Monday, June 23, 2008

Ive done some good things in my time..

..and this cake is one of them. You shouldnt trust the photos you see of people on the internet, but make an exception for this cake, there is no trick photography, it looks that good in real life. It was Renae's birthday yesterday. Renae is my vegetarian flatmate who is studying to be a vet and secretly believes the world would be a better place if most people were replaced by cats (god love her). This concoction is a hippied up version of a recipe that came in the Sydney Magazine a few weeks ago. The original version was from the Damien Pignolet (of bistro Moncur) episode of "What i cook when..." and is named Eve's chocolate cake, im going to call this one: When Eve Met the Snake Cake, Snake Cake for short.

I made some very minor changes to the original recipe, so Eve gets most of the credit. Instead of caster sugar I have used rapadura sugar. For those of you who have not had the pleasure, rapadura is a slightly more wholesome version of white sugar with a much subtler taste. Because of its gentle sweetness, it accentuates other flavours without usurping the overall effect. I also used 100% Valrhona Cocoa Powder, its worth the extra cost, the intensity of it is beautifully dark and to dust a cake with it adds just a slight amount of bitterness to counteract the sweetness. Some vanilla bean paste from Madagascar also makes a bit of a cameo and added an extra note to the flavour.

This serpentine delight is a quickie in the kitchen, for which you will need the following:

360 grams of bittersweet chocolate (i used 300g of 70% and then 60g of 90% cocoa).
50 grams of unsalted butter (organic, for butter it makes a real difference)
12 eggs (organic free range and very, very fresh, you can taste the difference)
30 grams rapadura plus 20 grams extra
Pinch of salt (maldon again)
Cocoa (100% Valrhona)
Double cream (a good biodynamic one, again, with dairy, it makes a difference to both taste and the way the body recognises/digests something to buy organic or biodynamic).
Vanilla bean paste (i added about 2 teaspoons on a whim).

Preheat oven to 150 degrees, grease a springform pan (i used a normal cake tin) and line with baking paper (which it's a good idea to have BEFORE you start cooking so you dont have to make a mad dash down to the IGA with the oven on).

Melt all the chocolate in a bowl over a boiling pot (they say its okay to use a microwave instead, given that those things kill about 70% of the nutrients present in food, I say its not). Remove from heat stir in butter and vanilla. Separate Eggs.

Beat Egg yolks in medium bowl with 30g rapadura, stir in chocolate until smooth. Beat egg whites until frothy, then add salt, then beat until peaks form. Add extra sugar and beat until firm. Beat 1/4 whites into choc mixture then fold in remaining whites and stir til smooth.

Take 1/4 of mixture in bowl and place in the fridge, spoon the remnants into the tin and bake for 30 minutes. Spread with chilled choc mixture and dust with cocoa, I added double cream and raspberries.

To be honest, I didnt really find the way the recipe was written out very smooth to follow, Im not that experienced a baker and the directions felt a little all the over the place. Things were boiling while other things werent peaking and it was a bit frazzled. You might have better luck.

The results are, nonetheless, amazing. And Eddie Murphy thought HE was sexual chocolate..


Aimee said...

oh my god yummy! i just want to shove a big spoon in a get a mouthful of cake and cream and raspberries!

ps i love the way your photos look - very real, arty, earthy feeling. very good vibe to them. any special photog tips?

amanda said...

its such a spunky cake eh, its an easy recipe, try it at home itll be worth it. danny always tells me to take pictures with the flash off and hold the camera really still. does that help?

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