Nigella Lawson's Chocolate Cloud Cake

5/17/2014 07:52:00 PM

Chocolate cloud cake, espresso martinis

So, as I said in my birthday round-up post, I didn't have a party as such, but rather a series of small get-togethers to celebrate my thirtieth. The closest thing I had to a party was a little pyjama party - popcorn, snacks, gossip, PJs and junk food! I made a baby chocolate cake to celebrate - a half quantity of Nigella's chocolate cloud cake (Nigella Bites), which I baked in an 18 centimetre tin.

I've wanted to make Nigella's Chocolate Cloud Cake for ages, ever since I got Nigella Bites about ten years ago.... but seem to have got distracted with Nigella's other chocolate cakes, in particular her heart-stopping Chocolate Fudge Cake (also from Nigella Bites).

I thought it might be fun (for me, at least) to compile a little list of the different Nigella chocolate cakes that I have made and blogged (or mentioned in my blog), and it seems that I have made a lot of Nigella's chocolate cakes. Ahem. Here's the list!

How to Eat:
Chocolate Raspberry Pudding Cake
Birthday Cake

How to be a Domestic Goddess:
Dense Chocolate Loaf Cake
Gooey Chocolate Stack
Coca Cola Cupcakes
Torta Alla Gianduia (Nutella cake)
Chocolate Marsala Cake
Storecupboard Chocolate Cake (made with chestnut puree)
Storecupboard Chocolate Cake
Night and Day Cupcakes
Chocolate Cheesecake
Molten Chocolate Babycakes, Chocolate Sour Cream Cake and Coca Cola Cake

Nigella Bites:
Chocolate Fudge Cake
Chocolate Fudge Cake and Old Fashioned Chocolate Cake (for my 21st)

Forever Summer:
Blonde Mocha Layer Cake

Chocolate Guinness Cake
Chocolate Espresso Cake with Cafe Latte Cream
Malteaser Cake (plus the verdict!)
Chocolate Fruit Cake
Quadruple Chocolate Loaf Cake
Old Fashioned Chocolate (Cup)Cakes

Nigella Express:
Pear and Chocolate Pudding

Nigella Christmas:
Tiramisu Layer Cake

Nigella Kitchen:
Devil's Food Cake
Flourless Chocolate Lime Cake with Margarita Cream

Chocolate Olive Oil Cake

I haven't published the recipes for any of these cakes - but lots of the recipes are already available online at Nigella's website, and of course in her wonderful books! I've put the recipe for my miniaturised cloud cake below, and linked to the original recipe (available on Nigella's website), in case you want to make a glorious full-sized 23 centimetre cake for yourself! (Oh! And I also omitted Nigella's suggested orange zest and cointreau, replacing them both with the much-more-delicious Frangelico).

So the Chocolate Cloud Cake is a sunken chocolate cake - just chocolate, butter, eggs, and sugar, with the egg whites being whipped to provide lift. There's no flour or almond meal to provide heft or stability - this is a fabulously dense cake.

Creamy cake batter

Creamy cake batter

Without any flour in the batter, the cake does sink quite a bit on cooling, providing a lovely crater to fill with whipped cream.

Baked and sunken

Chocolate cloud cake, espresso martini

So much cream

The cake was exactly how I hoped it would be - chocolatey but not overly dark, both light and dense at the same time. I found it almost similar to a trifle, with all the cream melding deliciously into the cake layer. (I thought it looked nicest freshly decorated, but found that the remaining slices tasted even better after a night in the fridge.) Why on earth did I wait ten years to bake this cake?

Chocolate Cloud Cake
(Barely) adapted from Nigella's Chocolate Cloud Cake in Nigella Bites, itself from Richard Sax' Classic Home Desserts

For the Cake
125 grams dark chocolate (70% cocoa solids)
65 grams unsalted butter, at room temperature
3 large eggs (1 whole, 2 separated)
90 grams caster sugar
1 tablespoon Frangelico (optional)
For the cream
250 millilitres cream
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1.5 teaspoons Frangelico (optional)
1/2 teaspoon unsweetened cocoa powder for dusting

Preheat the oven to 180C. Line the base and sides of an 18-cm springform tin with baking paper.
Melt the chocolate in one-minute bursts at medium power in the microwave, stirring between each time until almost melted. Add the butter and let it melt in the warm chocolate.
Whisk the whole egg and 2 yolks with 40 grams of the caster sugar until combined, then add the melted chocolate and butter mixture, and the Frangelico, if using.
In a separate bowl, whisk the 2 egg whites until foamy, then gradually add the remaining caster sugar (50 grams), whisking until smooth, glossy and holding its shape.
Add a large scoop of the whipped egg whites to the chocolate mixture, and fold in gently with a whisk. Add the remaining egg whites and fold gently to combine.
Pour and scrape the mixture into the prepared tin and smooth the top with a spatula. Bake for 25 minutes, or until the cake is risen and cracked. It should still be moist in the middle, so a cake tester will not come out clean. Just jiggle the pan - it should wobble a little but not be obviously liquid underneath.
Place the cake tin on a wire rack to cool completely.
When you are ready to serve, release the cake from its springform tin and place on a serving plate. Whip the cream, vanilla and Frangelico together until soft peaks form. Fill the crater of the cake with whipped cream and dust the top with cocoa powder.
Makes one 18cm cake

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  1. I love you for removing the devilfruit from this cake. Also, your round-up makes it clear to me why I don't bake Nigella cakes often - I always skip past chocolate cakes!

    But this looks heavenly. I wish it could be a caramel cloud cake and still work exactly like that, texturally...

  2. That is a lot of chocolate cake indeed! What a lovely looking cake :)

  3. So talented! It does really look like a cloud cake! Great job hunz!

  4. I really want to rest my head on that cloud. And then maybe eat my way out of it. lolol

  5. I honestly love how you cook so many recipes form all these amazing chefs that I respect. I never step out of my comfort zone enough to try new things. Inspired to cook from more Nigella recipes or cookbooks that I've got at home =)

  6. Haha, it looks like you've got a real Nigella & Chocolate obsession!

  7. Amanda - Haha, guilty as charged! :)

  8. How on earth did you manage to peel it off of the parchment paper without it crumbling into pieces? 😕

    1. I didn't peel it off the parchment paper! I peeled off the paper on the sides, but left the cake on the base. :)



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