Thursday, June 21, 2007
Spoiling the Husband...and Myself!
Whenever I want to spoil Hans I bake him a chocolate cake. His favorite (and ours) is Nigella's Old Fashioned Chocolate Cake. I've been told this is the best cake he's ever had in his whole life and of course that makes me very happy. I think what makes this the perfect chocolate cake is its simplicity. Nothing fancy, nothing complicated. Just a darn good cake.
Last weekend I wanted to make something a little more special for Father's Day and Gennaro's Torta al Cioccolato came to mind. For some reason I think this is a more summery chocolate cake. Maybe because the first time I made it was during the summer or maybe because it's a bit lighter than Nigella's cake. And please, take the word "lighter" with a grain of salt, because it ain't all that light! The thing is that one can only handle a tiny slice of the Old Fashioned Chocolate Cake but with Gennaro's cake, it's hard to not want some more! I think this cake is also a more grown-up chocolate cake because of the wine and because of the deep, rich taste.
The recipe is a bit fidgety because you have to actually stand there and make chocolate curls, well at least I had to. Maybe you can buy ready made curls, but here in The Netherlands we aren't that privileged! To make life easy you can let your food processor do some of the chopping. The bits that go in the cake itself are actually better left a little coarse. Don't forget that sprig of rosemary! It's not just for decoration. It actually gives the cake a beautiful scent and makes it very fragrant!
Here's the recipe:
Torta al cioccolato e vino rosso and salsa al cioccolato
*200g soft butter
*250g caster sugar
*4 beaten eggs
*25g cocoa powder
*1 tsp baking powder
*1/2 tsp cinnamon (optional)
*1 dl red wine
*1/2 tsp vanilla extract
*150g pure chocolate curls (you can make them yourself...I made 1/2 curls and the rest I just chopped in the processor!)
For the salsa al cioccolato
*1.2 dl liquid coffee creamer
*150g pure chocolate in bits
*1 1/2 tsp cocoa
*1 1/2 tsp glucose syrup (I used Golden Syrup!)
*1 tbsp sugar
*chocolate curls to decorate
Preheat oven to 180C, stand 4 and butter and line a 22cm spring form.
Beat butter and sugar. Add beaten eggs one at a time. Sift cocoa, flour, baking powder and cinnamon if desired and fold in. Stir in the wine, then the vanilla and finally the curls.
Put mix in tray and bake for about an hour until sate stick comes out clean . Let cool and remove from tray.
Stir all ingredients au bain marie until mix is smooth and soft. Sift if necessary to take out any chunks. Let stand for a minute or two before icing.
Ice the cake, decorate with curls and don't forget that sprig of rosemary!