Adopamop and Lucy have returned to France, leaving me with no excuses for avoiding chores. It was good run.

So, it turns out that Lucy, who weighs in at about 30 lbs, can eat about 30 lbs of dessert – no matter what she’s had to eat prior. It is quite remarkable. (Mostly because I’m the same way.) When she and my brother first arrived, I offered to bring a dessert for our first family meal together. Lucy said she’d like chocolate cake. Actually, she requested two chocolate cakes. Beaucoup through and through.

Do you have David Lebovitz’s Ready for Dessert? Because you should. It’s a wonderful book. That might seem a bit off topic, but stay with me. That book is where I found the recipe for Racines Cake. It’s from a French restaurant bearing the same name, and Lebovitz found the recipe posted in the men’s room. I probably would have called it Bathroom Cake, but I guess that’s why he’s famous and I’m not. Anyhoo, it seemed appropriate to bring a French cake to dinner, and with Adopamop in attendance, bathroom related fare also seemed apropos.

This is a flour-less cake. That means you gluten-free types will probably be all over it. It’s rich and perfect served with a huge dollop of whipped cream (even without the gluten).

Lucy scarfed a big piece down, and gave it her wee French stamp of approval. This is important, as I’ve also learned that when you piss a French kid off she’ll lick you. Like, all over.

. . .

David Lebovitz’s Racines Cake – adapted (barely) from David Lebovitz (Ready for Dessert) – print and bake

  • cocoa powder, for preparing the pan
  • 10 ounces semisweet chocolate, chopped
  • 1/2 cup salted butter, cut into pieces
  • 1 tablespoon freshly brewed instant espresso
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 6 large eggs, separated, at room temperature
  • 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • confectioners’ sugar, for dusting the cake (optional) or whipped cream for serving (optional)

Preheat the oven to 350° F (175° C). Grease the bottom and sides of a 9-inch (23-cm) spring-form pan, dust it with a bit of cocoa powder, and then tap out any excess.

Place the chocolate, butter and espresso in a large heatproof bowl. Set over a small saucepan of simmering water and stir until the chocolate and butter have melted and the mixture is smooth. Remove the bowl from the heat and stir in the vanilla, then set aside.

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, whisk the egg yolks and the 1/4 cup granulated sugar on medium-high speed until the mixture is light and creamy, about 1 minute.

Place the egg whites in a clean, dry bowl and using a hand-held electric mixer fitted with a whisk attachment, whisk the egg whites on low speed until they begin to hold their shape. Add the remaining 2 tablespoons granulated sugar and whisk on high speed until the whites hold soft peaks.

Fold the beaten egg yolks into the melted chocolate mixture, and then fold in half of the whipped egg whites. Fold in the remaining whites, folding just until there are no visible streaks of egg whites. Do not overfold.

Pour the batter into the prepared spring-form pan, and bake until the cake feels as though it’s just barely set (it shouldn’t feel to firm) in the centre – about 25 minutes. Remove from the oven and place on a wire rack to cool completely.

Run a knife around the sides of the cake to help loosen it from the pan. Release the sides of the pan and dust the cake with confectioners’ sugar (if using).


  1. maudiemaudie on August 2, 2011 at 4:09 pm

    This looks like absolute heaven! Those Frenchies know how to do dessert don’t they. I will be printing this off toute de suite. We are eating chocolate friendship cake that I made yesterday for the next week tho’ so I can’t make it yet. And I can’t share my friendship cake recipe because you need a starter – that’s why it’s a friendship cake, a friend gives you a jar of starter. I could mail some but it would probably make a mess somewhere along the way.

  2. movita on August 2, 2011 at 10:35 pm

    Uh, this friendship cake sounds very interesting. I’m thinking you need to do a blog post about it so I can BE EXACTLY LIKE YOU.

    • maudiemaudie on August 3, 2011 at 9:00 am

      I have no idea why you’d need to be exactly like me!! But, in the spirit of friendship I will indeed o a blog post about it – you’ll have to wait 2 weeks though because the cake takes 10 days to kind of ferment before you cook it. And I’m not starting another one for a couple of days otherwise we will drown in cake (nice though that might be)

      • movita on August 3, 2011 at 9:57 am

        Wow. And now I’m nervous. There’s fermenting? WAIT. Is this a fruit cake? Because I don’t think fruitcake and friendship go together at all.

        Dude. I’m getting very, very excited.

  3. Anonymous on August 2, 2011 at 10:47 pm

    Oh man, she ate chocolate and THEN licked me. Arm. Foot. And shin.

    • movita on August 3, 2011 at 9:57 am

      Don’t get too excited. I saw her do the same thing to a chair.

  4. Monca on March 6, 2013 at 8:56 am

    I love David Lebovitz and Ready for Dessert is the best baking book I’ve bought! This racines cake is on my list. Can’t wait to try it!

  5. movita beaucoup on October 29, 2014 at 8:05 am

    Comments on this post are now closed as it was published in August 2011. Happy baking!