Monday, February 08, 2010

Have no fear, Nigella dear.

It’s Caelyn’s birthday on Sunday and she likes Nigella’s Chocolate Cake.  My Michelle does too and has asked for some next time she comes home for a weekend.  I haven’t baked for ages, and my family know that I think Murphy was an optimist.  So I thought I’d better have a “dry run” to reacquaint myself with the recipe so that when I need to bake it in earnest, hopefully I will be well prepared.

It’s just as well I did.  When Wendy was a baby, she would open my kitchen drawers and throw things over her shoulder.  One of her special treasures was my 20cm cake tins with removable bottoms.  The round bits made wonderful necklaces and crowns.  Today, all I found were the bases.  But I wasn’t worried; I had 22cm tins and decided to cook them just a bit less time.  Well, when I spooned the mixture in, it wasn’t going to work – the cake would be impossibly thin.  So then I used two smaller cake tins, and they worked, but the cake had “muffin tops”.  Also, I cooked them a bit too long.  They aren’t burnt, but the cake will be a bit dry.  I had set an alarm on my phone, and it didn’t go off because it was set for tomorrow, not today.  I took the cake out when it smelled cooked.

When it cooled, I tried the icing.  Now, although I bake good tasting stuff, I am completely useless at icing.  No matter what I do, it always looks a mess!  My son in law’s late mother was a baker, and Nigel is very skilled at cake decorating, but he wasn’t here today.

At least I remembered to stand the cake on a tray before trying to ice it.  I always get icing everywhere so a washable tray is a Good Thing.  I have loads of icing left.  One of the reasons we like this cake is that it isn’t sickly sweet, just nice and chocolatey.   So here is a picture of the ‘dry run’ effort.  As you will note, its just as well that I had this ‘dry run’.  Now I know what to do when I bake it for real.  Proper size cake tins and Nigel on hand to do the icing.  And check the alarm PROPERLY next time.

Nigella dear – wonderful recipe.  But you need have no fear – there won’t be any attempts to move you from your well deserved position.  Not from me.  I’ll still be an apprentice at 96!  Here is my sad looking (but great tasting) effort:


Nigella's Recipe:

Cake Ingredients 


·         175g butter


·         200g plain flour


·         200g castor sugar


·         1t baking powder


·         Half teaspoon Bicarb


·         40g cocoa


·         2 large eggs


·         2t vanilla essence


·         150ml sour cream






·         Preheat oven to 180C


·         Put all ingredients in bowl & process until smooth and thick


·         Divide into 2 x 20cm tins with removable bottoms


·         Bake for 25 min, then allow to cool in tins for 10 min



Icing Ingredients


·         75g butter


·         175g dark chocolate


·         1T golden syrup


·         125ml sour cream


·         1t vanilla extract


·         300g icing sugar




·         Making Icing


·         Melt butter and chocolate


·         Add golden syrup, followed by soured cream and vanilla.


·         Then whisk in icing sugar


·         Make sandwich cake



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