Preparation: Weigh out the ingredients. Separate the egg whites and yolks. Sift the ◎ ingredients twice. Grease the cake tin with margarine or vegetable oil.
Add the cream to a saucepan and heat it up. When the edges begin to bubble, stop the heat and add in the cocoa and margarine. Mix everything together well with a whisk to create the cocoa paste.
Mix the ☆ ingredients (egg yolks and sugar) well into the cocoa paste and transfer the mixture to a bowl.
Using a hand mixer, make a stiff meringue out of the egg whites and sugar. Then preheat the oven to 170°C.
Add 1/3 of the meringue into the cocoa paste and mix it in with a hand mixer on low speed.
Add the ◎ ingredients and once again mix them in with the hand mixer on low speed.
Pour half of the remaining meringue into the cocoa paste mixture and fold it in from the bottom of the bowl with a rubber spatula. Then add the rest of the meringue and fold it in again. Be careful not to crush any of the air bubbles of the meringue while you're mixing.
Pour the batter into the cake tin and drop it lightly onto a surface 2-3 times. Bake it in the oven for 40 minutes. Once baked, leave it in the oven to cool.
When the gateau au chocolat has cooled, chill it well in the refrigerator. Sprinkle some powdered sugar over the top to finish if you'd like.
When I chill the gateau au chocolat in the fridge I tend to cover it in parchment paper and aluminium foil secured in place with a rubber band.
Story Behind this Recipe
I wanted to make a gateau au chocolat for people who are dieting and children who are still being weaned onto solid food so I decided to make one with cocoa. Now the recipe calls for 40 g pure cocoa, but you can still use the previous combination of 30 g pure cocoa and 20 g processed cocoa if you'd prefer.
I changed the ingredient amounts and steps a little to prevent the cake from shrinking. For Step 2, if the margarine isn't melting into the mixture very well, try mixing it in over low heat. You can line the cake tin with baking paper if you'd prefer.