Well. Dort purists and Czech readers, you might want to avert your eyes.

Not quite Pařížský dort (Parisian Cake)...

Not quite Pařížský dort (Parisian Cake)...

I know. It doesn’t look quite the way it’s supposed to. As I was reading and translating the recipe, which had its own discursive way (a way I’m fond of), I took a wrong turn and wound up with something that looked like a brownie mixture. So I baked it. And that became the second layer. The cake that ultimately emerged in my New York kitchen is a plump, round cousin of the thin, square Czech version.

“You made a Pařížský brownie,” my husband laughed, when he saw the results.

“But didn’t your mother make this?” I asked him. “Where did this recipe come from?”

“Probably my great-grandmother’s bakery in Telecí,” he replied, getting out a fork and taking a closer look at the slices.

“So your mom didn’t make this?” I pressed.

He sank down on the couch and eyed the four layers. “No, it’s much too heavy.”

“And complicated,” I said.

It’s all part of the journey, right?

Below, I give you the real translation…

Pařížský dort (Parisian Cake)

5 egg yolks
4 tbsp. (lžice) vegetable oil
2 tbsp. (lžice) water
1/2 to 3/4 cup (10-12 dkg) sugar
3 tbsp. (lžice) cocoa (or just enough to add color)
6-7 egg whites
3/4 cup (12 dkg) flour

Chocolate-cream topping:
1 package chocolate pudding, prepared according to package directions
Alternatively, according to the recipe, you can mix together 2 softened sticks of butter (250 grams), 1/2 cup (10 dkg) sugar, and chocolate.

baking chocolate
a bit of butter
nougat (optional)

Whipped-cream topping:
1 cup heavy cream, whipped into stiff peaks. (The recipe advises preparing and leaving in the fridge for one day before using, though I’m not quite sure why. Maybe the peaks hold better?)

For the cake:
Mix the egg yolks with the oil. Add the water, sugar, and cocoa.
In a separate bowl, beat the egg whites until firm. Gently add half the flour to the egg whites; add the rest of the flour to the yolk mixture. Mix the contents of both bowls together, pour into a buttered 8 x 8″ pan, and bake at 200°F for 30-45 minutes or until done.

For the chocolate-cream topping:
Make pudding. Set aside.

For the glaze:
Melt the baking chocolate and add a bit of butter (less than one tbsp.). Let cool.

To assemble:
Add the chocolate-cream (pudding) to the base layer. Pour the glaze gently over. Top with whipped cream.