This recipe for BETE NOIRE (the black beast) was the signature dessert at our restaurant ROXY’S BISTRO in Regina, Saskatchewan. One of our regular customers was so besotted with this dessert she resorted to a devious maneuver to obtain the recipe. We needed a waiter for the holidays and she suggested her son who had just finished university. I noticed him leafing through the binder that contained out dessert recipes. To no avail. Bete Noire was one of the recipes kept in our little black chef book. And that book was safely in the pocket of my chef’s jacket. Leafing through files of restaurant recipes I found our sous -chef Jeff’s copy - beautifully hand written. Thirty years later I am sharing this exquisitely rich recipe with you.
INGREDIENTS – serve 10
1/2 cup water
1 1/3 cups sugar
12 ounces best quality semi sweet chocolate cut into small chunks. A serrated knife works well here. I suggest Callabaut. Do not use Bakers Brand.
1/2 pound (8 oz.) unsalted butter – cut into small chunks
5 large eggs
Preheat oven to 350°F. Check your oven temperature with an oven thermometer. It is important you do not over-bake this cake.
Butter a 9-inch cake pan and line the bottom with parchment paper. Butter the paper.
In a heavy saucepan combine water with one cup of sugar. Bring mixture to a rapid boil and cook for two minutes.
Remove the pan from the heat and immediately add the chopped chocolate. Stir until chocolate is completely melted.
Add butter one piece at a time. Stir after each addition making sure each piece is completely incorporated before adding more. The mixture will thicken and it should take about ten minutes to incorporate all the butter.
In the large bowl of your stand mixer whisk the eggs and the remaining 1/3 cup of sugar until thick and foamy (about 5-7 minutes). (The small dark spots in this photograph are bits of melted chocolate. I started to add the chocolate and realized I hadn’t taken this photograph.)
With the whisks on add the chocolate/batter mixture to the eggs, slowly until combined. DO NOT OVER MIX!
Pour batter into the prepared cake pan. Set pan in a slightly larger pan.
Set the pans on the centre rack of the oven. Pour in enough HOT water so that it comes part way up the side of the cake pan.
Bake at 350°F for EXACTLY 45 minutes. DO NOT OVER BAKE. If the cake is slightly soft in the centre that is exactly right. The cake firms up as it cools. Take the cake pan out of the water.
Set the cake on a rack to cool. Do not remove until completely cool. Run a knife around the edge of the pan to loosen then turn out onto a plate covered with plastic wrap. This allows you to remove the slices more easily. The cake cuts easily if you refrigerate it for an hour or so. Use a knife dipped in hot water and wiped clean after each slice.
Using a fine sieve dust the cake with a little icing sugar and serve with fresh fruit. We served this dessert at ROXY’S BISTRO in a pool of creme anglais flavored with Frangelico and a garnish of raspberry coulis. Divine decadence
|BETE NOIRE – a flourless chocolate cake||
- ½ cup water
- 1⅓ cup sugar
- 12 oz. semi sweet Callabaut chocolate
- ½ pound (8 ounces) unsalted butter
- 5 large eggs
- Preheat oven to 350degrees F.
- Butter a 9 inch cake pan lined with wax paper and butter the paper.
- In a heavy saucepan combine water with l cup sugar.
- Bring mixture to rapid boil and cook for 2 minutes.
- Remove pan from heat and immediately add chopped chocolate.
- Stir until chocolate is completely melted.
- Add butter one piece at a time.
- Stir after each addition before adding more butter.
- Make sure each piece of butter is completely incorporated.
- In stand mixture bowl whisk the eggs and the remaining ⅓ cup of sugar about 5-7 minutes.
- Add the chocolate/butter mixture slowly until combined.
- DO NOT OVER MIX.
- Pour batter into prepared cake pan and set in a slightly larger pan.
- Set both pans on the centre rack of the oven.
- Pour enough hot water in so that it comes part way up the side of the cake pan.
- Bake at 350 degrees F. EXACTLY 45 minutes. DO NOT OVER BAKE
- Take cake pan out of water and place on cooling rack.
- Cool cake in pan.
- Run knife around edge of pan to loosen then turn out onto plate covered with plastic wrap.