Best excuse ever, and yet another chocolate cake.

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. :D

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.)

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31 Comments »

  1. Lorraine E said,

    November 28, 2008 @ 11:01 am

    Looks fiendishly rich and chocolatey! :)

  2. Marija said,

    November 28, 2008 @ 11:04 am

    Looks very tasty! I think it’s a winner!

  3. Reemski said,

    November 28, 2008 @ 11:12 am

    Oh, I want!

  4. clumbsycookie said,

    November 28, 2008 @ 11:24 am

    Yep that’s an awesome excuse, lol! And a no less awesome cake!

  5. Eileen said,

    November 28, 2008 @ 12:42 pm

    I’ve been in my kitchen two solid days cooking, and just sat down and ate an obscene amount of Thanksgiving turkey and all of the trimmings, and this chocolate cake still looks so good to me I know I could force a piece down if someone were to give me a slice ;) )

  6. Katie said,

    November 28, 2008 @ 1:01 pm

    This is the chocolate cake of my dreams!

  7. chocolatesuze said,

    November 28, 2008 @ 3:29 pm

    *chortles* a liver to dissect hmm? a chocolate cake to dissect is also good lol

  8. FFichiban said,

    November 28, 2008 @ 5:59 pm

    haha what the random?? Hee hee I would make excuses to try and make this cake mmmmm chocolatey fudgey goodness

  9. linda said,

    November 28, 2008 @ 8:41 pm

    A liver to dissect? I hope she was solving a murder case…
    The cake must be very good but I don’t think I’d bother doing the two layers, must be very good with one layer too ;)

  10. Patricia Scarpin said,

    November 29, 2008 @ 1:28 am

    I had breakfast in Ottolenghi while in London and loved the place. Loved it!
    Your cake looks absurdly good!

  11. Christy said,

    November 29, 2008 @ 10:24 am

    A liver to dissect, huh? Hm…I hope it’s nothing sinister.

    What you have up there is my ultimate comfort food!!

  12. megan said,

    November 29, 2008 @ 3:15 pm

    chocolate fudge cake is the best thing in the entire world. your photo is so tempting, i’m going to have to make this ASAP!

  13. Jude said,

    November 29, 2008 @ 8:35 pm

    I’ve heard of outrageous excuses before but dissecting a liver is pretty new and creative to me. I think I’ll use that sometime.

  14. Miri said,

    November 30, 2008 @ 1:55 am

    Oh Y, this looks so velvety and decadent!

  15. Vera said,

    November 30, 2008 @ 4:48 am

    It looks luscious, Y!

  16. pea and pear said,

    November 30, 2008 @ 12:40 pm

    Hmmm this looks delicious and also fudgey enough to enjoy next week when I am puffed up like a chipmunk and minus 3 wisdom teeth. This cake could definitely make it to the menu!!

  17. snooky doodle said,

    December 1, 2008 @ 8:45 am

    wow what a cake this surely will satisfy a chocolate craving, yummy

  18. Renee said,

    December 1, 2008 @ 11:11 am

    what a great looking cake! Very decadent!

  19. Mike said,

    December 2, 2008 @ 9:04 am

    Another excuse I would enjoy (since I’m a guy with short hair): I need to wash my hair. *rimshot…crickets…silence*

    lol, anywho, that cake looks like a chocolate cake to be reckoned with and I’d love to have a slice of that with a tall glass of milk

  20. Jamie said,

    December 2, 2008 @ 11:45 pm

    I collect chocolate cake recipes and this looks incredible. It has been added to my “Must Do” list – and soon. Wonderful blog! Thanks!

  21. zorra said,

    December 5, 2008 @ 1:20 am

    It looks so yummy. I would like to have piece right now.

  22. Bodhigram said,

    March 20, 2009 @ 7:04 am

    Was reading your recipe and was wondering Isn’t the sweet content too high? There are two kinds of chocolate plus the sugar.

  23. Y said,

    March 20, 2009 @ 9:03 am

    Hi Bodhigram! I checked the recipe again, and it is as it says in the book. When I made this, I didn’t recall having an issue with sweetness. The sugar content is probably comparable to what you’d get in a brownie. If you’re keen to make this, I’m sure it wouldn’t be too much of a problem if you wanted to cut out some of the sugar.

  24. My dark secrets « How to shuck an oyster said,

    July 6, 2009 @ 11:25 pm

    [...] first is the┬áchocolate fudge cake in Yotam Ottolenghi’s fabulous eponymous cookbook (he of the excellent New Vegetarian column [...]

  25. I said,

    July 10, 2009 @ 9:27 pm

    A friend of mine made it for a big dinner and it was absolutely stunning! I can’t recommend it highly enough!

  26. Y said,

    July 10, 2009 @ 9:51 pm

    Thank you for your comment. Glad you’re a fan of the recipe too! :)

  27. Rangeeta said,

    September 5, 2009 @ 1:50 am

    Isn’t the total sugar content too high?

  28. Y said,

    September 5, 2009 @ 9:25 am

    Hi Rangeeta, someone had voiced similar concerns as well, which I have replied to (a few comments above yours). If you prefer, you can probably cut out some of the sugar without drastically altering the end result.

  29. jo said,

    December 27, 2009 @ 8:58 pm

    My wife baked this cake twice now. Not a cake fan myself nor a chocolate fan but this is DEVINE!

  30. Y said,

    December 27, 2009 @ 10:05 pm

    Hello Jo! That’s high praise indeed! The rest of the Ottolenghi cookbook is fabulous too, I might add :)

  31. Charlie Butt said,

    September 10, 2011 @ 12:24 am

    I use this recipe in my pub kitchen and it goes down a storm after a heart Sunday roast! Only for he who dares this nemesis of a cake!

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