Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Love Dish: Heart Break Cake

I am not the least bit ashamed to admit that I am completely in love with Nigella Lawson (at left). I mean, besides reminding scores of women that being a domestic goddess is awesome, thank you very much, it’s also pretty easy to assume that the term ‘food porn’ was coined just for her – not because she’s gorgeous (which she is), but because the dishes she blithely threw together on her myriad cooking shows always looked so absolutely, indecently delicious. Her cookbooks are no different. In my favorite, Nigella Bites, she shares a recipe for a chocolate cake with pictures so enticing you’d be hard pressed not to lick the page.

Seriously though, looks notwithstanding, this is the best chocolate cake I've ever eaten. And that's saying something.

The title of this post is what it is, because, as Nigella says, “This is the sort of cake you’d want to eat the whole of when you’ve been dumped. But even the sight of it, proud and tall and thickly iced on its stand, comforts.”

Chocolate Fudge Cake
Serves 10. Or 1 with a broken heart.

For the cake:
2 2/3 cups all purpose flour
¾ cup plus 1 tbsp granulated sugar
1/3 cup light brown sugar
¼ cup best quality cocoa powder
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
½ tsp salt
3 eggs
½ cup plus 2 tbsp sour cream
1 tbsp vanilla extract
¾ cup unsalted butter, melted and cooled
½ cup corn oil
1 1/3 cups chilled water

For the fudge icing:
6 ounces bittersweet chocolate, minimum 70% cocoa solids
1 cup plus 2 tbsp unsalted butter, softened
1 ¾ cups confectioners’ sugar, sifted
1 tbsp vanilla extact

Preheat oven to 350.

Butter and line the bottom of two 8-inch cake pans.

In a large bowl, mix together the flour, sugars, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda and salt. In another bowl whisk together the eggs, sour cream and vanilla until blended. Using a standing or handheld mixer, beat together the melted butter and the corn oil until just blended, then beat in the water. Add the dry ingredients all at once and mix together on slow speed. Add the egg mixture, and mix again until everything is blended and then pour into the prepared tins.

Bake the cakes for 45-50 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean. Cool the cakes in their pans on a wire rack for 15 minutes, and then turn the cakes out onto the rack to cool completely.

To make the icing, melt the chocolate in the microwave for 2-3 minutes on medium, or in a bowl sitting over a pan of simmering water, and let cool slightly.

In another bowl beat the butter until it’s soft and creamy, and then add the sifted confectioners’ sugar and beat again until everything’s light and fluffy. (Nigella says she knows that sifting is a pain, but you have to do it or the icing will be unsoothingly lumpy). Then gently add the vanilla and chocolate and mix together until everything is glossy and smooth.

Sandwich the middles of the cake with about a quarter of the icing, and then ice the top and sides, too, spreading and smoothing with a rubber spatula.


Anonymous said...

Best cake ever...I write as an unbiased observer.

Anonymous said...

This cake looks amazing! Who couldn't get over heart break with a cake like that looks like this?

The Pentagon would like a five sided chocolate cake.