Grilled Vegetable Sandwiches with Boursin and Sunken Chocolate Cake with Blackberry Fool


OK, the cake was last night. We were at a birthday party though, and were having too much fun to leave early, and so by the time we got home and got W into bed I found myself making strawberry-rhubarb blintzes at midnight for CBC this morning rather than letting you all know about dinner. It was sausages on the grill, by the way, and salads chipped in by everybody, and dessert was a cake I thought up awhile ago and needed an excuse to make. Lucky for me, our friend Mike was born on this day a number of years ago.

It occurred to me one day while I was, as usual, daydreaming/fantasizing about food, and chocolate and whipped cream in particular, that you could mound something more elaborate into the middle of a sunken chocolate cake than plain old whipped cream. (Not that there’s anything wrong with that.) To swirl some crushed raspberries into the cream first to make fool would be fab – although I’ve never been a huge fan of the raspberry-chocolate combo (I love both, but I find they interfere with each other when a perfectly good slice of chocolate cake is set atop raspberry coulis) everyone else seems to like it. So why buck tradition?

Unfortunately the market had no raspberries, so I defaulted to blackberries. I crushed them a bit with some sugar, but they didn’t have much oomph. Next time I will seek out raspberries – even the frozen kind in light syrup would work well with some of the excess liquid drained off.

Everyone loved it though – unless they were just trying to be polite. The cake itself is a keeper – and it contains no flour.


Sunken Chocolate Cake with Berry Fool

Recipe link


June 2, 2009

This cake is heavenly – intensely chocolate and ridiculously easy to make, which makes it the ideal cake to draw into service for birthdays and other special occasions. The cake rises in the oven and then sinks in the middle when you take it out, creating a perfect vessel for a mound of whipped cream. Not only does the cream ease the intensity of the chocolate, it counts as decoration so there’s - ta da - no need for frosting! If you want to fancy it up a bit, top the cake with a dusting of cocoa or chocolate curls. Sparklers are perfect – candles are easily lost in the cloud of cream.

  • Makes: Serves about 12.



8 oz. (250 g) semisweet or bittersweet chocolate, coarsely chopped

1/2 cup butter, softened or cut into chunks

6 large eggs

1 cup sugar


1 pint raspberries or blackberries (optional)

1 1/2 cups whipping cream

1/4 cup sugar, divided


1Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line the bottom of a 9" springform pan with a circle of waxed paper or parchment – use the bottom of the pan to trace a circle on the paper, then cut it out with scissors. Don’t grease the pan – the batter needs to be able to cling to the sides as it rises.

2Gently melt the chocolate with the butter in a glass or stainless steel bowl set over a bowl or pot of hot or gently simmering water, or do it on low in the microwave. (If you have a double boiler, use it, but it’s not essential.) The thing to remember when melting chocolate is to do it gently, and not let it come in contact with intense heat; chocolate scorches and can seize up easily.

3Separate 4 of the eggs, putting the yolks and whites in separate medium-sized bowls. Add the remaining 2 eggs and half of the sugar to the egg yolks. Whisk in the warm chocolate mixture and stir until it’s smooth.

4Beat the egg whites with an electric mixer until foamy. Gradually add the remaining sugar, beating until the egg whites form soft mounds but aren’t yet stiff. Fold about one-quarter of the egg whites into the chocolate mixture to lighten it, and then gently fold in the rest, without deflating the egg whites. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and smooth the top.

5Bake for 35-40 minutes, until the cake is puffy and cracked on top, and the middle isn’t wobbly. Cool the cake completely in the pan without loosening the sides; the batter needs to cling to the sides of the pan as it cools so that it can properly sink in the middle and keep its high edges.

6If you're making fool for on top, gently crush the berries with half the sugar - I did this with a potato masher. Set aside to macerate for 10 minutes or so. When you’re ready to serve the cake, beat the cream with the rest of the sugar (if you are making fool - otherwise just with 2-3 Tbsp. sugar) until softly stiff and mound the whipped cream in the middle of the cake. Run a thin knife around the edge of the pan to loosen the cake, remove the sides of the pan and transfer it to a serving plate, leaving the cake on the pan bottom.

Makes: Serves about 12.

For dinner tonight we used up the leftover grilled veg in sandwiches, built on grainy toast spread thickly with peppered Boursin cheese. It was a fridge cleaner of the very best kind.

One Year Ago: Pasta with Asparagus and Boursin Cheese, and Gluten-free Brownies
(anyone else see a trend here?)


About Julie

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21 comments on “Grilled Vegetable Sandwiches with Boursin and Sunken Chocolate Cake with Blackberry Fool

  1. That sunken chocolate cake looks amazing! I love whipped cream over any type of frosting & when you pair it with rich dark chocolate goodness…well I can’t think of anything better! Since you posted such a delicious sounding recipe, I’ll forgive you for not liking chocolate & raspberries together (I’m pretty sure you’re the first person I’ve heard of who doesn’t like the two together!)

  2. robyn
    June 2, 2009 at 8:22 pm

    Sarah, I LOATHE chocolate and any kind of fruit together. I have to agree with Julie….they just interfere with each other!! Chocolate/orange combo has got to be the worst pairing ever. (for me anyways)

    So Julie… you plan your meals according to the “one year ago” posts?? Too funny that they somehow end up similar on a lot of occasions! LOVE the cake. Looks delish. Would a 7 minute frosting be too sweet?

  3. Cheryl
    June 2, 2009 at 9:00 pm

    Hey, I had the exact same sandwich idea for The Monster’s birthday picnic.
    That cake looks divine… I wonder if Hubby would make a belated birthday gift of it?

  4. Anna
    June 3, 2009 at 1:38 am

    glad i found you through twitter, this recipe looks amazing!

  5. Laurene
    June 2, 2009 at 11:58 pm

    They serve grilled veggie sandwiches like that at the University of Chicago Clinic’s cafeteria & each time I go there I get one. It’s become my favorite sandwich & I don’t miss the absence of meat at all. They use provolone cheese instead of the Boursin which is a bit more bland, however.

  6. Eileen @ Passions to Pastry
    June 3, 2009 at 4:34 am

    Right now this sunken chocolate cake looks really good and I wish I had a piece! With the raspberries, please.

  7. Barb
    June 3, 2009 at 6:15 am

    It all looks good to me. Put me on the list of those who think the hint of fruit flavor is a nice addition to chocolate. It is wonderful on it’s own but occassionaly the subtle fruit flavor seems nice.

  8. Manon from Ontario
    June 3, 2009 at 7:18 am

    Hmmmm that cake looks very good, I will definitely make it for the next special occasion.
    I love whipped cream with a hint of fruit, so I’m sure I’ll love this together.

    Thank you,


  9. Jen
    June 3, 2009 at 8:09 am

    I’m enchanted by this cake and all of its deep chocolate and fresh berry fool deliciousness. I adore the flaky and rustic appearance.

  10. Michelle
    June 3, 2009 at 9:33 am

    What a beautiful looking cake!

  11. Erica B.
    June 3, 2009 at 10:29 am

    That cake looks beeeautiful! and that sandwich omg yum! (I think I now know what I’m going to make for lunch)

    I’m the type though who’d leave the lone chocolate covered cherry in the otherwise empty box of chocolates hehe…Maybe it’s the sweetness that makes the raspberry coulis/cherry flavour not mesh with the chocolate?

    Let me be the first to say pleasepleasepleaseplease share the blintz recipe!!! I’ve missed blintzes ever since moving here from Montreal.

  12. krista
    June 3, 2009 at 12:14 pm

    Fantastic! and it happens to all be gluten free! I was just diagnosed with celiac so I am going to make this for sure and not feel so deprived right now.

  13. Marta
    June 3, 2009 at 12:29 pm

    This is a fantastic recipe! I love how quicky and fuss-free it is. Few ingredients too, so it’s a great one to have at hand for an impromptu dessert.

  14. Kelly
    June 3, 2009 at 12:37 pm

    OMG! I love the sunken chocolate cake, it looks super delicious! What a great idea! I love the chocolate raspberry combination too! For similar heavenly and easy-to-make chocolate treats, check out Dove Chocolate Discoveries’ webpage.

  15. Teresa
    June 3, 2009 at 1:51 pm

    The cake looks amazing! Will have to try it very SOON…
    Julie, do you have a recipe for a creamy white frosting? I’m looking for one to put on a dense white layer cake. Thanks….


  16. Hillary
    June 3, 2009 at 2:26 pm

    Great idea for using up leftover grilled veggies! And that chocolate cake looks amazing! I should add it to the Top 10 Chocolate Cake Recipes list :)

  17. Carol SB
    June 3, 2009 at 5:56 pm

    Yep, gotta agree fruit and chocolate don’t belong in the same mouthful. Chocolate and cream, however… and I’ve never met a fool I didn’t like 😛
    Super tip, to leave the cake’s edges attached to the pan while it cools, to maintain the structure.
    We’re eating ‘intentional leftovers’ tonight, too. Had a BBQ on the weekend, and if I put a couple of chops away BEFORE they hit the table, we can have leftovers: sliced thinly, with the cooked baby potatoes, bag ‘o’ salad, and a bit of pesto mayo. Julie, your ‘leftovers’ are inspiring, I’ve gotta say.

  18. Lorraine
    May 27, 2014 at 9:16 pm

    Garlic and Asparagus will make your urine smell and tast bad.

    They have also been used as a popular traditional Indian medicine
    that is extensively used to treat several kinds of diseases.
    I had just read about putting a few drops of Wesson corn oil
    on a piece of cotton and cleaning out the ears that way.

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