As I’ve mentioned in a previous post I didn’t bake much lately. Sometimes I lack inspiration and recipes. When I said that to J he gave me this I-can’t-believe-you’re-saying-this-and-what-about-all-those-recipe-books-you-have look! I can’t blame him. Recently a friend of mine, who wants to learn how to bake, asked me for a list of books (she said maybe a list of up to ten books will suffice for now) with a variety of easy recipes for her to try. Of course I sent her much more than that, even though I specified which ones I consider best. You see, recipe books come in various kinds, and they come and go, because some are just fads. And others are just repetitive – plain and simple. Some cooks who have published a gazillion books, copy and paste from their own books, so when you think about it, they could have just come up with a bumper book and leave it at that! Even my favourite people have done that. It’s inevitable and it happens not only in cooking.
I find that some ingredients don’t let you be creative. This could be because I’m no chef. I just love cooking and baking, and you could say that not being extra mega imaginative is ok for someone like me. I’ll tell you one thing: when you’re a food blogger this won’t do. The good thing with us is that we can blog about food in general, without necessarily giving recipes. My readers, who are extremely supportive, don’t seem to be bothered too much whenever I just rave or rant about something in particular, and I’m so thankful about that! They are really generous. But once in a while they do ask me for a pudding or two or some cake ideas.
So once again, what I am giving you here is a chocolate cake. I’m never tired of chocolate, or cake for that matter! It’s very moist and luscious, but not that rich which is what we need sometimes. It has honey in it so it’s not for everyone, but I love this cake especially after a light meal, where you think you’ll be good because you’ve just ate something healthy, but then just give in and say “oh well, I’ve been really good, but now I’ll be really bad!” I saw this in Nigella Feast, made the cake with a little tweaks but didn’t make the frosting as instructed, not because it wasn’t perfect, but I didn’t like the idea of a honey frosting. I love honey but too much makes my teeth squeak! So I made a simple icing out of chocolate, which you can find here. (You could also try her cola icing; believe me it doesn’t taste like cola at all so it will do for this cake too.) I did half the quantity though and it worked well. I am always stuck when I have extra, and making less means not having to bake something else. Here it is:
- 100g dark chocolate, broken into chunks
- 275g light brown sugar
- 225g unsalted butter, softened
- 125ml runny honey
- 2 large eggs
- 200g plain flour (all purpose)
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 tablespoon good quality cocoa powder
- 250ml boiling water
- Make sure that all your ingredients are at room temperature.
- Place the chocolate chunks into a small bowl and melt by putting this over simmering water. Make sure that the water does not touch the bowl. When the chocolate is completely melted set it aside to cool. (Please note that this water has nothing to do with the boiling water listed in the ingredients. It is extra.)
- Preheat the oven to 180ºC/Gas mark 4, and line and grease a springform cake tin (preferably a 23cm one).
- Place the sugar and softened butter into a large bowl and whisk the ingredients well until they become white in colour and creamy in texture. Add the honey.
- Tip in the first egg and a tablespoonful of flour and beat into the mixture, and do the same with the second egg. This will avoid any curdling in the batter. Fold in the melted chocolate, the remainder of the flour and two teaspoonfuls of baking powder. Sieve in the cocoa powder to remove any lumps. Then add the boiling water and beat the mixture once more. Your batter should be completely smooth.
- Tip in the batter into the prepared cake tin and check it after 40 minutes. If the cake is browning too quickly from the top, cover this with a piece of kitchen foil. Check it again after 20 minutes. When the cake is ready remove from the oven and leave it to cool on a rack, still in the tin. Remove the springform and when it’s cool enough for you to handle, place a clean hand on the top of the cake, turn it over, remove the base and place it on a cake stand. Frost it if you like and how you like.
Don’t let the many steps frighten you. It’s easy I promise you. This is what I will bake during my birthday week. I love this and so will you! For my birthday, which is today, I’m off to Guildford for a special treat at Raymond Blanc’s bakery and get myself some lovely macaroons! I’m off….