Nigella Lawson's Chocolate Espresso Cake with Cafe Latte Cream7/22/2009 05:08:00 PM
Nigella's chocolate espresso cake is one of the dreamiest, most delicious chocolate cakes I've ever made. I don't make it that often (most recently in '05 and '07), but that's only because I'm always on the lookout for new cake recipes. I whipped this one up for my Mum's birthday last week, after coming home from work and before going out to Quan Jude. (It's not nearly as labour intensive or impressive as the croquembouche I made for Mum's birthday last year, but I knew that she'd love it anyway).
It's quite like a whipped sponge cake (i.e. whole eggs whipped with sugar until at least doubled in volume), with melted chocolate, butter, vanilla, coffee powder and a touch of flour folded through. It looks like it would be rich and dense, but it is, in fact, feathery light.
The genius part of the cake, though, is the cafe latte cream - cream whipped with melted white chocolate and coffee powder. It has a beautiful, rich intense flavour and perfectly matches the cake. You can spread it on top of the cake, although I prefer it on the side, so you can preserve the rustic beauty of the matt-brown cake.
I forgot to sprinkle the cake with coffee liqueur, but no-one seemed to notice. I tend to think of this cake having a grown-up flavour, but my 14-year old niece loved it. I love this cake for dinner parties, as it can be made in advance, and looks and tastes gorgeous. And for someone who ate duck, noodles, rice, dishes AND dessert earlier that evening, I somehow managed to polish off 2 slices. Oops.
HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO MUM!