There is a lot to love about this little cake. Chocolate, cream & sugar…how can you go wrong. But there is another thing to love and that is what makes this cake true to its name; Le Gateau Magique! (aka Magic Cake). When baked, this simple batter of whipped egg whites, creamed egg yokes (with sugar), flour, butter and cocoa will give you a cake with three unique layers; a dense fudge base, a creamy custard centre and the softest sponge on top. Anyone who bakes cakes often would know, the perfect sponge is not always an easy thing to achieve. Beat too much air out of your egg whites while incorporating into your cake batter and you probably will end up with a flat sponge. But after baking a couple of different versions of the 'magic cake' recently, the sponge layer turned out light and fluffy every time.
So how did I find a recipe for a magic cake? You'll find it in this little book 'Le Gateau Magique' (Christelle Hust-Gomez/Marabout). It caught my eye on a recent trip to Paris. I usually steer clear of buying heavy books on holidays, but as this was petit size and full of intriguing recipes and beautiful photography, I swiftly made my purchase. Even though it is written in French and I am not a French speaker, I have managed to learn the basics to get me by. This one was a brownie fudge version, without the custard centre…but no less delicious…bake one of these and you'll look like a rockstar with little effort!
When you think of the city of Paris, for each of us a different image may emerge, maybe the touristy images of the Tour Eiffel or the upmarket shop-lined Champs-Élysées. But for me, the first thing I'll daydream about is the beautiful patisseries you find along Parisian streets. From the fancy and traditional Ladurée, to those baking a more modern take on the classics like La Pâtisserie Des Rêves and to where the locals shop everyday; they all have their place in the pastry scene of Paris. On my visit last December, I went from pastry shop to pastry shop, all in the name of 'research' and with the motto 'when in Paris' in mind, I devoured as many sweets as possible in this pastry paradise…come daydream along with me.