Le Marquis: Chocolate Spongecake

While looking for an almond-chocolate cake recipe for a friend of mine, I came across this yummy cake recipe… ok, ok, I’ll be honest, I had a chocolate craving last night and “looking for a friend” was a little more of an excuse to look for me! Julia Child’s Mastering the Art of French Cooking is a classic and her Le Marquis (Chocolate Spongecake) is no exception. It is light and delicate but with a full chocolate flavour. My husband, who doesn’t really like cake, he’s more of a cookie kinda guy, keeps sneaking little bites when I’m not looking 🙂Chocolate SpongecakeWhat makes this cake stand out, is that the chocolate used. It is made actual chocolate, as opposed to cocoa powder. Giving the cake a more intense chocolately flavour. The recipe calls for Semi-sweet. For my version, I used 2 oz semi-sweet, 1 oz milk and 1/2 oz dark. YUM YUM. 


What makes the cake light and fluffy, is the creaming of the egg yolks with sugar, and the stiff peaks of the whites. The air that is brought into the eggs stays while baking. Especially, if you fold all the different batters together, as opposed to just stirring them together.


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Even though the chocolate has cooled, it’s still hotter than the egg yolk-sugar mixture, so my suggestion is to temper the eggs. This is when you pour in a little bit of the chocolate into the egg yolk mixture and stir to bring the rest of the batter to the same temperature. That way you’re not shocking the eggs and they won’t cook on you 🙂20140223_173420 20140223_173550 20140223_173728

The recipe says to butter and flour the cake pan. I still always butter and add parchment. I’ve never had a sticking issue, ever, with this method. I highly recommend it. This is why the edging looks a little wavy in the photo.

The recipe calls for an 8 inch pan, I used a 9 inch. The only difference would be the final cake will be thinner slightly. Texture and flavour is not compromised.
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Le Marquis: Chocolate Spongecake

Prep time: 15=20 minutes     Cook time: 30 minutes     Cool time: 2 hours


  • A round cake pan, 8 or 9 inches in diameter and 1½ inches deep

3 1/2 ounces or squares of semisweet baking chocolate (I used 2oz SS, ½ dark & 1 oz milk)

2 tablespoons strong brewed coffee

  • A small saucepan set over almost simmering water
  • A wooden spoon

3 1/2 tablespoons softened butter

  • A wire whip or electric beater (or stand mixer with 2 bowls)

3 egg yolks

3 quarts mixing bowl

1/2 cup granulated sugar

3 egg whites

  • Pinch of salt

1 tablespoon granulated sugar

  • A rubber spatula

1/3 cup sifted cake flour

  • A cake rack


Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Butter and flour the cake pan. Measure out the ingredients.

Place chocolate and coffee in a bowl large enough to fit over a simmering pot of water (double boiler) cover, remove off heat and let stand 5 minutes. Then beat in the butter until it melts through. It will leave the chocolate velvety smooth.

Beat the egg yolks in the mixing bowl, gradually adding sugar, until thick and pale yellow and forms a ribbon. Set aside.

In a separate bowl, beat egg whites and salt together until soft peaks are formed; sprinkle on sugar and beat until stiff peaks are formed.

Fold tepid chocolate into egg yolk-sugar mixture, then fold in one-fourth of the egg whites. When partially blended, sift on one-fourth of the flour and continue folding, alternating rapidly with more egg whites and more flour until all egg whites and flour are incorporated.

Immediately turn into prepared cake pan and run the batter up to the rim all around. Bake in the middle level of preheated oven for about 25 minutes or until cake has puffed ¼ inch above rim of pan and top has crack. A skewer or straw should come out clean.

Let cool 10 minutes in the pan on a wire rack. Cake will sink slightly. Run a knife around inside of the pan and reverse cake onto a rack. Let cool 2 hours before icing.

To serve, if not icing, you may sprinkle powdered sugar and top with berries.

{Recipe from Mastering the Art of French Cooking by Julia Child}


4 thoughts on “Le Marquis: Chocolate Spongecake

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