Whisky Business

Today I decided to bake the 'seriously rich chocolate cake' from BBC Good Food - a cake which doesn't use any flour or additional raising agents (like baking powder). Cakes like this can be a little risky as there's always the fear that they won't rise, but clearly I like to live on the edge. 

I began by melting butter and dark chocolate as recommended and then started on the rest of the mix. I didn't have the 6 large eggs that the recipe advised but 9 medium eggs are essentially the same, so I split these and let the KitchenAid whisk up the whites whilst I mixed the yolks with ground almonds and a little Cointreau.

Once the melted butter/chocolate mixture had cooled, I added it to the yolky/almond mix and stirred until they were completely mixed together. I then started adding caster sugar to the egg whites (just a tablespoon at a time) until the whites were creating nice firm peaks.

Now the tough bit - you have to fold the egg whites into the chocolatey mix, just a tablespoon at a time and oh so gently. Stirring this would only punch the air out of the whites and prevent the cake from rising, so you really need to take your time with this. 

So five hours later (or perhaps it was ten minutes) the cake was all neatly folded and ready to go in the oven. Learning from my last cake, I baked this at gas mark 4 rather than 3, but I noticed after 10 minutes that the cake looked to be dipping a little in the middle. I quickly banged the oven up to gas mark 5 instead and kept baking it for the rest of the time, plus an additional 10 minutes on the recommended time as the middle still wasn't cooked. The cake was still singing when I eventually removed it (if you've not heard the expression before, 'singing' is just the hissing noise that cakes make when they're still cooking inside) but my cake tester told me that the middle was cooked so I was happy to take it out.

DSC_0010.jpg

After leaving it to cool, I whipped up half a batch of the Hummingbird Bakery chocolate icing using 50g unsalted butter, 150g icing sugar, 20g cocoa and 20ml milk (though I added a little extra milk for a softer finish). I then just spread this across the top of the cake and added some fresh strawberries before dusting with icing sugar. 

The tragedy is that I can't tell you what it tastes like! My husband will be taking it off to his office tomorrow so I'll have to wait and keep my fingers crossed for good reviews. Here's hoping!