Nigella Lawson's Chocolate Fudge Cake

3/28/2010 07:23:00 PM

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!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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  1. oh that cake looks good! i thought you were going to say everyone's same facial expression was eyes half-closed in a moment of bliss! lol

  2. With a plethora of chocolate cakes out there it is great to hear about a tired and true one that your rely upon. It is always imensely satisfying to see people devouring my food so it must have been great to see your cake disappear.

  3. That is some chocolate goodness. And it is really sweet that they left you a piece. YUM

  4. I love this cake so much! You're making me want to throw a party so I can make a huge slab version of it too. I guess I don't need the party actually...the icing is so, so good :)

  5. Oh my god that cake looks like heaven. Think I must make it soon!

  6. mmm..chocolate cake! looks yummy and glad you managed to score a slice of it the next day :)

  7. Happy birthday Daniel! What a lucky guy to have a sister to bake him a cake!!

    I love all the crunchy bits on the top too... sometimes more than the actual cake! :P

  8. I feel like slamming my face into this chocolate heaven. My birthday just past in Feb, but any leftovers?

  9. Great idea to bake it single layer for a big crowd, yours looked fantastic!

  10. oh em gee. That looks sooooo good Sarah

  11. I am so inspired by your blog; I came across it today looking for chocolate cake recipes! It's now bookmarked and I'll be coming back to visit! I'm making this cake today!

  12. Anonymous7:47 PM

    i just put mine in the's hoping it looks as good as yours! :)

  13. Can't wait to make this cake but can't find corn oil...would any veg oil do?

  14. Jude - yes, absolutely. I've only ever used normal vegetable oil and it always works a treat!

    xox Sarah

  15. Ohmigosh Sarah - you were chocolate cake EVER!!!!!!

  16. Jessica11:01 PM

    Hi Sarah, really want to have a go making this for my daughter's 4th birthday (lots of small mouths to feed cake to!) and particularly interested in your square do you have to increase the quantities from the original recipe at all, for a 30cm square tin? And do you work in 'cups' or is there a recipe for this same cake that has ounces or kgs instead? (I am useless with cups!)
    Many thanks in the way, I heard once (though never tried it) that if you turn out the cake when still hot and lie it on it's top side, the domed bit (which you cut off) flattens out quite a some cases enough to avoid cutting anything! Thanks Sarah x

    1. Hi Jessica - I didn't change the quantities at all for the square tin. The recipe is from Nigella Lawson's book, Nigella Bites, and the version I have at home (the UK edition) is in grams, not cups. If you're unable to find that book, I'm sure if you keep googling you'll find the gram version.

      Thanks for the tip re turning over the cake!!



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