Wednesday, 12 March 2008


Tonight was a celebration: My father has been offered a job for September! Whoo! So we decided to have an indulgent evening in the flat. We immediately cracked open a bottle of wine and out came the recipe lists. Yes, they are mostly on my mac still. Makes a nice kitchen scene doesn't it!

I've been craving chocolate this week and feeling a bit down (I think my work is getting to me and I really feel the need of a break - bring on Easter weekend), so I decided to go uber decedent and make a chocolate cake. This is technically a food adventure too as although I have made plenty of brownies and cookies in my time, I have never attempted a chocolate cake.

I wanted it to be a little bit special so instead of using the coffee suggested in the recipe I added Kahlua. Unfortunately it clearly wasn't enough, as I couldn't really taste it when the cake came out, but I don't think it really mattered in the end.

I timed it perfectly to come out of the oven just before half time in the UEFA cup match we were watching, so by the time it came to half time I could whip some cream without the cacophony of the Kenwood getting in the way of the match, and could serve, with the cake still slightly warm, just in time for the second half.

N was so pleased with his slice he insisted it was the one I photographed! Needless to say it went down very well, and has certainly satisfied my chocolate cravings for a very long time! It was dark and indulgent and not too sweet with a very satisfying crunch to the top. Another success in the North London Kitchen.

Chocolate Mud Cake

200g butter
200g dark chocolate
25g cocoa powder
4 tbsp Kahlua (this wasn't enough in my opinion, I'd add more next time, maybe double)
1 tsp vanilla
200g caster sugar
3 eggs
115g self raising flour

Grease and line an 8inch/20cm springform cake tin and set to one side. Preheat the oven to 160C.
Put the butter, chocolate, cocoa powder, Kahlua and vanilla into a saucepan and place over a low heat to slowly melt. Stir from time to time to ensure even melting. When completely melted, remove from the heat and set to one side to cool slightly.

Meanwhile, beat the eggs and sugar together for 3-4 minutes until pale, thick and creamy, then beat in the flour. Pour the cooled chocolate mixture into the egg mixture in a thin stream, beating all the time. Then beat for a further 30 seconds until light. Pour the mixture into the prepared tin and bake in the oven for 55-65 minutes until a skewer inserted in the middle comes out relatively clean. (I baked for an hour and it was probably a little too long as it gave the cake a crusty top and side, which I love but I can understand people who want their chocolate cake all goo).

I served still slighty warm with whipped cream. It was probably a bit too much for me, but it was an evening of indulgent celebration and I wouldn't have been allowed to get away with not whole-heartedly taking part!

P.S. I should mention that we had a nice light main course of balsamic onion puff pastry trays with dressed salad. It too was very nice indeed, and will no doubt become a regular for us when there are plenty of onions to be used up!

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