutes and I wish I had stopped at 30.
Make the frosting by melting the chocolate again in the double boiler with the cream, stirring until just melted. Let the frosting cool slightly and the gently spread the frosting over the cake bars. To set the frosting, let it cool in the refrigerator. Or dig in to the hot melty chocolate. Up to you.
Lining your baking pan with parchment paper helps with easy removal of cake bars.
Oh, by the way? This is a picture of my sweet class. I started with six and ended with four, since two girls have left to join their new adoptive families. These girls are the highlight of my everything.