Monday, 11 April 2011

Divine Chocolate Birthday Cake

Recipe Number Twenty One:  Page 133

The title of this cake says it all. My birthday is just around the corner and it’s chocolate; what better treat could I bake to celebrate?

I needed six eggs for the cake. I don't think I have ever baked anything that contains that many before! I had to separate five of them, which is a nerve wracking job; I didn't want to get a trace of egg yolk in the bowl of egg whites. I added a lot of sugar into the bowl of egg yolks, and gave them a good whisk. Next, is the best part, melting the chocolate! I used a good quality Green & Blacks chocolate. I needed several bars and, of course, I had to have a taste to make sure the quality was up to scratch! I melted the chocolate and added a tiny quantity of instant coffee granules.

As I waited for the heavenly chocolate mixture to cool, I whisked up the egg whites. All I can say is hallelujah to the electric whisk. I do not have triceps of steel so I am very grateful I no longer have to whisk by hand! After just a couple of minutes the gloopy egg whites were transformed to a white mousse. It was very easy to imagine it was whipped double cream, but I think if I had licked out the bowl, I would have been sorely disappointed!

I poured the chocolate mixture into the bowl of egg yolks along with quite a large quantity of ground almonds and stirred it all together. The egg whites were then carefully folded in; I wanted to keep the combined mixture as light and fluffy as possible. That was the cake done, so into the prepared tin it went and then into the warmth of the oven.

When the cake had cooked for the required 50 minutes, out of the oven it came. I noticed that the top of the cake was perhaps a little overdone; the surface had also cracked somewhat! But never mind, that is what icing is for, to hide any sins! It is a good job I love chocolate as several more bars are used for the icing. This time some butter is added, just to make sure there's enough fat to give chest pains!! I let the icing cool while I brushed some melted apricot jam all over my now cold cake. Hopefully it would help to moisten the apparently dry surface. Before I poured the icing over the cake, I put a baking tray underneath the wire rack on which the cake was sitting. This is a good suggestion from Mary Berry as the icing is very runny and a lot drips off the cake, a little treat for later!! It took a good few hours for the chocolate icing to set, probably due to it being such a warm day. 
What a birthday treat!

Neil and I tried some of the cake after dinner. We were so stuffed, we shared a large slice between us. I needn't have worried as the cake was far from dry, but the top had a slight crunch to it! As there is no flour in the cake the texture is quite dense. The chocolate icing is delicious, so rich and chocolaty. This is perfect for a chocoholic’s birthday, but not for the faint hearted, I would suggest serving it in thin slices. I think I may have to do a few laps of the park tomorrow to make up for eating this!

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