Friday, April 27, 2007

Friday morning tea - chocolate cake

There can never be too much chocolate cake in the world. It suits all occasions, whether dusted with icing sugar for a sweet snack, dressed up with chocolate icing for morning tea or served with a dollop of thick cream for dinner party guests. It can be flavoured with cocoa or melted chocolate, adorned with nuts or raisins, sexed up with liqueur or espresso, served with a basic butter icing or dripping in the thickest ganache. It's no wonder I have hundreds of chocolate cake recipes in my files and plan on making them all at least once in my quest for the perfect chocolate cake.

I'm not sure if there is such a thing as the perfect chocolate cake or one that is perfect for each occasion. The rich, dense, flourless chocolate cake you serve as a dinner party dessert is not necessarily what you want to eat with your morning coffee. (But a slice for breakfast is an entirely different matter...)

This milk chocolate cake by Jill Dupleix comes pretty close to being perfect. As long as you can resist the temptation of letting chocolate sit in your pantry, you will have all the ingredients on hand and can whip it up in no time. This version uses milk chocolate but I've successfully made it with dark chocolate and it is just as moreish.


170g good-quality milk chocolate (such as Lindt)
150g butter
4 eggs, beaten
150g sugar
150g plain flour
1 level teaspoon baking powder

Pre-heat the oven to 180 degrees. Butter and line a 25cm square cake tin with non-stick baking paper. Melt the chocolate and butter in a heatproof bowl sitting over a saucepan of simmering water. Using an electric mixer, beat the eggs and sugar until they are pale, thick and creamy. Add the sifted flour and baking powder and stir well. Lightly mix in the chocolate mixture. Spoon into the cake tin and bake for 25 to 30 minutes. Cool and turn out. Dust with icing sugar or bitter cocoa powder before serving.

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