August 17, 2008

nigella's chocolate marsala cake

I made this for dessert last night. It was a delicious change from all the low/no fat, no sugar cake I've been baking lately, and was a cinch to make. It's from How to be a domestic goddess and this is how it appears in the book , with my note at the end.

Chocolate Marsala Cake
100g unsalted butter
100g dark chocolate, broken up
4 large eggs
175g caster sugar
50g self-raising flour, sifted 3 times
3 tablespoons Marsala
for the Icing:
100g dark chocolate
1 tablespoon Marsala
100ml double cream*

22cm Springform tin, greased and lined.

Preheat the oven to 180C / Gas Mark 4.
Melt the butter and chocolate together in the microwave or a double boiler, and then set aside to cool slightly. Beat the eggs and sugar together until thick, pale and moussy, and greatly increased in volume; it should double, triple even. Gently fold the sifted flour into the egg mixture, trying not to lose all of the air. Now fold the butter and chocolate very carefully into the cake mixture. Pour into the tin and cook for 35 minutes, by which time the top should be firm and the cake underneath dense and desirably damp.
Cool in a rack for 5 minutes, and then pour over the Marsala. I find it easier to do this by the teaspoonful so that the liquid is evenly distributed. Leave the cake to cool completely before releasing it from it’s tin.
So, the icing: melt the chocolate, Marsala and cream in a heavy-bottomed saucepan over a gentle heat. Take it off the heat, and whisk until it reaches a good icing consistency; smooth, thick, but not solid. I like to spread this just on the very top of the cake, which anyway sinks on cooling so that you have a roughly circular sunken pond to fill, leaving an outline of cooked-cake rim. When set, you're left, beautifully, with a Sacher-shiny disc of ganache suspened on top of this dusty-brown, matt cake.

*Note: I had a bottle of thickened cream in the fridge and foolishly used it instead of double (pure) cream. Eeew - the result was an oily, curdled mess, which I had to throw away and remake with the correct cream. A waste of 100g of good Callebaut chocolate.

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