Syvabelle: French for Heavenly Chocolate Cake


As a child I was a very picky eater (how I wish I hadn’t lost this particular trait!), and my mother was always frustrated by my whims when it came to food. Sweets, of course, were never a problem. For my birthday she would spoil me with the most exquisite chocolate cake, which she called Syvabelle. I recently found her old recipe on a crumbling piece of paper, typed on an ancient typewriter. I made the cake for a friend’s birthday not long ago, and it was even better than I remembered. Here’s the recipe: mix 4 ¼ ounces of butter and 3 ½ ounces of sugar until white and fluffy. Add 3 egg yolks. Then melt one 8-ounce bar of good dark chocolate with 2 tablespoons of water. When cold add to the mix. Whip the 3 egg whites until stiff, and put into the mixture. This makes a wonderfully airy mouse. Now heat one cup of water with ¼ cup of sugar and 5/6 tablespoons of rum. Take 10 ½ ounces of ladyfinger cookies, dip into the sugar/rum mix and put them around the bottom and sides of a 9-inch charlotte dish. Add the chocolate mouse mixture, and then cover with another layer of the dipped ladyfingers. If the ladyfingers on the side are higher than the top of the dish, just bend them in. Put a plate and a heavy weight on top and refrigerate overnight. Next day, take out of the mold and cover with a layer of melted chocolate. I added raspberries for a dash of color. My friends asked if they could take the small amount that was remaining home with them after our birthday dinner, but my husband vetoed this. He demanded custody of the leftover cake. Definitely a testimonial!

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1 Comment

  1. Definitively one of the best Birthday I can remember…. encore Merci

    Comment by Michele — October 6, 2009 @ 5:52 pm

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