Sunday, April 09, 2006
Chocolate Compulsion Cake
Ralph, my brother-in-law to be (note to self - must bake wedding cakes next weekend) has a very serious chocolate habit.
I agree with Chloe Doutre-Roussel of Fortnum & Mason fame that quality chocolate is best tasted first thing in the morning whilst one's tastebuds are at their freshest and frequently have a square or two of something devilishly dark before elevenses. I somehow suspect however that this is not the motivation for Ralph's early morning chocolate consumption.
Ralph adores an instant 'hit' and if chocolate is in the house, what better time is there to partake than when he wakes up? That way his addiction for the day is satisfied. He has yet to stay with J and myself and I am not sure that he would be able to cope with my cache of dark, sensuous bars that pour out of various chocolate cupboards or the store of chocolate that J keeps in one of the vegetable drawers in the fridge (and yes I know that this is by no means an ideal way to keep chocolate and yet J is resolute that he prefers his chunks cold. He also likes to delude himself that as cacao beans grow on trees and he keeps his goodies in a vegetable compartment, that every bite counts towards his five fruit and veg count a day. Hmmmmm.).
Anyway, back to Ralph. Knowing that he adores all things chocolatey and homemade and yet also knowing that I am feeding his habit, I cannot help myself from making a chocolate fridge cake whenever I go and stay with Ralph and my sister (and the new addition to the family, my little nephew Otto). And sure enough, the sticky confectionery mysteriously decreases in size with every morning that passes......
And so I make no apologies for producing yet another version of the timeless classic that is chocolate fridge cake. After all, if the proof of the pudding is in the eating, then I need look no further than my future brother-in-law for an endorsement of this particular version.
Chocolate Compulsion Cake
125g unsalted butter
75g golden syrup
200g dark chocolate, broken into pieces
1 large cookie, broken into chunks (I used one of those doughy, shop bought ones that resemble a cow pat - oddly they fit the bill perfectly! It weighed around 75g)
50g pecans, roughly broken
50g dried fruit (I used chopped dried prunes which added a lovely chewy depth)
50g glace cherries, plus four for topping
Line a 20cm x 8cm loaf tin with cling film.
Gently melt the butter and syrup in a small pan and bring it to a gentle boil. (A tip to measuring golden syrup is to use a metal spoon that you have just run under the hot tap - the syrup glides off the spoon with ease. Also pop your pan on the scales and measure the syrup straight into it - saves on the washing up).
Melt the chocolate in a heatproof bowl over a pan of simmering water. When liquid, remove from the heat (taking care not to scald yourself in the process), add the butter and syrup mixture and stir well to incorporate.
Beat the egg slowly and continuously into the hot chocolate mixture.
Add the broken cookie, the nuts, fruit and 50g of the glace cherries.
Mix well and then pour into the prepared tin, smoothing the top as you go. Dot the remainder cherries evenly along the length of the tin and leave to set in the fridge for at least four hours.
When you want to serve the cake, it should come out of the tin as easily as a ten pound note from a wallet. Slice or cut into chunks.
Super served with coffee after dinner. Or if you cannot wait that long, with a smoothie for breakfast. Why prolong the anticipation when it could be satisfied immediately? Enjoy.