Baking | Bittersweet Fallen Chocolate Gateau with Crème Patisserie & Balsamic Vanilla Strawberries … my feature in Mail Today #mailtoday #thecocoatrees

“What you see before you, my friend, is the result of a lifetime of chocolate.”
Katharine Hepburn

Bittersweet Fallen Chocolate GateauA Bittersweet Dark Chocolate Fallen Cake adapted minimally from an Alice Medrich recipe. This gateau is like an ugly duckling, almost flourless cake, which gets dressed up to go out. Reminds me of a shakespearean tragedy as it bakes ; the rise and then the tragic collapse. Left ‘undressed’, it’s a moorish, rustic sunken cake, beautiful in my eyes. Barely any flour makes this cake more special.

Bittersweet Fallen Chocolate Gateau The Mail Today, a daily in India, invited me for a photoshoot with some selected women home bakers in the National Capital  Region. I was asked to carry something I baked for the shoot. It was a last minute thing, and I was all set to go out for an Old Delhi trek with my girlfriends, something we had long planned.

Old Delhi TrekConsidering I was the only ‘non commercial‘ home baker amidst all these very talented girls, the oldest among them too {dinosaur age…blah blah blah}, I thought I’d make something different. The Bittersweet Fallen Chocolate Gateau was it! It’s an adaptation of Alice Medrich’s earthy rustic style of baking. It really appeals to me.

Mail Today featureOne look and I thought it would be good; Alice Medrich never fails. Baked within an hour, it was done as I raced off to catch the metro into Delhi. On the train, I made mental plans on how to dress up the cake as I’d be home late, and the shoot was early the next morning. { Also made a teenie cake for home just we knew if it tasted alright}.

Balsamic Vanilla Basil StrawberriesI had a batch of crème patisserie in the fridge.  It’s always handy to have on hand. A L W A Y S! Fold in whipped cream to sandwich a cake with, pipe it into eclairs or profiteroles, serve it over cake or fruit, or then just make it into ice cream. So versatile, and so fun!

Bittersweet Fallen Chocolate Gateau And there was also a nice little jar of balsamic vanilla basil strawberries in the fridge from the day I made Strawberry frozen yogurt. That would be UPLIFTING and would contrast nicely with the chocolate and crème patisserie. A few fresh strawberries on top, and a sprinkling of mint leaves and I knew I was set.

Bittersweet Fallen Chocolate Gateau So simply constructed that I had time to spare the next morning. Thats when I got ambitious and made a dark chocolate lace border to embrace the cake. Once done, the hour drive into Delhi at 30C was not something I had taken into mind. Fortunately for me, the gateau survived.

At Shiro, Samrat, New Delhi. Mail Today shootMail Todays ‘femail magazine’ editor is the very young and sweet Lipla Negi. Bubbly, energetic, considerate she effortlessly brought the group together. We were meeting each other for the first time, and within half an hour had hit it off.

At Shiro, Samrat, New Delhi. Mail Today shoot It’s always nice to meet like minded folk. It doesn’t get better than a bunch of women home bakers I tell you! {The shoot took place at the beautiful Shiro, Samrat Hotel, New Delhi.With it’s signature high ceilings,  majestic statues, stone and water interiors, an aura of splendour hits you as you enter.}

Bittersweet Fallen Chocolate Gateau As for my  Bittersweet Fallen Chocolate Gateau, it was special.  Bittersweet chocolate is my first love, and into this gateau went a beautiful Belgian dark 72% chocolate from The Cocoa Trees. It’s one of 40+ varieties of premium chocolates they have on offer. They sent me a variety of dark chocolates to sample – Chocoholic Dark, Belgian dark 72%, Fry Extra Dark 85%, Cadbury Old Gold Dark Original & Old Gold Dark Peppermint. Chocolate heaven I tell you.

The Cocoa Trees is a chocoholic’s dream come true offering over 40 plus varieties of international chocolate brands which include the fine cocoa filled mouse from Ritter Sport, dark smooth chocolate of Anthon Berg, the unmistakable heavenly crunch of Ferrero, chocolaty pralines from Sorini, and many more. The Cocoa TreesA Singapore based chocolate boutique store, The Cocoa Trees, offers a delicious spectrum of branded chocolates which cater to a variety of individual needs. Since its launch in 2011, the boutique store has expanded its presence with its launch of its two new stores at Nature’s Basket, Bandra and R City Mall, Ghatkopar. You can also find one at the Domestic Terminal {T3}, IGI Airport, New Delhi.

Each bar was of premium quality, and divinely delicious. The Cadbury’s Old Gold collection true to it’s name … exquisite. I enjoyed each one of them, deeply satisfying. I also enjoyed the quality it leant to my gateau. Your bake will only taste as good as what goes in.

Bittersweet Fallen Chocolate Gateau Thank you The Cocoa Trees for sending me this fine selection of dark chocolates. The promise of dark chocolate marries really well with strawberries. The Bittersweet Fallen Chocolate Gateau reflects my love of baked desserts, bittersweet chocolate and including fruit in almost everything I do. Thank you Mail Today for the generous feature. Last but not the least, thank you Urban Dazzle for the Cake Plate. I love it and use it often!

[print_this]Recipe: Bittersweet Fallen Chocolate Gateau with Crème Patisserie & Balsamic Vanilla Strawberries 
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Summary: This rustic Bittersweet Fallen Chocolate Gateau is given a charming uplift with a chocolate lace collar. Crème Patisserie & Balsamic Vanilla Strawberries complete the dramatic look to make the chocolate experience even more special. adapted minimally from an Alice Medrich recipe.

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour

  • Bittersweet Fallen Chocolate Gateau 
  • 100g bittersweet dark chocolate {72%}
  • 175g granulated sugar {divided 100g + 75g}
  • 120ml boiling water
  • 50g cocoa powder
  • pinch sea salt
  • 2 eggs, separated
  • pinch cream of tartar
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 25g plain flour
  • 30g almond meal
  • 15ml kirsch
  • 1 tbsp powdered sugar
  • Topping
  • 100g low fat cream, chilled
  • Few sprigs fresh mint
  • Dark chocolate shavings
  • Crème Patisserie {1/4 portion}
  • 200ml milk 2%
  • 60g sugar
  • 1 vanilla bean
  • 1 1/2 tbsp {10g} cornflour
  • 1 egg
  • 150ml low fat cream
  • Balsamic strawberries {1/4 portion}
  • 200g strawberries, sliced
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/2 vanilla bean, scraped {optional}
  • 1 tbsp aged balsamic vinegar


  1. Bittersweet Fallen Chocolate Gateau
  2. Preheat oven to 190C. Line the bottom and sides of a 6″ or 7″ springform tin with baking parchment.
  3. Place the egg whites in a clean bowl with the cream of tartar and beat to soft peaks. Add 75g sugar and continue to beat until stiff peaks form. Reserve.
  4. Place the bittersweet chocolate in a large bowl and microwave for 1 minute to soften. Add the remaining 100g sugar and boiling water. Whisk until the chocolate has melted completely.
  5. Add the vanilla extract and egg yolks. Whisk until smooth.
  6. Add the cocoa powder, whisk in well.
  7. Now add the kirsch, almond meal and flour. Stir in to mix completely.
  8. Add 2-3 tbsps on the beaten whites to loosen the batter, then add the remaining beaten whites and fold in gently.
  9. Turn batter into prepared tin and bake for about 30-35 minutes {mine took about 45 minutes} until a tester inserted into the centre comes out moist with a few crumbs hanging.
  10. Cool completely in tin on rack.
  11. Gently demold and sift powdered sugar over the top. Serve with cream patisserie and balsamic strawberries if desired. 
  12. Crème Patisserie {can be made the day before}
  13. Bring the milk to a simmering boil. Reserve.
  14. Whisk the egg yolk and sugar with a wooden spoon in a big bowl until the mixture becomes pale and light. Stir in the flour slowly until it is thoroughly mixed with the egg mixture.
  15. Pour the boiling milk into the mixture a little by little while whisking continuously to avoid curdling. Then stir in the cream until the mixture is well combined.
  16. Transfer the whole mixture into a pot, with the seeds scraped from the vanilla bean, and heat it under low setting. Stir it constantly with the wooden spoon or spatula scraping the sides and bottom until it has thickened.
  17. Once the custard has thickened, take it off the heat, and strain / pour it into a clean bowl. Cool, cover  and chill.
  18. Whip the low fat cream to soft medium peaks. gently fold into chilled cream patisserie.
  19. Thermomix Recipe
  20. Place sugar and vanilla bean in TM bowl, and process for 30 seconds on speed 10. Add remaining ingredients, plus vanilla bean shell and cook on 90C/Speed 4 for 7 minutes {until thick}. Strain into a bowl immediately to cool. I chilled it overnight.
  21. Balsamic Strawberries
  22. Place all ingredients in saucepan and simmer for 2-3 minutes until the strawberries soften. Strain strawberries, transfer to bowl. Return syrup to pan and reduce to a thick syrup. Pour back over strawberries and cool completely. Can be stored in a jar in the fridge for 4-5 days.


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Also find me on The Rabid Baker, The Times of India

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About me: I am a freelance food writer, recipe developer and photographer. Food is my passion - baking, cooking, developing recipes, making recipes healthier, using fresh seasonal produce and local products, keeping a check on my carbon footprint and being a responsible foodie! I enjoy food styling, food photography, recipe development and product reviews. I express this through my food photographs which I style and the recipes I blog. My strength lies in 'Doing Food From Scratch'; it must taste as good as it looks, and be healthy too. Baking in India, often my biggest challenge is the non-availability of baking ingredients, and this has now become a platform to get creative on. I enjoy cooking immensely as well.


  • 2 years ago

    Congrats on the feature!

    A delightful cake! Everything you create looks ever so lovely and delicious.



  • Another masterpiece! And you just threw it together at the last minute. You’re amazing!

  • 2 years ago

    What a beautiful cake and it also look so good!

  • 2 years ago

    Deeba! The cake is an absolute beauty. Congrats on the feature!

  • Congratulations on being featured Deeba, even at the last minute you whipped up something different and delicious!

  • I love the saucepan in which you have soaked the strawberries. Did you get it on your Old Delhi trek? And please Deeba no one would say you belong to the dinosaur age. You look gorgeous and elegant for all the pictures I have seen you. As far as your cake goes well as always I have no words, you simply stun me with every post of yours.

  • 2 years ago

    u look divinely beautiful and gastronomically seductive posing with that cake :)

  • 2 years ago

    I just love taking in your photos. There is just so much to them. You are so talented! But also the cake is fabulous – an ugly ducking it is not! Beautiful, just beautiful!

    2 years ago

    Yummy beautiful.. looks great.

  • 2 years ago

    Deeba doll, I love the way you dressed up this chocolate crater.

  • Pooja
    2 years ago

    Yet another exquisite bake, Deeba. I might make this someday when am feeling very ambitious! :-)

    Congratulations on the feature. I’ve never before seen a more gracious & lovely Dinosaur in print….you dwarfed ’em all! :-)


  • Congratulations on the feature! This is just the most beautiful looking cake and it sounds so delicious too!

  • 2 years ago

    Congrats.. Interesting Recipe.. Nice Clicks..

  • 2 years ago

    Wow! Had baked a similar one but without almonds and had loved it, almonds would have made this taste divine! Congrats on being featured!

  • 2 years ago

    That chocolate lace border looks really delicate.

    I am a little surprised that is doesn’t crumble?

    I just had a read of your other post about how you made it, and I have to take my hat off to you. I’m not sure I would have had the patience.

  • 2 years ago

    Those strawberries look devine…. and you as always look gorgeous in the feature !

  • You are an amazing baker, Deeba! Hope we get to cross-path someday! Congrats on the feature :)

  • Hope to go for prop shopping with you someday. For now, I’ll dream about it :)

  • Owen Dearling
    2 years ago

    How much cream of tartar? It’s not i the Liston ingredients at all?

  • 2 years ago

    That looks so delicious and tempting. You just don’t bake cakes, you add beauty to them. So beautiful you are. Btw congrats for the feature. Well Deserved.

  • 3 months ago

    It really looks tasty. I will surely try this.

    Thanks Deeba

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