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Julie and Julia and The Ultimate Chocolate Cake

I have waited eagerly the past few months for the film Julie and Julia to come out in the theatres in Greece and finally it came out on Thursday, so I couldn’t wait any longer and we went on Saturday evening to see the film.   I am sure that by now you have all heard about this film, which is based on two books:  My life in France, which is the autobiography of Julia Child and  Julie Powell’s book:  Julie and Julia.  Julie worked as a Secretary for the Government and at a certain point of her life she was fed up of everyday life and wanted to challenge herself and do something different.  Discussing it with her husband she decided to create a blog, back in 2002 and cook all 524 recipes of Julia Child’s Mastering the Art of French Cooking in 365 days and blog about it.

Back in 2002 I didn’t even know what a blog was but I can relate into a lot of incidents in the film when in 2007 I had to close my bookshop, as business wasn’t going well and since I couldn’t find a job, I was feeling very bored at home, so I also started blogging about something I really enjoyed doing and that was cooking!

The movie was fantastic.  It was hilarious and so pleasant to watch, taking us to a wonderful journey of tastes, sensations and emotions. The only thing that didn’t seem right and bothered me was Meryl Streep’s accent.  Before the release of the film I had never heard of Julia Child before and of course, knew nothing about her.   The following day I google searched to see if I could find a video to see how Julia Child really was and was pleasantly surprised to see how well Meryl Streep had impersonated her.  The funny thing about the video is that Julia Child is making chocolate mousse!!  I wish I had seen this video before making mine!!!

Today it’s time for celebration as it’s my husband name day.  As Julia said to her husband “You are the butter on my bread and the breath to my life”.  Thanks Demetri, for your love, your support and understanding.   Inspired by the film, today I will be cooking one of his favourite dishes Boeuf Bourguigon and yesterday I made a lovely Lemon Cake for him, which hope to post soon.

Here is a small glimpse of the cake.   I may have not graduated from the Cordon Bleu but after two years of blogging, I have graduated the “Blogging School” as everyday we learn something new and I feel very proud that I can now make creations of my own.

I wanted to make something different so instead of cutting the cake horizontally, I cut it vertically into six stripes, removing from each piece 1 cm of cake to fill it in with the cream.

You can use these leftover pieces to make a few truffles or a trifle or call your kids and eat it as it is 🙂

To make the cake, I made  two sponge cakes, which I first wet with some syrup and baileys and then joined them together with a thin layer of cream.

It is better to make the sponge cakes from the previous day as it can be cut much easier.

For the cream, I had seen a chocolate mousse on Chapot’s blog and I envisioned the cake with some mousse in it.  However, I had never made mousse before and I don’t remember French as I used to, so I must have done something wrong and when I added the yolks to the melted chocolate it became very stiff, so the first thing that came to my mind was to add some cream.  That made it creamy again but when I added the beaten egg whites, it didn’t come out as mousse at all.  However, that didn’t discourage me, I found other ways to use it.

Some of this mixture was mixed with some whipped cream to form the filling and the remaining was mixed with the chocolate ganache to cover the cake on top.

Result: The title says it all.  This was the most delicious yummy, indulgent chocolate cake I have ever tasted in my life, lots of ingredients, a bit fussy to make but so worth it.

I served it with some syrup from the poached grapes and you cannot imagine how the spicy, peppery sauce matched with chocolate.  If I had thought of it before I would have decorated the cake with some of the grapes.

The Ultimate Chocolate Cake, Recipe by Ivy

Preparation time:15 minutes

Baking time: about 30 minutes each

Ingredients for 1 sponge cake:

  • 5 Eggs
  • 1 cup Powdered Sugar
  • 3/4 cup Flour
  • 1/4 cup  cocoa+
  • 1/2 tsp Salt
  • 1 tsp Vanilla essence

To wet both the sponges:

  • ½ cup syrup (I used syrup from cherry spoon sweet)
  • 25 ml baileys
  • Cherry spoon sweet for decoration on top


  1. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees C.
  2. Line with parchment paper a spring form tin (28 cm).
  3. Beat the eggs and powdered sugar for approximately 10 minutes till mousse like and thick.
  4. Add vanilla powder and beat.
  5. Meantime, sift the flour and cocoa and add the salt.
  6. Fold in the flour mix gently so that the beaten air doesn’t escape.
  7. Bake for 25-30 minutes till done. Turn out onto rack to cool.

If you have never made a sponge cake before, see my step by step instructions here.

Chocolate mixture

  • 2 couverture chocolates x 125 grams each
  • ½ cup heavy cream
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 25 ml baileys
  • 2 egg whites beaten with ¼ tsp cream of tartar

In a bain Marie add the chocolate and when it melts add the egg yolks, one at a time.The chocolate becomes hard.Add the heavy cream and whisk until it becomes soft again.Mix in the baileys.

(I had already whisked the egg whites with the cream of tartar, so I had to incorporate it with the remaining mixture).

Allow to cool.

Whipping cream

500 ml heavy cream, whipped without sugar, until it forms peaks

Putting the cake together

Heat the syrup and 25 ml of bailey liqueur and wet both sponge cakes.

Put one cake on the platter with the ring of the spring form tin and add a few tablespoons of the chocolate mixture and place the other sponge cake on top, so that they may stick together. Cut the cake vertically into 5 stripes, removing 1 cm sponge to leave a gap.

Mix a few tablespoons chocolate mixture with the whipped cream and fill the gaps with the whipped cream using a pastry bag (reserve some for decoration on top).  Use a spatula to push in the cream.

Refrigerate until you prepare next step.

For the ganache:

  • 2 couverture chocolates x 125 grams each
  • 1 tablespoon margarine or butter
  • Remaining mousse mixture.

Melt the chocolate in a bain Marie.Add the margarine and mix and then add the remaining mousse mixture.

Cover the cake with the ganache and allow to cool.

Hope you’ve enjoyed and as Julia used to say “Bon Appetit”!!

Other relevants posts:

Sour Cherries and Double Chocolate Cheesecake

Strawberry Cheesecake with Greek Yoghurt

Dulce De Leche Banoffee Cheesecake

Spicy White Chocolate Cake with Caramelized Bananas

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32 Responses

  1. What gorgeous cakes Ivy. =Yoiur husband is a lucky man !My wishes for him 🙂

  2. Wow Ivy, you are killing me!!!!! Awesome and delicious cakes :D!!! I would take a flight to Athens only for your desserts ;D.

    Thanks for the film comments :D. I was also thinking about going to the cinemas to watch it. Now I know it wont be later than the comming weekend ;D. Happy saint day to your husband from Spain!

  3. Ivy that cake looks so so good, i too want to see the movie but hubby dont like movies like this so i will wait till it comes out in DVD.

  4. robin

    I just love these kind of cakes, but my husband (Greek and loves to eat. specially sweets!) can’t help himself for taking a big spoon and attack my delicious cake over and over again…

    So we eat our weekly dutch famous applepie with lots of cream outside the house to limit the intake of calories at least from sweets.

    I will look for the film here in Holland, I love Merryl Streep but agree with you about the fake accents, that bothers me too in some films.

    Good luck to all of you making the cake and enjoy it!

  5. I am looking forward to this movie as well … looks like Julia lead an interesting life!

    Love the presentation of your cakes …. such novel idea to pipe cream between the sponges as you did … surely a Cordon Bleu move to me Ivy! And looks to the related recipes … wow replay of such yummy delights … this pregnant momma is getting hungry LOL!

  6. I’ll have to see that movie soon…

    What a luscious cake! So beautiful and tempting!



  7. Ton mari est drôlement gâté, ce gâteau est somptueux, bravo !

  8. Ivy, you touched my heart with this magnificent chocolate cake. Wasn’t Julia wonderful? Would love to have met her. Love the vertical cuts. How unique.

  9. A truly gorgeous cake, Ivy. You have all my admiration.

  10. I loved the Julie & Julia movie too – I have seen it twice (by accident!) now. I have also read both books.

    Your chocolate cake looks devine, but I can’t wait to the lemon cake recipe (with citrus being my true love over chocolate). Happy name day to Demetri!

  11. Lena

    Hello! Just wanted to say that I love your blog 🙂 I am a Greek-American and I love viewing your twists on classic Greek desserts, as well as your own recipes.

    Thank you so much for sharing your recipes and photographs!

    Xronia Polla ston andra sou!

  12. I haven’t seen the movie yet. I think I’ll have to wait for it on video. Your cakes are beautiful!

  13. It does look like a perfect chocolate cake, wish I could have a taste right now! I missed the movie in the theaters so hope to see it on the video soon.

  14. Chocolate heaven…mmm…Thank you, Ivy! I feel so hungry now, and it’s still early in the morning –LOL! Happy Name Day to your husband, my friend :o) ((HUGS))

  15. P.S. How did the Bourguignonne taste? Hope you’ll post it soon!!!

  16. Ivy

    Thanks to all of you for your wishes and especially to the two non-blogger readers of my blog Robin and Lena. Welcome and thank you so much. Hope to see you again here soon.

    Gaye, the lemon cake was light, flavourful and delicious. I love lemon flavour more than any other citrus and nearly crossed the line to making it’s flavour intense but for me it was perfect. I think it will be the next cake I will post.

    Lisa, the Bourguignonne was exceptional. Lots of mmmmmmmm… and wowwww…. while we were eating:) I will do my best to post it the soonest possible.

  17. Liz

    This cake looks yummy! (As usual)

    I really want to see this movie but I haven’t even discovered if there is a cinema in Nafplio yet never mind what it might be showing. Maybe I will have to wait for the DVD.

  18. Best Wishes to your hubby!
    Cake looks fantastic my dear, very well done 🙂

  19. Yum, Ivy! The chocolate cake looks so delicious with the cream center and from the pics you can see how moist it is! Xpovia Polla to Demetri!

  20. Beautiful cake Ivy! Xronia tou polla kai eutixismena!

  21. Mina

    geia sou Ivy,

    I agree with you regardng the movie. LOVED IT!!!!

    Love your website and I tune in daily.

    I salivate just looking at your masterpieces.


  22. Ivy, your chocolate cake looks like it is the ultimate one! I used to watch her cooking shows on TV way back in 1998. I am waiting for the movie to be released in India. My daughter saw it in Singapore and commented..Mama it is your story! 🙂

  23. Ciao Ivy ! What a delicious cake for your husband’s onomastico !(it comes from greek so maybe in modern greek it sounds the same !)I will have to try it (and the lemon one too !!)Are you getting ready ?? I’m very happy and ready !!

  24. Ivy

    Thanks to all of you for the wishes.

    Welcome Mina, glad to see you here.

    Natalia, in Greek onoma means name, so we say Onomastiki Eorti (ονομαστική εορτή) for name day.
    I am really looking forward to meeting you, but no I am not getting ready yet 🙂

  25. Hi Ivy, I enjoyed the movie a lot too. Thanks for sharing with us your reflection on the movie. I watched it when it was out the first week in Basel and my hubby enjoyed the movie as much as I did. Being a blogger, I felt how Julie had gone through emotionally through blogging. Wanting more reader and comments, etc. I have blogged for a year and like you I had no idea what blogging is about when i was still at work. Now that I have stopped working, I accidentally discovered blogging when I was searching about information about how to knead a dough for bread baking and how to make pizzas. Then I came to the idea of having my own blog and now have made friends from all over the world, very rewarding indeed. and then i came to growing interest of taking food and travel photos. I hope I can keep up this interest for the coming years : ) Best wishes to you and glad to meet you in the blogosphere!

  26. Your cake was a great creation of yours by the way.

  27. Ivy

    Hi Janet. I am sure every blogger will relate with the movie, one way or the other. I can also remember how happy I was when the first comments started appearing and then I had a map on the first blog where I could see from which parts of the world I had visitors and was so amazed to discover that there were people out there interested to read my recipes. There are times that I think that the only people reading my blog are those leaving a message but when I check my stats I see that each day I have more than 500 hits a day and that is so rewarding. I am also glad to have met you and so many other people.

  28. Absolutely devine! Your husband is lucky to have you. 🙂
    And happy name day to your husband!

    I have only recently heard about Julia Child and I am dying to get her books (hubby is the obstacle – he says I have too many cookbooks). Every since I moved to Germany I don’t keep track of new movies that come, but Julie and Julia sounds like something I would love to watch.

    I think it was a clever idea that you cut the chocolate cake vertically rather than horizontally. It makes for a beautiful presentation and your last photo looks scrumptious. 🙂

  29. That’s such a good idea! The stripes in the cake look fantastic. Great job.

  30. The white stripes in between look cool….
    Heard about the movie earlier from The Little Teochew, I think I will wait for the DVD.

  31. Xponia Polla to your husband Dimitri, no doubt everyone enjoyed your chocolate cake and glad you enjoyed the Julia & Julia movie. I still have to see it!

  32. maria yorgakopoulou

    Hronia Polla for your Dimitri, It is a special day for me- my dad was Dimitri( James), and we now have his grandson, Demetrius Constantine. I went to liturgy at St Demetrius in Mystra, where the last Paleologus was crowned. I spent the day walking, going to the Castle, seeing the nuns & cats of Pantanassa monastery, then I walked down to the Xenia
    restaurant where my husban’s cousin, the chef treated me for dinner! I hope you had a beautiful day! The lemons are getting ready in the garden- I shall have to try the cake.
    Ivy, I wish you could have been with us when we ran our Greek restaurant in Amherst Mass-using up your mistakes is integral! Julia Child really saved cooking for the US.
    Her library is now at Radcliffe( Harvard)- She went to Smith College, the women’s college near us!