You might want to bookmark this post for future reference, because it contains the best excuse ever, for not turning up to something.
A friend was in a bit of a bind the other day, because she had organised to attend a show with two other friends and they had cancelled on her at the last minute, despite the fact she had already bought tickets for everyone. The first person was sick, and as for the second? Well, you’d expect that her car might have broken down, a toilet was severely blocked, or she had taken ill as well. But no :
“X just sent me an email saying that she just found out that a liver to dissect will be coming in this afternoon and she’s not sure if she’ll be able to make it.”
How is that for an awesome excuse?
Oh, and the chocolate cake is pretty good too. But no one ever needs an excuse to make yet another chocolate cake.
Chocolate Fudge Cake :
This cake didn’t look like anything special to me, until I read the recipe closely and discovered that the batter is actually baked in two stages, yielding a dense fudgey layer at the base, and a moussey layer on top. Intriguing enough to warrant an attempt. My version turned out wonderfully moist with great chocolate flavour, but it wasn’t quite so obvious that there was a distinction between the layers. I think if I wanted a true moussey layer, I’d still prefer to make the Eve’s chocolate cake. If you want to try making this cake, but can’t be bothered baking it twice, you can just bake the entire cake as is. It will still be great.
(serves 6-8, from Ottolenghi : The Cookbook, by Yotam Ottolenghi and Sami Tamimi)
240g unsalted butter, cut into small cubes
265g dark chocolate (52% cocoa solids), cut into small pieces
95g dark chocolate (70% cocoa solids), cut into small pieces
290g light muscovado sugar
4 tablespoons water
5 large free-range eggs, separated
a pinch of salt
cocoa powder for dusting
1. Preheat the oven to 170’C. Grease a 20cm springform cake tin and line the base and sides with baking parchment.
2. Place the butter and both types of chocolate in a very large heatproof bowl – it should be big enough to accomodate the entire mix. Put the brown sugar and water in a small saucepan, stir to mix, then bring to the boil over a medium heat. Pour the boiling syrup over the butter and chocolate and stir well until they have melted and you are left with a runny chocolate sauce. Stir in the egg yolks, one at a time. Set aside until the mixture comes to room temperature.
3. Put the egg whites and salt in a large bowl and whisk to a firm, but not too dry meringue. Using a rubber spatula or a large metal spoon, gently fold the meringue into the cooled chocolate mixture a third at a time. The whites should be fully incorporated but there is no harm if you see small bits of meringue in the mix.
4. Pour 800g (about two-thirds) of the mixture into the prepared cake tin and level gently with a palette knife. Leave the rest of the batter for later. Place the cake in the oven and bake for about 40 minutes, until a skewer inserted in the centre comes out almost clean. Remove from the oven and leave to cool properly.
5. Flatten the top of the cake with a palette knife. Don’t worry about breaking the crust. Pour the rest of the batter on top and level the surface again. Return to the oven and bake for 20 – 25 minutes. The cake should still have moist crumbs when checked with a skewer. Leave to cool completely before removing from the tin. Dust with cocoa powder and serve.
6. The cake will keep, covered at room temperature for 4 days.
(This Chocolate Fudge Cake by Ottolenghi is my second submission to Lorraine’s Chocolate Cake Challenge.)