Today’s post is the fourteenth in a series of weekly Julia Child recipes. This week, finance director Beth Kline reveals the poetry behind baking a decadent chocolate dessert.
“A Very Rich, Very Light Chocolate Cake”
Julia called this cake a “dark and delicious cousin of the Quatre Quarts,” the yellow butter pound cake that originally called for a quarter pound of its four ingredients—eggs, sugar, flour, and butter. Le Glorieux, however, uses cornstarch instead of flour, and 5 large eggs. An essential step is to sift the cornstarch before sprinkling it into the egg mixture, a step easily handled with a sifter or a simple wire strainer. In Julia’s kitchen, these three strainers hung at the ready off the hood of the Garland range.
Where to Find the Master Recipe
- Mastering the Art of French Cooking, Vol. Two, pp. 495-97
- An online version from the Shazam in the Kitchen blog
As the oldest of six children, with not many years in between
I was in the kitchen at an early age – just look at the photo to see what I mean.
My Better Homes and Garden Junior Cookbook is still in my cookbook collection
And my great grandmother’s handwritten recipes are a special family connection.
When the museum started the Julia recipe blog, I jumped at the chance to take part
How could I resist following a recipe by the woman who made French cooking an art?
Picking just the right recipe from the hundreds she authored proved to be a difficult choice
But I thought how could I go wrong with Le Glorieux, a chocolate cake that is light, rich, and moist?
As the chocolate and butter melted together, there was a knock at the door
And I discovered a long-awaited package from Maryland Public TV on the floor.
DVDs of Julia’s earliest shows and a copy of The French Chef Cookbook had finally arrived
And returning to the kitchen, I had the eerie feeling that Julia was right by my side.
The recipe wasn’t too complicated – the cake went together with relative ease
And the orange liqueur gave the cake a subtle undertone of flavor that was sure to please.
The decadent chocolate and orange ganache was literally the icing on the cake
And using corn starch instead of flour resulted in a light, crispy topping as I watched the cake bake.
The cake was too sinfully rich to eat much more than a thin, little slice
And there is only so much one person can eat, without paying a price.
So I packed up the cake and whipped cream to share with my fellow bloggers at work,
Who all raved about the glorious flavor and were especially appreciative of the rich chocolate perk.
Do try this at home!
We invite you to join with us in this celebration of Julia Child’s life, work, and contributions to American culinary history. Please share your experiences making Julia Child’s recipes by posting your story, photos, or video on our Tumblr page for this recipe series. Don’t forget to check back next week.
Beth Kline is finance director at the National Museum of American History.