Chocolate Cake Heart’s Desire

verbena bonariensisThis is the sort of cake that you want when you go to the garage late on a Saturday night. And do they have a cake that meets the following criteria? Well, did you really think they would…?

Fortunately the man from River Cottage has come up trumps as far as I am concerned with this easy to make (and even easier to consume)  cross between a brownie, chocolate mousse and, depending on whether you eat it hot or cold, chocolate fudge or chocolate soufflé.

I was happy, in fact we were all very happy; I decided we needed a pudding, friend coming over at short notice, and so, in between making beetroot and walnut hummous, Thai carrot salad, couscous with pomegranate molasses and tomato, Dan’s perfect pitta bread and mini lamb souvlaki marinated in thyme and lemon, cooked outside by a man with a torch on his head, (forgot to say, pitch dark and  freezing cold!)  somehow I found myself on the chocolate cake page of Everyday Cooking. Mad, moi? 40 minutes to go and considering making a cake…

chocolate cakeSo bless you Mr Fearnley-Whittingstall. I must stop calling you by silly names, because I do love many of your recipes, I do! And I really, really like this cookbook. It’s friendly, well laid out, easy to read and there are some cracking good ideas for easy everyday cooking, which is really all I hope to do most of the time. 

Cake made I could settle back onto sofa happy and content.  It’s better warm than cold, but that’s only my opinion! Heat for 30 seconds or so in the microwave and it transforms back into chocolate souffle cake from the solid, fudgey-looking slice you see above. Anyone got any good tips on photographing chocolate cake by the way?

I’m much happier photographing bread… here’s a pic of what we’ve been eating for breakfast this week, sourdough challah with sesame and black onion seeds (nigella). Pop that in the toaster and the aroma of those toasting seeds takes me to a warm Greek bakery somewhere. Ah ! Proustian bread moments. Do you have those?Maggie Glezer Sourdough Challah Crumb Shot

Maggie Glezer's sourdough challah

27 thoughts on “Chocolate Cake Heart’s Desire

  1. Celia @ Fig Jam and Lime Cordial

    Hahahaha! You made me laugh out loud, Jo! Yes, we shall have to start showing Mr Firmly Whittingbottom his due respect! :) I’ve seen him make that cake before, but never tried it (from memory he made it to feed a shooting party while on the quest for birds for his 10-bird roast). Now that it has your endorsement, I shall put it on the list to make!

    As for tips for photographing chocolate cake – all I can remember is Donna Hay saying on the first Masterchef that brown is hard to photograph! Maybe a flourish of whipped cream? :)

    1. Joanna @ Zeb Bakes Post author

      Was that the one with the snipe? I nearly went right off him then. I spent hours trying to see snipe out birding and then Monsieur Fearless Bottom cooked them :( I like snipe – they always look as if they are going to fall over

        1. Joanna @ Zeb Bakes Post author

          woodcock then…almost identical to snipe, maybe a little bigger but still, why eat them when there are other choices? it’s hardly a food source that the majority of the population has access too. Can you imagine if everyone in the uk who watched that show decided they wanted woodcock for tea….

          Here is a pic where you can see how little they are snipe

          I know people eat game birds, people used to eat songbirds in this country too. They still trap them in Malta for sport and maybe they eat them there too. But I shouldn’t go on. I am inconsistent and there is nothing rational about my meat eating decisions particularly. I just can’t quite feed wild birds in the garden and then imagine going out and shooting them. When I chopped my thumb up dealing with that crab before Christmas, an almost relative commented that she couldn’t eat crab because she liked them as animals too much.

          My local garage is also an outpost of a huge supermarket, and they sell Gü, which does (er hmm) do very good chocolate brownies, but not on this occasion. I can not tell a lie when it comes to chocolate ;)

  2. bagnidilucca

    I would have put it on a white plate with cream and some raspberries, and then I would have eaten it.

    1. Joanna @ Zeb Bakes Post author

      That was the last piece on its way to the microwave and I realised I had written the post and not taken a single pic – and what is a cake post without a pic? Hence the garden flowers and other assorted images littering this post.

      And then it was rudely snatched from my hands, before I could embellish it :D But you and Celia are absolutely right, needs cream !

  3. heidi

    I loved all the pictures-am drooling over the cake- would love that bread even if it is challah and eggy! And I’m chuckling over the ketchup reference as a cake topping.
    But aren’t you brave making a cake in 40 minutes!
    Thanks for the smiles!

    1. Joanna @ Zeb Bakes Post author

      Smiling back at you Heidi :D Mysteriously not so eggy this one as the Hamelman. I’m working on the eggy thing for you, I think because this one was sourdough the tanginess counteracts the eggy maybe. I just looked at this post again and suspect that the reference to ‘going to the garage’ maybe doesn’t make much sense – so for anyone who doesn’t live in England….

      * go to the garage = go to the gas/petrol/fuel station in England/late night shop/24/7/ chocolate cake’s last hope etc etc

  4. Abby

    Looks perfect just the way it is . . . I would eat it even without cream, just for you, Joanna! =)

  5. cityhippyfarmgirl

    The Garage thing makes more sense to me now, but I also knew you kept an assortment of deliciousness in your garage as well.
    Proustian moments…quite often. Smelling and hearing my stove top coffee pot quite often transports me to Italy. Which is probably why I love it so much. (Although a transportation to a Greek bakery would be quite lovely too.)
    Your chocolatey goodness looks super tasty. Got to love anything thats easy to construct and easy to eat. I’m all for no fluffing about, (but you already knew that ;-)

    1. Joanna @ Zeb Bakes Post author

      Ah coffee – I haven’t had a cup yet today…. nothing beats the smell and the sound of coffee, unless it’s frying bacon …though grinding the beans can be a conversation killer ;)

      Brydie, the only thing you have to ‘fluff’ in this cake is the egg whites, otherwise I think it would be much more brownie like, so it is a two bowl cake at the minimum, depending on how you melt the chocolate and butter.

  6. C

    Truly delicious looking cake Joanna, and I really, really like the look of that sourdough Challah. Never made Challah, pretty sure it’s just been added to the ‘to bake really soon’ list!

    1. Joanna @ Zeb Bakes Post author

      Challah – at least the recipes I have seen in my American baking books – is an enriched dough made with eggs, vegetable oil and sugar and glazed with egg wash, usually plaited but it doesn’t have to be. These ones have a texture something similar to brioche, but obviously not with the butteriness of brioche. Light and feathery and to many people’s tastes too eggy. People seem to accept eggy taste in their cakes but not in their bread. The word challah means the portion of dough dedicated to God and traditionally would either be a piece of dough burnt in the oven, or at least blessed at the beginning of a meal. One can read up about it.

  7. Susan

    I LOVE Hugh FW’s Everyday cookbook! Have you tried his chocolate and beetroot brownies? DELICIOUS! You can see them on my blog.
    I have added your blog to my list of favourite food sites. Love the bread making!

    1. Joanna @ Zeb Bakes Post author

      Hi Susan, thank you for visiting!

      My sister is a huge fan of the chocolate and beetroot brownies, sees them as a way to get vegetables into unsuspecting children I think, I have tried them and they were good, but I haven’t made them myself.

  8. spiceandmore

    Tara my eight year old is looking over my shoulder and she insists that “we” comment and write “yum!” for that chocolate cake. She would like a piece…please? :)

  9. Joanna @ Zeb Bakes Post author

    Tara, you will have to ask Mum to make you some at the weekend, now the holidays are over, we can all get back to normal and eat chocolate cake ;)

  10. jan trounce

    Strike me pink!! That last photo looks something like my once neat derrier does now – chocolate cake made me what I am! Actually I’ve been thinking about my
    inspirational friends in blogland this evening – I get so inspired and rush off to the kitchen, invite friends (this evening – a friend) and fling flour and pots and pans – if you remember Tommy Cooper – that’s me in the kitchen when I cook for other people – “Not like that, like this – zzssshh zzsssh” and somehow it never quite works out, but we have a good laugh.

    1. Joanna @ Zeb Bakes Post author

      the loaf that reminds you of your derriere is what happens when the six stranded plait you were going to make goes wrong and in despair you bundle all the soggy strands up and make them into balls and stick them together. I think Tommy Cooper would have approved. Lovely funny man ! I don’t know about everyone else in blogland, but chaos often rules in my kitchen, flour flying, chocolate on drawer handles, nameless sticky drips on the floor, dogs tails being stood on – sometimes I just run and hide and Brian has to carry on.

  11. Christine

    Oh, ooh, you have the Everyday cookbook? How wonderful, I do so enjoy Hugh :) And his/your cake looks most appealing, I can see myself coming back here in the near (very near) future for the recipe. Thankyou HFW and thankyou Jo! :) And your challah, WOW!! I am falling off the chair looking at it, divine. Seriously divine. :)

  12. Choclette

    If that’s the sort of meal you can whip up at short notice, what do you do when you really have some time – all sounds wonderful. Haven’t made Hugh’s version of this cake, but have made something very similar (more almonds less flour) – even got the recipe published in a little cook book. Must make it again soon!

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