This would have to be one of the most last minute celebratory cakes ever. I mean, I literally woke up on Father's Day, went "Oh, I should make dad a cake", realised I had 3 hours before he was coming over, and I was cooking him a beef osso bucco that was going to demand my oven for an hour and a half.
Quick, think, think, what do you have in the house? Chocolate. Strawberries. Dad loves mudcake and strawberries. WIN.
So I went digging through my usual chocolate cake books to try to find a moist chocolate cake recipe. I have tried so many chocolate cakes, but always fail to find the one. You know, that one chocolate cake that is so rich and moist that you can feel coronary failure approaching just thinking about it?
I got what you usually get when you totally rush a cake; something that was not very aesthetically pleasing. But who cares when you get a cake that tastes so good?You guys totally have to try this.
At first I was gonna halve the recipe and bake it in a tiny tin. There were just four of us for lunch, after all. That's when I thought, "Hey, my boyfriend has a dad, too!" [I know, I'm a genius], and decided on making two cakes.
I have a bad habit of not reading recipes. I do a quick glance of the ingredients to make sure I have it all, or at least sub-able items, then dive right in. I'll sort of read it enough to get the gist of what it wants me to do, then will do my own thing anyway. I pull out all the usually shiz ready to go and scramble for anything else along the way. By the time I got to the end of the recipe, I realised my bag of flour was still unused. No flour, huh? This made me nervous. It was also with some surprise that I discovered that the recipe took an hour and a quarter just to bake, so my oven was gonna be out of action longer than I thought. I'd no idea how much to adjust it for baking in two separate tins, so I gave it 45 and decided to give it a poke test. Except, as the cake has meringue in it, the top of the cake formed a hard shell I couldn't poke. I was feeling SO nervous and apprehensive about serving this thing.
But hey, it was gonna be topped with chocolate-coated strawberries, so worst case scenario we all chow down on them. Besides, meantime I got to snack on the left over melted choc and strawberries. SO GOOD. Who is this celebration for again?
Well, I needn't have worried. It turned out so well that 3 days later my boyfriend has literally not stopped going on about how amazing it was and how it was the best chocolate cake he's ever had. I have to admit to loving it myself. And yet it didn't feel like a coronary failure. Perhaps it was the almond, perhaps it was the darkness of the chocolate, perhaps it was the lightness the meringue offers to the moistness of the cake, or perhaps it was the fact we all had teeny slices, but it didn't weigh your stomach down upon consuming it. I don't even like dark chocolate, but I loved this.
You totally have to make it!
Chocolate Ganache and Strawberry Cake
1/3 cup (35g) cocoa powder
|1. Preheat over to 160°C/325°F/Gas 3. Prepare 22cm cake tin|
2. Combine cocoa powder and hot water; set aside
3. Combine chocolate and butter in a heatproof bowl and melt over a double boiler until melted [note: I melted these seperately and combined as I had cheap chocolate and didn't wanna risk seizing]; remove from heat; stir in cocoa mixture, sugar, almond and egg yolks
4. Beat egg whites to soft peaks; gently fold into chocolate mixture in two batches
5. Pour into prepared tin. Bake for 1 1/4 hours; stand in pan for 15 minutes before turning out [note: as you can see from my picture, you need to do this gently lest you crumble the top]
6. Pour chocolate ganache over the top; arrange strawberries
NB: I did the choc ganache by eye, but you can use this as a rough ratio:
Combine 200g of dark eating chocolate chocolate with 2/3 cup (160ml) cream in small saucepan; stir over low heat until smooth; allow to cool slightly or until mixture begins to thicken.