It is Matt's birthday on 29 December, when most people will be on Christmas leave. I think it would be most unfair to miss out someone's birthday cake just because they happen to have a festive season birthday - a bit like only receiving one present for both occasions! Accordingly, I made his cake for work today.
The guys at my work have a general leaning towards chocolate cake, so I decided to make Matt a decidedly masculine, full-bodied chocolate mud cake. It did not disappoint - when Matt sliced into it with a knife for the traditional cutting of the cake, the knife stuck fast about half-way through. For an anxious moment, I thought that I might need King Arthur to get the knife out again, but luckily, this was not the case. I need not have fretted about the end result - this cake not only looked great, but was dense, moist and rich in the centre, just as a mud cake should be. However, it is not for the faint-hearted - one small piece is more than enough, and I am sure that this cake could be a dragon-slayer in its own right!
If you are game enough to take up the challenge, you can make this cake as follows:
250g cubed butter
200g dark chocolate, broken into small pieces
1 2/3 cup sugar
1/2 cup whisky
1 tablespoon instant coffee powder
1/2 cup boiling water
1 1/2 cups plain flour
1/2 cup self raising flour
1/3 cup cocoa
2 tablespoons whisky (to pour on the hot cake)
Preheat your oven to 160 degrees Celsius and grease and line a 20cm square cake tin.
Dissolve the coffee in the hot water and put into a medium saucepan with the butter, chocolate, sugar and whisky. Melt the mixture over a low heat, stirring constantly, until completely smooth.
Sift the flours and cocoa together. Pour the melted chocolate mixture over the dry ingredients until just combined. Lightly beat the eggs and stir into the cake batter. Place the cake batter into the greased and lined tin, and bake in the preheated oven for 1 hour and 15 minutes. Once the cake is cooked, remove it from the oven, pour over the 2 tablesppons of extra whisky and leave it to cool in the tin for about 20 minutes, before turning onto a wire rack to cool.
You can make a chocolate ganache for decorating the cake by bringing 1/3 cup whipping cream to the boil, then removing from the heat and stirring through 100g dark chocolate, broken into small pieces. Once the ganache has cooled and thickened a little, spread it over the top and sides of the cooled cake, then refrigerate the cake.
This cake was rich but delicious - it was a real hit with die-hard chocolate lovers, and not such a hit with those who weren't.
I am entering this cake in Zorra and Sandra's Best of 2007, because it was the chocolatiest, richest, most decadent cake that I have made this year - and it smells divine! For the roundup, please check here.