A Recipe For Chocolate Cake (Or, The Easiest Blog I Ever Wrote)

Recently, I wrote about an incidentally gluten free chocolate cake and had one or two enquiries about the recipe.

Let it never be said I don’t respond to my readers.

The recipe comes from this book (page 265, to be precise):

recipe book cover

Although the title of the recipe is Death By Chocolate, similar recipes can be found online by searching for American Fudge Cake. It’s best made the day before you plan to eat it, and served warm or cold with a bit of cream or ice-cream. Or even hot custard. This is one rich cake.

Ingredients:

300g good quality dark chocolate (I use the 70% stuff in the baking aisle)

150g unsalted butter, diced (the diced is fairly important) – it can also be made with hard margarine but the taste isn’t quite as good.

5 medium free range eggs, at room temperature

½ teaspoon vanilla extract (or 1 teaspoon vanilla essence) – don’t leave it out.

100g caster sugar (if you don’t have caster sugar, whizz normal sugar in the food processor for a few seconds)

Method

  1. Preheat your oven to 180°C/gas 4. (I have no idea for fan ovens). Grease a 22cm springclip tin and line the base with greaseproof paper.
  2. Break up chocolate (use a plastic bag and a rolling pin if you want to express your violent tendencies), place in heatproof bowl over steaming but not boiling water (the bowl and water shall not touch or icky mess and wasted chocolate results). Add the butter. Melt, stirring frequently. Remove from steamy situation and leave to cool.
  3. Break eggs into large mixing bowl (the one for your electric mixer). Add vanilla and whisk for a few seconds.
  4. Add sugar and whisk on full power for about 5 minutes – until pale, very thick and mousse like and about 5 times its original volume. (When you lift the whisk out, the trail left behind should still be visible 5 seconds later, or else keep whisking)
  5. Pour the chocolate mixture into the eggy mixture and use a metal spoon to fold the two together, taking care to scrape up all the chocolate that sinks to the bottom. Be gentle, but thorough until it is all combined (if you don’t know how to fold in baking, it really is worth looking it up on YouTube.
  6. Pour the mixture into the prepared tin and bake for 35-45 minutes, until only just firm to the touch, but still sort of moist underneath (it carries on cooking out the oven, you see).Put the tin on a wire cooling rack and ease a round bladed knife around the inside of the tin. Leave to cool in the tin – as the cake cools it shrinks. Don’t be alarmed.
  7. Turn the cake out onto a plate (I generally invert it so I end up icing the bottom. So. Much. Easier. – also what the recipe suggests). Make icing as described below. Or if you’d rather not, apparently you can just use slightly sweetened whipped cream with a bit of vanilla and some fresh cherries. (Not that I have tried it that way. But me and chocolate …)

Icing

Ingredients

200g good quality dark chocolate (I use the 705 stuff, as above. Although I once used mint flavoured dark chocolate. A little bit of heaven.)

100ml double cream (apparently, using the soya substitute for a dairy free option doesn’t taste too bad)

Method

  1. Finely chop the chocolate (I have done it in the food processor in the past, but it is possible to overdo it.) Put it in a large heatproof bowl (bigger than the one you used for the cake, if possible). Add the cream.
  2. Put the bowl over steamy hot but not boiling water (refer to the cake method for appropriate warnings). Leave for a minute or so until the chocolate is only half melted.
  3. Remove from pan and beat until the chocolate is all glossy and pretty (it feels it will take forever and then suddenly it is all shiny).
  4. Pour evenly over the cake so that it can trickle down the sides. The more you muck about with it, the less shiny the end result.

chocolate cake

And eat. You can thank me later.

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