I have seen a grown man lick a slice of cake so that no one else will be tempted to steal it. “Don’t let anyone touch my cake while I’m out,” he says. “Tell them I’ve licked it. See?” He presses his tongue against the creamy topping, like an octopus’ tentacle claiming it’s prize, then out the door he dashes. I work with crazy people.
But the lure of cake does that to most of us. Especially chocolate cake.. which I’ve just realised that I haven’t made in awhile. One of the most comforting chocolate treats is a chocolate-loaded flourless cake by Jill Dupleix, who in turn had enhanced an Elizabeth David recipe. The chocolate I usually use is Callebaut, occasionally Valrhona (when I feel like splashing out), but sometimes also Lindt 70%, which is readily available at the local supermarket and is my great standby when I’ve run out of the other stuff. So usually any of my recipes should read : First, grab your handbag and dash to the shops for some Lindt because you’ve forgotten that there aren’t any more Callebaut buttons in the house.
Today I thought I would try something different. This cake is a combination of old and new : an old favourite chocolate cake recipe by Rose Levy Beranbaum, filled with a salted caramel recipe from a newly acquired book that my brother gave me for Christmas.
Rose’s cake is called Chocolate Domingo, named after Placido Domingo. It is an incredibly moist, chocolatey and fudgey cake, that really is very satisfying eaten unadorned. But in the spirit of trying something different, I decided to cut it into individual portions, slather the innards with salty caramel, and top the cakes with a shiny glaze.
To paraphrase Adam Ford, I kiss this cake and make it mine.
Rose Levy Beranbaum’s Chocolate Domingo Cake :
42g Dutch cocoa powder
160g sour cream
1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
156g sifted cake flour
200g castor sugar
1/4 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
200g unsalted butter, softened
Preheat the oven to 180’C.
In a medium bowl whisk together the cocoa, sour cream, eggs and vanilla until smooth.
In a large mixing bowl combine all the remaining dry ingredients and mix on low speed for 30 seconds to blend. Add the butter and half the cocoa mixture. Mix on low speed until the dry ingredients are moistened. Increase to medium speed and beat for 1 1/2 minutes to aerate and develop the cake’s structure. Scrape down the sides. Gradually add the remaining cocoa mixture in two batches, beating for 20 seconds after each addition to incorporate the ingredients and strengthen the structure. Scrape down the sides.
Scrape the batter into the prepared tin (23cm diameter greased and lined springform tin) and smooth the surface with a spatula. The tin will be about half full. Bake for 30 to 40 minutes or until a tester inserted near the centre comes out clean and the cake springs back when pressed lightly in the centre.
Let the cake cool in the tin on a rack for 10 minutes. Loosen the sides with a small metal spatula and invert onto a greased wire rack. Reinvert so that the top is up and cool completely before wrapping airtight.
(More chocolate treats over at SHF #27, hosted by David Lebovitz.)