Wednesday, 1 June 2011

Chocolate Fudge Cake

Firstly, I feel deeply obliged to state that this is primarily a Nigella recipe.
Other than the size of the tin, the cooking time and a few quantities here and there, very little has changed from the fantastic recipe on page 47 of 'Nigella Bites' - a must have if you don't already own it!

I would whole heartedly agree with the Queen of the Kitchen herself that this cake is perfect for a little focused baking post break-up, to be consumed by one.  However, it is also a show stopping cake to mark the end of a Birthday party or family get together.  On this occasion I am baking it for the later and it would be a vast understatement to say that my family have something of a sweet tooth.  Between the nine of us this cake was demolished for pudding and with cups of tea less than an hour later.  It is also worth mentioning that one of those nine people is only 6 months old, and as such, took no part in the consumption, but one day he will!

Bake this cake and all will be right in the world.

Ingredients for the cake
400g plain flour
259g golden caster sugar
100g light muscovado sugar
50g best quality cocoa powder
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 eggs
150ml of sour cream (or there about's)
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
175g unsalted butter, melted and allowed to cool
125ml corn or vegetable oil
300ml chilled water

Ingredients of the topping
100g dark chocolate, min 70% cocoa solids
130g unsalted butter
150g icing sugar, sifted
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Preheat the oven to Gas Mark 4 (180C)
Line the base of a 23" spring-form cake tin and grease the sides with a little butter

You will need 3 bowls;
Bowl 1: Mixing bowl - Dry mix - sieve the flour, baking powder, bicarb, cocoa and salt into a large bowl.  Add the sugars and mix together
Bowl 2 : Jug - Egg mix - In a jug or mixing bowl whisk together the eggs, sour cream and vanilla extract
Bowl 3: Electric mixer - Liquid mix - beat together the melted butter and oil until blended.  Add the water and beat again.

Add all of the dry mix to the liquid mix and mix together on a slow setting on the electric mixer.  Pour in the egg mixture and mix again until everything is combined a yummy looking.

At this point, Nigella would split the mixture between two smaller sandwich tins, however, I like this cake as one beast of a pudding, so I use a larger tin and less chocolate topping - as there is none between the two layers, which i sometimes find excessive about fudge cakes.

Pour the mixture into the prepared tin and bake on a middle to high shelf on Gas Mark 4 for an hour.
Don't be tempted to check the cake before 45mins as a sudden drop in temperature can lead the cake to fall in the centre.  If the cake wobbles as you remove it from the oven then it isn't done, pop it back in for another 10 minutes or so.  If you think it is done then the cake should be firm to touch and a clean skewer, inserted into the centre, should come out clean.

Leave the cake in the tin, on a wiring rack, to cool for 15 minutes or so.  Then remove the cake from the tin and leave to cool completely before icing.

Now for the topping.
melt the chocolate in a bain marie, which is to place the chocolate in a heatproof glass bowl over a saucepan of simmering water.  The glass bowl should not touch the water, as the chocolate might burn.
Whilst the chocolate is melting, cream the butter in another bowl by beating it together.  You can use an electric mixer to speed up the process.  Sieve the icing sugar into a bowl and then a spoonful at a time, add it to the butter and continue to mix until smooth and fluffy.  Slowly add the melted chocolate and th vanilla until you have a thick glossy mixture that you feel the urge to jump into!

Once the cake has completely cooled ice it to perfection.  I like to stand the chocolate cake proudly on a doilie topped cake stand and spread the topping to within a centimetre or so of the stand.  This is purely aesthetic, you can do it how you like!

Now.  Stick the kettle on, find your copy of Bridget Jones Diary and grab a fork.  Dinner is served.


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