The Best Chocolate Cake in My World.
This is my first attempt at a recipe blog. So please bear with me as I try to make it interesting, informative and worth the read. Having never attempted to put pen to paper, metaphorically speaking, before, this could be a complete disaster, but here goes…
As a cook the one thing I am asked for over and over again is chocolate cake. For birthdays, family get-togethers, a local knees-up, any special occasion really, the one request I get often is ‘will you make that gorgeous chocolate cake?’ So in the hope that someone else will be asked to make it next time, let us begin.
A quick note here :READ THE RECIPE THROUGH FROM START TO FINISH FIRST, AND YES, I AM SHOUTING AT YOU…
What you need:
85g/3oz of good unsweetened dark chocolate (50% cocoa content minimum).
230g/8oz butter at room temperature.
500g/18oz brown/Demerera sugar.
310g/12oz of white spelt flour (you can use regular white flour)
2 teaspoons of baking soda/bread soda.
half a teaspoon of salt.
120ml/4fl oz buttermilk (if you haven’t got any add 2 tspns of vinegar or lemon juice to regular milk and leave for 5 minutes)
240ml/8 fl oz boiling water.
2 teaspoons of vanilla extract (please do not use the fake one, it will make the cake taste shop-bought)
For the icing:
300g/11oz good dark chocolate.
170g/6oz icing sugar.
100ml/3.5 fl oz milk.
What you do:
Preheat your oven to 180 degrees. Grease and line one 12 inch or two 9 inch tins with parchment or greaseproof paper or a dusting of flour. Set them aside. DO ALL THIS NOW (yes that’s me shouting again or, being more polite so as not to discourage you…raising my voice)
Place the chocolate in a heavy saucepan over a very low heat or in a double boiler (i.e. glass/pyrex bowl of chocolate pieces or drops sitting atop a saucepan of simmering water, bowl not touching the water) and melt gently, stirring all the time. Remove from the heat and set aside.
Cream the butter and sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer (however if you have been very diligent, and not like me who has not listened to myself and isnow pulling the butter out of the fridge, and your butter is at warm-room temperature, you can do this by hand) With the mixer on a slow speed add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. If at this point the whole thing looks like curdled mush, fear not. This just means your finished productwon’t be as light and fluffy as Grannie’s. In this instance that’s a bonus. Stir in the melted chocolate.
Combine, using a sieve, the flour, bread soda and salt in a medium bowl (That’s a bowl that will actually hold the volume, nothing fancier) Now add the flour mixture and the buttermilk to the chocolatey mixture alternating both. Blend gently and then add in the boiling water slowly and the vanilla. This will be a very wet mixture. Don’t over-mix, but do scrape the bottom of the bowl with a spatula before the next step or you will have a big gloopy bit that drops into the tin and splatters you and everything within range including your iphone.
Pour the batter into your prepared tin/s and bake in your pre-heated oven until a toothpick comes out clean. In the absence of a toothpick, use a knife or skewer or your bloomin’ imagination! This can be anywhere from 30-55 minutes depending on your tin size and oven. Open the oven at thirty minutes and gently turn the cake 180 degrees (that’s half way round to you non-math’sey people) check for done-ness. If still gooey close the door gently and check again every ten minutes or so. The beauty of this cake is, that it is better if it sinks. Dense, moist and devilishly delicious.
Cool in the tin. When cool, turn out onto your favourite big plate. Best if it’s a completely flat cake plate as whatever about sunken, you don’t need the plate to make it look like the crater in Mount Vesuvius.
For the icing, gently melt the chocolate with the butter. Add the milk slowly, mixing all the time. Sieve in the icing sugar, again stirring at intervals. Whisk gently to smooth. Now pour it on top of the cake from the middle outwards. As you get towards the edge let it run down the sides. You can then re-direct the flow by using a flat knife to spread it out if nesessary. Decorate with anything from a mound of berries and a sprig of mint in the centre, to lavish chocolate swirls or just plain old milk and white chocolate buttons.
Whatever else you do, make sure you enjoy eating it. With Love, Margie.