The shop in Lisbon that calls itself The Best Chocolate Cake in the World…and almost their best recipe

I was called aside by one of the more controlled and discreet of my colleagues, and initially I was worried by what she might have to say to me. But instead, “I just wanted to tell you how much I enjoyed the cake you brought in today” was what she murmured quietly.

It’s always nice to get a bit of encouragement but I wasn’t so surprised about the success of this particular cake because of the provenance of the original recipe. It comes from a book written by Carlos Braz Lopes. The author just happens to be the owner of a shop in Lisbon called O Melhor Do Mundo Bolo De Chocolate – which translates as The Best Chocolate Cake In The World. Not a modest name, but, I can attest, it is an entirely accurate one.

There were, if fact, three variations of this sublime creation to choose from: normal; 75% dark chocolate; and 75% dark chocolate plus raspberries.

I chose to sample the latter, which seemed to incorporate the best of all possible worlds, and it was indeed heavenly! The cake was interweaved with raspberry jelly and chocolate meringue, a confection in the true sense of the word.

best chocolate cake in the world
The best chocolate cake in the world…interwoven with raspberry jelly and meringue…

The customers of this marvellous shop were a catholic lot in the all-embracing sense; there were children, old ladies, lovers, respectable businessmen, and respectable businessmen in dark glasses who looked more like mafia (“Come on” said my companion, “he’s driving a Smart!”).

Carlos Braz Lopes’ book is entitled The Best Chocolate Book In The World. It doesn’t, for obvious reasons, include the recipe for the best chocolate cake. I was relieved because it looked heartily complicated (go here for an account of the mess I got into when I tackled Heston Blumenthal’s Black Forrest Gâteau, and how to deal with complicated chocolate cakes).

But Braz Lopes finishes his book with a flourish. “To bring my chocolate recipe book to a close I would like to ‘go out with a bang'”. He can’t give us the best recipe, he tells us, so he’s offering what he reckons is the second best one. This cake has a molten, soft centre…. one he made before these cakes were fashionable.

For other posts about cakes on Saucy Dressings follow this link.

Recipe for the almost best chocolate cake in the world

Ingredients

  • 300g best quality 70% plus chocolate
  • 200g/1 cup golden caster sugar
  • 150g/5 oz butter
  • 2 tbsps Dutch cocoa powder
  • 5 eggs
  • Lightly whipped cream or raspberries to serve

Method

  1. Melt the chocolate with the butter in a bain marie.
  2. In a large mixing bowl whisk the eggs. Add the flour, sugar, cocoa; and the melted chocolate and butter. It should look like a mousse.
  3. Line a cake tin with baking paper, and pour in the mixture. Put into a roasting tin, and pour hot water to about halfway up. Bake in a 170ºC fan oven for 20 minutes, reduce the temperature to 150ºC and cook for another 10 minutes.
  4. Chill overnight in the fridge.
  5. Serve with the whipped cream.
best chocolate cake
This post is dedicated to Natalie Grayson.
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