This delicious recipe for Gâteau au chocolat de Nancy (Nancy chocolate cake) comes from a bound volume of regional recipe supplements from the magazine Modes de Paris dating from the late 1960s or early 1970s.
The book is filled with tried and tested sweet and (mostly) savoury recipes from across France, including lovely desserts like flan au Champagne, pain d’épice de Reims, tarte au fromage blanc (Alsace), biscuit de Savoie, and the dense almond cream cake called Pithiviers (Ile de France).
Its richly illustrated pages are filled with images of succulent dishes laid out against colourful, rustic backdrops straight from the kitchens of provincial France.
Part of Franco-Italian businessman Cino Del Duca’s publishing empire, Modes de Paris was one of the earliest modern women’s magazines, launched in the early 1950s. Though it went out of print many years ago, the recipes in this book are timeless.
Gâteau de Nancy is a speciality of the Lorraine region of eastern France.
It contains no flour. Instead, its body and soft, dense texture come from ground almonds and grated chocolate.
The small bits of chocolate retain their shape during baking and produce tiny pockets of rich, dense chocolate flavour.
Use a medium-sized springboard cake pan, and be very gentle when transferring the cake to a serving plate.
Gâteau de Nancy
(adapted from La Cuisine Régionale/Modes de Paris)
Preparation time: 20 minutes
Yield: 6 to 8 servings
Baking time: 40 minutes
- 125 grams (4.5 ounces) butter
- 125 grams (4.5 ounces) sugar
- 125 grams (4.5 ounces) chocolate
- 100 grams (3.5 ounces) ground almonds
- 4 egg yolks
- 4 egg whites
- 1 tablespoon potato starch
- Melt the butter in a double boiler, then clarify and set aside.
- Grate the chocolate and set aside.
- In a large bowl, mix together the egg yolks and sugar, then add the almond powder and clarified butter.
- Gently stir in the grated chocolate.
- Beat the egg whites until firm, then gently fold into the batter.
- Finally, sift the potato starch over the batter and stir in very gently.
- Pour into a springboard cake pan and bake at 175 degrees C (350 degrees F) for 40 minutes or until done.
- Sprinkle with icing sugar before serving.