French Fudge Squares

READY IN: 2hrs 20mins
YIELD: 16 squares


  • 8
    ounces unsweetened chocolate
  • 4
    large eggs, separated
  • 12
  • 2
    cups sugar
  • 2
    cups sifted all-purpose flour
  • 1
    pinch salt
  • Fudge Glaze
  • 2
    tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder (Dutch process)
  • 14
    cup sugar
  • 14
    cup water
  • 1
    ounce unsweetened chocolate, coarsely chopped
  • 1
    ounce sweet butter, cut into pieces (1/4 stick)
  • 1
    tablespoon vegetable oil


  • Adjust oven rack one-third up from the bottom of the oven; preheat oven to 350°.
  • Line a 9-inch square cake pan as follows: invert pan; tear off a 12-inch square of foil and center it over the inverted pan, fold down the sides and corners, remove the foil and turn the pan right side up.
  • Place the foil in the pan; in order not to tear it, us a pot holder or towel; smooth the foil into place.
  • Lightly butter the bottom and sides, using soft or melted butter and a pastry brush; set aside.
  • Place the chocolate in the top of a small double boiler over hot water on low heat.
  • Cover until partially melted, then uncover and stir occasionally until completely melted.
  • Remove the top of the double boiler and set aside, uncovered, to cool slightly.
  • In a small bowl or an electric mixer beat the yolks until they are pale lemon-colored; set aside.
  • Put the butter in a large bowl of the electric mixer; add 1 ¾ cup sugar and beat well.
  • Add the egg yolks and beat to mix; then add the chocolate and beat to mix again.
  • On low speed gradually add the flour and beat, scraping the bowl with a rubber spatula, and beating only until thoroughly incorporated; remove from the mixer.
  • Now you need a clean, small mixer bowl and clean beaters.
  • Place the egg whites in the bowl; add in the salt; beat until the whites thicken so they barely hold a soft shape.
  • Decrease the speed to moderate and gradually add the remaining ¼ cup sugar.
  • Increase speed to high again and beat only until the whites hold a definite shape but not until they are stiff or dry.
  • The chocolate mixture will be quite stiff.
  • First stir in about half a cup of the beaten whites; then fold in half of the remaining whites (do not be too thorough) and then fold in the remaining whites.
  • The chocolate mixture will seem too stiff, but don’t worry—first continue to fold until the whites disappear.
  • Turn into the prepared pan; smooth the top as well as you can (the mixture does not run as it bakes).
  • Place the pan in a large shallow pan and pour hot (not boiling) water in the the large pan to about half the depth of the cake pan.
  • Bake for 50 minutes (no test for doneness).
  • Remove the cake pan from the hot water and let stand until completely cool.
  • Cover with a rack, invert, remove the pan and foil lining, and then transfer the cake, upside down, to a board, flat platter, or cookie sheet (the cake will be 1 ¼ inches high).
  • Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for a day or two; bring to room temperature before glazing.
  • Make glaze: in a small saucepan, stir the cocoa, sugar, and water to blend.
  • Place over medium heat and cook, stirring, until the mixture comes to a boil; let boil slowly, still stirring, for 1 minute.
  • Add the chocolate and stir until it melts.
  • Remove pan from heat and add in the butter, one piece at a time, stirring until smooth after each addition.
  • Add in the oil and stir until completely blended.
  • Now, immediately, while the glaze is hot, pour it onto the top of the cake.
  • With a long, narrow metal spatula spread it over the top only (if a bit runs down on the sides just leave it).
  • Let stand at room temperature for at least several hours (if the cake is refrigerated the glaze will become dull).
  • With a long, thin, sharp knife, first trim a thin slice from each of the four sides so they will look the same as the cut interior sides; if necessary, wipe the blade after making each cut.
  • Then cut into 16 squares.