The husband requested cake, specifically chocolate cake. A moist sponge with chocolate icing, he mused. Oh, and with chocolate shavings please.
The wife thought it would be a good idea to kill two birds with one stone and bake a chocolate cake from her recipe cards. She was sure she’d seen one in the collection so off she went to have a look. She found the recipe card she was thinking of and at the top of the ingredients list were prunes. Bugger, she thought, for she didn’t have any prunes. On the upside though, she doesn’t actually like prunes and neither does the husband so to be prune-less wasn’t exactly a bad thing.
This meant having to start from scratch and looking for another recipe. Out came all the recipe books (not that many, really) as well as her handwritten recipes collected over the years. The search returned many flourless, near flourless and chocolate mud cakes but with none fitting the husband’s specifications.
She settled for a recipe in a book from where she’d never cooked – a French book which did not have pictures accompanying all its recipes. This recipe had a picture however, but one which showed the cake covered in icing so it was impossible to gauge whether the innards would satisfy the husband’s cake cravings. The recipe didn’t ask for many ingredients so she decided this was the cake to be!
The cake was easy enough to make although the instructions were a little brief and lacking. It was lucky that this was not her first time baking – oh no, far from it. Still, the cake turned out much flatter than she had expected so her plans for splitting it in two layers and filling it with chocolate had to be rethought. She wasn’t going to make another cake, as it would be impossible for them to finish, so she did the next most practical thing: cut the cake in two halves and sandwich one half on top of the other. Aha, crisis averted!
The cake itself was quite crumbly with its texture akin to a torte, although there were no nuts involved, so it wasn’t quite what the husband had requested. However sandwiched and covered with chocolate fudge icing from a particular Domestic Goddess recipe, it just about hit the spot when sprinkled with Lindt hot chocolate flakes – a lazy alternative to chocolate shavings.
Chocolate (half) Cake with Chocolate Fudge Icing
(cake adapted from I Know How to Cook, recipe by Ginette Mathiot)
(icing adapted from Nigella Bites, recipe by Nigella Lawson)
Please double all ingredients quantities unless you’re planning on making half a cake like me!
· 75g butter
· 140g dark chocolate, chopped (I used 86% cocoa)
· 4 eggs, separated
· 2/3 cup plain flour, sifted
· ½ cup caster sugar
· 1 tbs Baileys
- Preheat oven to 150°C. Grease and line a round cake tin.
- In a saucepan on low heat, melt chocolate with butter. Stir occasionally to ensure smoothness. Set aside to cool slightly then beat in the egg yolks one by one. Add flour and sugar and mix well – you will end up with a stiff, cookie dough-type ‘batter’.
- In a separate bowl, whisk eggwhites with the Baileys until stiff peaks form. Mix a quarter to a third of this into the chocolate mixture to lighten it before folding in the rest.
- Pour into prepared cake tin and bake around 50 min. Remove from oven and allow to cool prior to icing.
· 90g dark chocolate (I used 70% cocoa)
· 125g unsalted butter, softened
· 1 cup pure icing sugar, sifted
· 1 tbs vanilla extract
1. Melt chocolate and allow to cool slightly.
2. In the meantime, beat butter until it is pale and creamy. Beat in icing sugar until light and fluffy.
3. Add vanilla and chocolate and mix well until smooth and glossy. Ice cake and decorate as desired. Place cake in fridge for a short period of time if a firmer icing is preferred.