This is the cake my grandmother would bake for me anytime I needed to bring something to school. My friends were nuts about it, so when I went to university I took the recipe with me so I could wow all my new friends with it. I followed the recipe to the letter and it was a disaster! My beautiful cake, usually so yummy and chocolatey, was not nearly dark enough or chocolatey enough. In fact, it was kind of blah. I tried again, same thing happened. Then the third time, I had a closer look at the recipe. It called for 150g of chocolate. The chocolate my grandmother used came in 200g bars. So I thought to myself what she would have done with the extra 50g. Left it lying around? No, because all the times I saw her bake that cake there was never chocolate left over. We would have shared it. She must have put it all in the cake. That’s what I did and then I got my cake back!
Today we’re taking it to the Northern part of the island, where my oldest friend (the one with Snow, the white shepherd) has just bought a house with her mother. Yes, you read right. She’s thirty-nine like me and she just moved in with her mother. One of our old school friends couldn’t believe it when I told him, in an OMG shrieking like we’re-totally-back-in-8th-grade kind of way. But, like I told him, if anything happened to one of my parents, I’d get a new place with the one left behind. Neither she nor I have any desire to get married again, we’re very close to our parents, so why not?
We’re going to be nine people and four dogs for lunch. I’d come just for the four dogs, she doesn’t even have to feed me. My son will set up her Playstation for her and then enjoy games that I say he is too young to have at home. But I’m cool with him playing a little GTA at someone else’s house. Naturally I said I’d bring cake.
I baked it yesterday because in my opinion this cake tastes better on the second day. Also, remember to use dark chocolate with max 66% cocoa. I previously tried 70% thinking it would be all dark and delicious, but it just turned out very dry. Since we were bringing it to a lunch, I splashed out and bought Valrhona.
You will need:
200g dark chocolate
150g soft butter
Melt the chocolate over a bain marie. Beat the butter and sugar together. Separate the eggs and add the yolks to the butter-sugar mixture one at a time. Beat well after each egg yolk. Gently fold in the melted chocolate. Stir in the flour. Whisk the egg whites and gently fold them in. (My grandmother used to hold the bowl upside down over my head to check that they were ready. I was always amazed that they stayed put.)
Put the mix into a cake tin (either line it with greaseproof paper or put some butter on a piece of kitchen roll and run it around the edges and bottom). I usually use a springform tin, but the only one I can safely transport is my rectangular tin with the lid. So today it’s not round.
Bake at 175C – again it depends on your oven. The recipe says 30 – 35 minutes but mine was done within 15 – 20 minutes. Bear in mind it was also thinner than usual because of the rectangular tin.
Normally I would just cover it with normal white icing, but since this was a special occasion I made frosting. I followed this recipe from Betty Crocker, except I replaced 1/2 cup of powdered sugar with cocoa powder. Then I sprinkled it with copper dust. Wash that off your fingers immediately, otherwise you’ll be coating everything you touch like some kind of culinary King Midas.