My darling chocolate fudge cake, it has been a while, hasn't it?
Nigella Lawson's chocolate fudge cake, from Nigella Bites, is my favourite chocolate cake of all time. Moist, rich cake, slathered with light-tasting, fudgy chocolate icing. Heaven. I made it (in triple quantities!) for my 21st birthday, and I've made it a zillion times for my buddies Allstar and Liam, who happened to do my 21st b'day speech. What legends!
Yesterday, I baked it for a rather massive house party we had to celebrate my bro's bday. I baked the cake in the morning, iced it in the arvo, and we all ate it in the wee hours of Sunday morning.
The recipe is here, so I'll just give you the gist of it.
So, in short: you mix melted butter, oil and cold water, then pour in the dry ingredients. (Flour, cocoa, sugar etc etc.) Finally you add a mixture of eggs, sour cream and vanilla extract, and beat gently until smooth and glossy.
Those of you who have been with me for a while will know that I usually bake this in 2 x 20cm round sandwich pans, making an epic double-decker cake of decadent deliciousness. However, in the interests of sharing it amongst many friends, this time I baked it in a 30cm square tin. It took 1 hour at 180C to cook through.
It smelled so good! Once it had cooled down a bit, I roughly hacked off the domed top to smooth it out. And we also got to eat the delicious crunchy offcuts, muahaha.
Of course, I say "once it had cooled down a bit", but when I removed the top there was still steam coming out of it. Hahaha, I guess we were really keen to get stuck in!
The icing is quite easy to make - beat butter until soft and smooth, add icing sugar, melted chocolate and vanilla essence. I always beat the butter and vanilla together; many years ago I had an incident with the chocolate seizing on contact with the vanilla. I passed it off as "choc chip icing", but it really wasn't the same.
I love buttercream icings so much more than ganaches, which tend to be too dark and throat-clogging for my liking.
I iced the cake very simply, just like one of those slab cakes you used to get at school afternoon teas. Another trick I use is to avoid putting it in the fridge, so the icing stays voluptuously soft and creamy. If you refrigerate it, it tends to get hard and a little grainy. (Of course, this advice only holds if you plan on eating the cake on the same day! If you're keeping it for longer, then of course keep it in the fridge.)
A simple decoration belies the utter fabulousness of this cake.
Here is my bro cutting the cake!
And some random shots of partygoers eating cake:
I noticed that everyone does the same "cake-eating" face: mouth open, chin pointed slightly.
It's also been a while since I've put quotes in my blog! So here we go!
Chrissie F: That chocolate cake was AMAZING!
Kristine P: mmmm that was some good cake.. i wanted to have some time alone with that cake and show it a good time!
Some of you who recall the How to Eat project, will recall my chocolate-cake-loving friend Liam, (aka King of Pork). Here's a shot for the fans:
The next morning, I gratefully awoke to a quiet and empty house, and saw this on the kitchen bench.
One small square of cake!!! SCORE!!!
Happy Birthday Daniel!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!