Posted by Grace Massa Langlois on Monday, 13th September 2010

When someone walks into my home for the first time they immediately notice my obsession for chocolate and cookbooks.  Instantly they are tempted with 3 or 4 bowls of different chocolate confections or the chocolate dessert of the day.   It would be very hard to miss my huge collection of cookbooks.  Maybe that’s because most of the time they are strewn all over my coffee table!

A close up photo of David Lebovitz's Racine Cake sprinkled cocoa nibs.

Recently I added a couple of new cookbooks (I couldn’t resist!).  One of these was David Lebovitz’s Ready for Dessert, a nice addition to my ever-growing bookshelf. It’s very difficult for me to pick up a cookbook and not be tempted by the many delicious chocolate desserts.

A photo taken looking down on 2 blue plates each with a slice of flourless chocolate cake and a dessert fork.

When I saw the photo for David Lebovitz’s Racines Cake it was too hard to resist!  David’s inspiration for this recipe came from an unlikely place; a restaurant in Paris called Racines.  You may be wondering, what’s so unlikely about that.

A photo of a chocolate flourless cake and a square, white plate with a slice of flourless chocolate cake with a dessert fork placed on a white cloth napkin.

The thing is, David didn’t initially draw inspiration from the restaurant’s menu or ambience.  He got what he was looking for from the men’s room bathroom wall. Apparently the wall was plastered with poems and drawings from local artists and in the midst of it all he noticed a recipe for chocolate cake. When he returned to the table he noticed a chocolate cake with the same name (Gâteau Zoë) on the menu and he proceeded to order it.  He loved the cake so much he returned to the men’s room with a pen and pad of paper to write down the recipe (Good thing that stall was still available!).

A photo of a small, white bowl of cocoa nibs turned on its side and the cocoa nibs are tumbling out onto a piece of parchment paper.

Thank goodness for inspiration, no matter where it’s found.  This chocolate flourless cake is so creamy and delicious!   The cocoa nibs (unsweetened dry-roasted bits of cocoa) are optional, but if you can find them, they not only provide a nice crunch and contrast to the smooth texture of the cake but they also enhance the flavour of the cake.

A photo of David Lebovitz's Racines Cake on a glass cake stand placed on a brown tea towel and also a slice of the dessert placed on a square, white plate with a dessert fork and white, cloth napkin.

You could dress up this Racines Cake with a scoop of ice cream and chocolate sauce or simply serve it with sweetened whipped cream or enjoy it as I did, all on its own!

A photo taken looking down on David Lebovitz's Racines Cake dessert (flourless chocolate cake sprinkled with cocoa nibs).

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Posted in Baking & Pastry, Baking Mise en Place, Basics, Cakes & Cheesecakes, Pastry Doughs & Batter, Recipes, Ricette di Base, Torte

Comments (22)

22 Responses to “David Lebovitz’s Racines Cake – Chocolate Flourless Cake”

  1. Lauren at KeepItSweet Says:

    i’d like to take a piece of that from the computer to eat!

  2. Grace Says:

    Lauren that is exactly how I felt when I first spotted the pic in the cookbook and the taste does not disappoint!

  3. Marly Says:

    Where do you find cocoa nibs? I haven’t looked to hard, but would really like to know if you have tips. What a great post – both the story and the pics. I love this quote: Thank goodness for inspiration, no matter where it’s found

    That’s lovely!

  4. Grace Says:

    Hey Marly I purchased the cocoa nibs at a local speciality market close to my house. I have heard thy have become easier to find but you can also order them online.

  5. ladyironchef Says:

    the flourless chocolate cake looks great! did u have it with a scoop of cold ice cream? :D

  6. Grace Says:

    I enjoyed it all on its own but would be delicious with a scoop of homemade ice cream

  7. Paula Says:

    this cake looks absolutely chocolately!

    have a nice time!

  8. Kristina @ My Life as a Mrs Says:

    I recently bought that cookbook as well & have been eyeing up that cake! Definitely will have to try it now! LOVE David Lebovitz- his ice cream recipes are to die for! :)

  9. Grace Says:

    I’m loving it so far Kristina. I have yet to try his ice cream recipes, now I can’t wait!

  10. Julie Says:

    I am just like you about cookbooks. I have them everywhere! I like to just sit and read cookbooks even if I am not planning to cook anything right then.

  11. Dereuff Says:

    Scharffen Berger has cocoa nibs, and someone, can’t remember who but I found them in a health food store, makes chocolate-covered nibs.

  12. John Says:

    Are bittersweet and semisweet the same thing with regard to chocolate?

  13. Grace Says:

    They are slightly different but can be substituted for one another.

  14. Mariam Says:

    Hey, I know it’s a really silly question but I have 200g dark chocolate and 200g white chocolate in my cupboard right now and i’m dying to make this – could I substitute 80g with white chocolate and add extra cocoa? I know it won’t be the same but still!

  15. Grace Says:

    Hi Mariam I wouldn’t recommend substituting a portion with white chocolate, I’m concerned about the texture of the cake, I would probably use the 200 g chocolate and add some cocoa skipping the white chocolate altogether. If the cocoa is unsweetened I suggest adding maybe a tablespoon or two of sugar.

  16. Mariam Says:

    Okay, thanks a heap for the suggestion and quick reply! :)

  17. Grace Says:

    You’re most welcome Mariam

  18. Mariam Says:

    Btw I made this last week with your tip – it worked a treat! Soo good and chocolaty and moussey! I plan on making again tomorrow!

  19. Grace Says:

    Hi Mariam, very happy you enjoyed!

  20. Janan Says:

    If you bake this cake in a hot water bath, the texture will be a little more truffle-like. Bake it at the same temp, for the same amount of time. Delicious!

  21. Brittany Says:

    Do you need to refrigerate when done?

  22. Grace Massa Langlois Says:

    Hi Brittany, you can store at room temperature.

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