Devil’s Chocolate Cake

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So I try to cajole and persuade my children (and husband) away from their chocolate obsession, baking French inspired Macaroons after a recent trip to France (too “almondy”), introducing Pistachio and Almond cookies (too weird), I try and share with them the big tasty beautiful world of coffee and meringue and Ginger and Lime margarita flavours, a world of Italian Panna Cotta (is this yogurt? why cant we just have yogurt?) and French (or Spanish!) Creme Caramel / Creme Catalan (is this just custard?). Mostly to no avail. They want chocolate. Whats wrong with chocolate?! Is that Chocolate? What flavour is this….. chocolate?

Well, I have beaten them at their own game! I have finally found a cake that is so intensely chocolaty that they cant finish the large slices they cut for themselves. I have posted Nigella’s chocolate fudge cake previously – this is an adapted version of her Devils Chocolate / Migrane on a plate cake. Its light, its rich (how can it be both – but it is!)  this is the ultimate, in my opinion, chocolate cake.

Read through the entire recipe before you start – I started with the icing / frosting then moved onto the cake. The icing needs time to set – it will look like it is a pouring chocolate sauce long after it appears to be cooled and you will think -“this is rubbish” and then suddenly, you will go to look at your horse fall at the first hurdle in the Grand National, you will come back and it is ‘set’ into a glossy chocolatey gooey spreadable delight. (I think I’ve used the word “chocolatey” enough to have it officially added to the dictionary if it didn’t already exist)

INGREDIENTS

For the Cake

  • 50 grams best-quality cocoa powder (sifted, I forgot)
  • 100 grams dark brown muscovado sugar
  • 250 ml boiling water
  • 125 grams soft unsalted butter (plus some for greasing)
  • 150 grams caster sugar
  • 225 grams plain flour
  • ½ teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 large eggs

For the Frosting

  • 125 ml water
  • 30 grams dark brown muscovado sugar
  • 175 grams unsalted butter (cubed)
  • 300 grams best-quality dark chocolate (finely chopped)

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PREPARATION

Preheat the oven to 180°C/gas mark 4/350°F.

ICING

  • put the water, 30g / 2 tablespoons muscovado sugar and 175g / 1 1/2 sticks butter in a pan over a low heat to melt.

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  • When this mixture begins to bubble, take the pan off the heat and add the chopped chocolate, swirling the pan so that all the chocolate is hit with heat, then leave for a minute to melt before whisking till smooth and glossy.

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  • Leave for about 1 hour, whisking now and again – when you’re passing the pan – by which time the cakes will be cooled, and ready for the frosting.

CAKE

  • Line the bottoms of two 20cm / 8inch round sandwich tins with baking parchment and butter the sides.
  • Put the cocoa and 100g / half cup dark muscovado sugar into a bowl with a bit of space to spare, and pour in the boiling water. Whisk to mix, then set aside.

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  • Cream the butter and caster sugar together, beating well until pale and fluffy.

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  • Stir the flour, baking powder and bicarb together in another bowl, and set aside for a moment.
  • Mix the vanilla extract into the creamed butter and sugar – mixing all the while – then drop in 1 egg, quickly followed by a scoopful of flour mixture, then the second egg.

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  • Keep mixing and incorporate the rest of the dried ingredients for the cake, then finally mix and fold in the cocoa mixture, scraping its bowl well with a spatula. (It takes a while to mix it thoroughly – I notice as I type, and as another slice is attempted by yet another family member, that I didn’t mix completely and there is a “vanilla” splodge in her slice)

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  • Divide chocolatey batter between the 2 prepared tins and put in the oven for about 30 minutes, or until a cake tester comes out clean.
  • Take the tins out and leave them on a wire rack for 5–10 minutes, before turning the cakes out to cool. Mine did crack but that’s what icing was invented for.
  • Check your frosting – it should be the consistency of soft Nutella.If its still too runny, wait another short while.
  • Set one of the cooled cakes, with its top side down, on a cake stand or plate, and spread with about a third of the frosting, then top that with the second cake, regular way up, and spread the remaining frosting over the top and sides, swirling away with your spatula.

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As I said, almost impossible to finish:

IMG_0017Remember to checkout the home page to see if anything else takes your fancy!

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