Sunday, 15 November 2009

Velvety Chocolate cake

6 ounces self-raising flour
2 to 3 oz cocoa powder

4 oz butter/marge
4 oz sugar - a mix of dark sugar, runny honey or golden syrup, 
        and black strap molasses/black treacle, to taste

2 large free range eggs
(For a richer moister pudding-like cake, use three eggs. )

Vanilla extract 

Pre-heat the oven to 180˚C.

Beat fat and sugars together in a large bowl, 
till fluffed up a bit.

Sieve the flour and cocoa; shake bowl a little and stir together until well blended.

Break eggs into separate bowl.  Pour into mix and stir gently. 

Fold in the flour and cocoa gradually, increasing the speed gradually, so you get a good creamy mixture with an even texture. One of those heavier flexible rubber spatulas is great for this as well as a wooden spoon. Add in a little milk or Guinness if the mixture is too heavy and stiff; if too wet, sieve in a bit more flour and cocoa.

Turn out the mixture into a greased springform or loose bottomed round tin and using a metal fork or spoon first run under the cold tap, gently press down evenly, leaving a slight dip in the centre. shake the tin around a little and tap on the worktop to settle the mixture in.  If I don't do this I sometimes get huge air pocket craters in the cake!

Bake for about 40 minutes, with a baking tray or saucepan lid over the top,  to stop the top surface getting too crisp. I've found this to be a great way to keep the cake moist and cooking evenly. 
Resist any temptation to check the cake early.

If using three eggs, test the middle at 40 minutes with a fine skewer or cocktail stick, then bake for a while longer on a lower heat, with the top covered until the last few minutes.

This is especially nIce warm with a little creme fraiche.  OR CREAM.
Or cover with a mixture of dark chocolate melted in a glass bowl with about one dessertspoonful of butter.
I would include a photo, but I seem to have scoffed the lot already.

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