Dense, vaguely alcoholic, Chocolate Cake

This cake was made by one of my fellow Navigateurs to celebrate someone’s birthday at some point last year, and stored away for use when ovens were no longer akin to Aladdin’s lamp (as regards their scarcity, you understand, and not their proclivity to release a singing Robin Williams). The original called for rum; I used a tad of rum flavouring instead which gave it a little extra something-something.

(Top tip: don’t ever think to yourself “I’m so good at melting chocolate in the microwave” while melting chocolate in the microwave… inevitably it will go horribly wrong.)

Base

200g dark chocolate
200g soft butter + 1tsp for greasing the tin
4 eggs, separated
200g caster sugar
35g flour, sifted
50ml dark rum (optional)

  1. Preheat oven to 180oC and grease a large baking tin, either square or circular.
  2. Melt the chocolate. Once it’s melted, remove from heat and add the butter, cut up into bits, until it’s a smooth liquid.
  3. In another bowl, beat the yellows of the eggs with the sugar, until the mixture turns white.
  4. Beat in the flour, the chocolate, then the rum if using.
  5. In another bowl again (and with clean whisks), beat the egg whites until they form hard peaks, and gently fold into the rest of the mixture.
  6. Pour the mixture into the tin and smooth the surface.
  7. Bake in the middle of the pre-heated oven for 25-30 minutes; don’t let the cake become dry in the middle. When it comes out it should still be on the moist side.
  8. Let cool for 10 minutes in the tin, then turn out on a wire rack to cool completely.

Icing

200g dark chocolate
1 tsp butter
Decorations

  1. When the cake is cool, prepare the icing: melt the chocolate, add the butter, and stir.
  2. Pour the icing onto the cake and smooth over with a bendy spatula.
  3. Before the icing is completely set, add the decorations.
  4. Put in fridge to cool. Take out a while before serving to allow the chocolate to soften and so eating the cake doesn’t become too difficult a task!
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