So my first post really did have to be about Chocolate Cake. And this was no ordinary chocolate cake. This was Nigella's Cloud Cake.
I had heard about this mythical cake first from my (now) Sister-in-law, Suzie. Then I read about it in the Newspaper. A light, airy yet decadent cake. But it wasn't in the Chocolate Cake Hall of Fame.
So, in a bid to reverse the downward trend of cake-baking brought about by the prospect of the Wedding Day, and much commented on by new husband (it was the topic of his Groom's Speech), I spent Sunday afternoon whisking this cake together.
The reason the cake is so light and heavenly (like clouds), is because of the eggs. The eggs are separated, the whites whisked and then the chocolate, egg yolks and butter are folded into the mixture. There is no flour in this recipe which means that it is suitable for those who need wheat-free.
I didn't do the whipped cream topping as I wanted the cake to keep for a couple of days, so I served the whipped cream on the side, which I preferred. Its a luxury cake, but it is heavenly, and deserves the accolades!
250g dark chocolate, minimum 70% cocoa solids
125g unsalted butter, softened
6 eggs: 2 whole, 4 separated
175g caster sugar
2 tablespoons Cointreau (optional)
grated zest of 1 orange (optional)
23cm springform cake tin
for the cream topping:
500ml double cream
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 tablespoon Cointreau (optional)
1/2 teaspoon unsweetened cocoa powder for sprinkling for the cream topping
1. Preheat the oven to 180°C/gas mark 4.
2. Line the bottom of the cake tin with baking parchment.
3. Melt the chocolate either in a double boiler or a microwave, and then let the butter melt in the warm chocolate.
4. Beat the 2 whole eggs and 4 egg yolks with 75g of the caster sugar, then gently add the chocolate mixture, the Cointreau and orange zest.
5. In another bowl, whisk the 4 egg whites until foamy, then gradually add the 100g of sugar and whisk until the whites are holding their shape but not too stiff.
6. Lighten the chocolate mixture with a dollop of egg whites, and then fold in the rest of the whites. Pour into the prepared tin and bake for 35–40 minutes or until the cake is risen and cracked and the centre is no longer wobbly. Cool the cake in its tin on a wire rack; the middle will sink as it cools.
7. When you are ready to eat, place the still tin-bound cake on a cake stand or plate for serving and carefully remove the cake from its tin. Don’t worry about cracks or rough edges: it’s the crater look we’re going for here. Whip the cream until it’s soft and then add the vanilla and Cointreau and continue whisking until the cream is firm but not stiff.
8. Fill the crater of the cake with the whipped cream, easing it out gently towards the edges of the cake, and dust the top lightly with cocoa powder pushed through a tea-strainer.