Alexander Hanysz

A recipe for chocolate cake

This is adapted from the book "Chocolate" by Christine McFadden and Christine France, ISBN 1-84309-068-6. I've found that it's best made a day in advance, if you can bear not to eat it straight away. (Of course you could just make two and eat one each day, to test whether it really is better the second day.)

Serves 10 normal people, or 3 serious chocaholics.

250g dark chocolate, something that's approx 50% cocoa solids, e.g. Haigh's couverture chocolate
150g unsalted butter
1/2 cup sugar
5 eggs
1 heaped tablespoon plain flour

Springform cake tin (the sort where you can remove the base), approx 23 cm diameter
Roasting tin, big enough to put the cake tin in
Greaseproof paper/baking paper
Aluminium foil
Large mixing bowl
Wire rack
Other little stuff you really should have in your kitchen, like spoons and forks, and an oven

1. Preheat oven to 350°F (180°C). Grease the cake tin. Cut out a circle of greaseproof paper the same size as the base of the tin, put the paper on top of the base, then grease it some more!  Assemble the tin, then wrap the sides and bottom in aluminium foil to make a (hopefully) waterproof seal.

2. Cut butter into small pieces and break chocolate into small pieces. Put butter, chocolate and sugar into saucepan. Melt over low heat, stirring frequently. (I know, they say you shouldn't melt chocolate directly over the stove. But it's OK really as long as you have enough butter with it, and don't make it too hot.)

3. Break the eggs into the mixing bowl and beat lightly for one minute. Add the flour and mix it in. At this point it will turn into a horrible lumpy mess. Don't worry, it will fix itself in the next step.

4. Add the melted chocolate to the eggs and flour, a bit at a time, and stir slowly until well blended. Pour the mix into the cake tin.

5. Put the cake tin into the roasting tin, and pour boiling water into the roasting tin to come about 2cm up the side of the cake tin.

6. Bake for approx 30 minutes. The outside of the cake should be set, but the centre should still be slightly soft. Don't stick a skewer in it, you should be able to tell just by looking.

7. When it's done, take it out of the oven and cool on a wire rack for at least half an hour. Take the side off the tin, invert the cake onto the rack, and carefully peel off the greaseproof paper. Wait for it to cool completely. (By "it" I mean the cake not the paper.)

8. Invert the cake onto a plate. Then invert it onto another plate so that the smooth side is on top, if you care about things like that. Serve with thick cream and strawberries.

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This page last updated on 3rd May, 2011