Saturday, 24 October 2009

Death By Chocolate

One of the things MamaDuck got me for my millionth birthday a few days ago*, was a bar of Lindt & Sprungli 90% dark chocolate. I've been consuming dark chocolate with red wine for a few years, ever since my buddy DubaiBilly (now QatarBilly) introduced me to the concept a few years ago. But I've never had 90% chocolate before, and now I know why. The stuff is inedible. It's basically compressed cocoa. MamaDuck tried a bit and agreed with me.

'But all is not lost,' she said, 'you can make a chocolate fudge cake.'

Like hell I can. People who know me are kind enough to say they enjoy my cooking, but I almost never do a dessert, and I've certainly never baked a cake in my life. But I woke up this morning and thought 'how hard can it be?'

I trawled the interwebz a bit for recipes, and thought this one from Nigella Lawson sounded pretty good. One problem: you can't get cocoa powder in Madrid supermarkets - although you can get something called ColaCoa, basically a kiddies choc drink with built-in milk and sugar. But Madrid does have a shop called 'The Things You Miss' in Chamberí which sells nothing but Brit brands - stuff like PG Tips tea, Wall's (Some Of It's) Pork Sausages, Oxo cubes and John Smith's beer. So I went there and got me some proper cocoa powder.

When I got home I started making the cake. I'd kind of thought of just making a small one to begin with, and assumed the quantities Nigella was talking about would result in something like that. But as I mixed this huge pile of flour, sugar and cocoa, I realised this was a much more serious proposition. I checked the recipe again. 'Enough,' it said 'for 10 servings, or one if you have a broken heart.'


I ploughed on regardless and baked about two-thirds of the mixture in a ceramic dish. After the allotted time I was surprised to see it had risen like a volcano, and even more surprised when I tipped it onto a wire rack and the whole thing disintegrated. There was a soggy mass in the middle of it that was nowhere near cooked. So I piled it all back into the dish and gave it another twenty minutes.

When that was done, I put the other one-third in to bake. This half-filled a spring-sided tin, and when the cake was baked I was able to get it out of the tin without trashing it. It did disintegrate a bit when I tried to slice it in half, but here's the finished result:

And here's the one I made earlier:

* 'The Resistance' CD by Muse, 'Nation' by Terry Pratchett, and a jelly-bean dispenser, in case you're interested.


Lee said...

Stores that sell South American products might have the kind of cocoa powder you need.

Jayne said...

But how did it taste Keefie? Whenever I've made a choblit cake(ish) & it's turned out similar to your pics, I make a batch of choblit custard. Put a layer of cake, then layer of custard in a dish, finish with custard & top with choccy sauce & perhaps crumbled Flake - DEATH by Choblit!

I'm hungry now............thanks!!

Seabee said...

Next time you might do better trying this one - I saw it on Two Fat Ladies a long time ago, found the recipe on a blog and have been meaning to give it a go myself: here.

Mme Cyn said...

Err... don't quit your writing job, Keefie.