Tuesday, 26 August 2014

Ottolenghi's Chocolate Fudge Cake and A Refuge from Carnival.


There's shouting and partying going on outside.

People are whooping and jeering like crazy for the Notting Hill carnival and I'm at home baking a chocolate fudge cake.

The idea of going out into the crowds half terrifies me (am I getting old?) so I decided to come home, melt chocolate and help my mum pack for her holiday.

That's got rebellion written all over it.




Tonight I took out my Ottolenghi book and fell upon a Chocolate Fudge Cake.

This cake sticks in my mind so profoundly.  When I worked at Ottolenghi, about once a week there was this couple who would come to the shop to buy two slices of this chocolate fudge cake.  They were a peculiar couple, they looked very much alike, the kind of couple who look more like brother and sister than boyfriend and girlfriend.  They always got the same two slices of cake and never ordered anything else.  When I asked them if they fancied trying a passionfruit meringue or a lemon mascarpone tart, they giggled to one another and told me: "we're chocoholics."  They told me this was the only cake that they bought which was capable of satisfying their chocoholic cravings.  You could tell that they were hopelessly in love by the way they looked at one another, which was intensified by their equal and understanding love of chocolate.  It was almost as if the fact that they were chocoholics brought them together, that they understood one another in a way that no other human being could.  That is beautiful, I thought.  Chocolate can really do great things.

One of the pastry chefs at Ottolenghi explained to me the secret to the decadence of this cake.

Basically, it's twice baked: two thirds of the mixture is baked and then the rest of the mixture is poured afterwards and cooked for less time.  This gives two textures to the flourless fudgey fantasy:  a slightly drier base with a mousse-like exterior.  A must make for all chocoholics, even better as it's flourless so you can give it to your gluten intolerant friends.


Serves 6-8:

240g Unsalted Butter
265g Dark Chocolate (52% Cocoa Solids)
95g Dark Chocolate (70% Cocoa Solids)
290g Light Muscovado Sugar
4 tbsp Water
5 Large Free-Range Eggs, Separated
A Pinch of Salt
Cocoa Powder for Dusting

- Put oven on at 170 degrees C.
- Cut the butter and chocolate into cubes and place in a large heatproof bowl.
- Put the sugar and water into a saucepan and bring to the boil.  Once it is boiled, pour over the chocolate and butter and stir until melted.
- Add the egg yolks one at a time
- Beat the egg whites with the pinch of salt into soft peaks.  Add the egg whites in three goes so they are well incorporated.
- Pour two thirds of the mixture into a buttered and lined tin and bake for 35-40 minutes.
- Pour the rest of the mixture and bake for 20 minutes.
- Leave to cool completely, and dust with cocoa powder!