Old Fashioned Chocolate Cake
I would say look away if you are watching your waistline but don’t because it’s all about the old saying ‘everything in moderation’ and although this Chocolate Cake is one chocolatey finger licking, lip smacking cake, even if you are watching the calories you can still fit it in.
Jnr is nearly four months now … my Gawd the time is flying and I’ve been watching my waistline for the past month … with small changes I’ve managed to make a dent in those baby pounds (it’s the other ones that I’m working on now). I’ve made this cake twice in total. The first time I made and ate it (not all of it of course, I did share) I acted the Nigella and didn’t give two flying ducks how many calories were in each slice I cut.
The second time was different and I was adamant that I would find a way of working this luxurious treat into my personal daily allowance. To do this was much easier that I thought it would be and so I’ll share with you how I did it.
I found a site called caloriecount.com. On the site you will find a tool called Recipe Analyzer. It’s easy to use. You just copy your ingredients in and the little wizard dishes out the nutritional values and calories for you. Fantastic. After that you just work out how big of a portion you should allow yourself.
Here’s an example of Nigella’s Old Fashioned Chocolate Cake, you can see the total Calorific value is 6,232 in the first screen shot. In the second screen shot, I worked out how many calories one eighth of the cake would be – which if you know your calories, you’ll know this result is quite high so to play it safe I choose one sixteenth. Simples. (click to zoom screenshots)
.. but less of that and more bout this delicious recipe … it’s taken from Nigella Lawson’s website so don’t be confused with by the photo’s of her ‘How to be a Domestic Goddess Book’ … I just like looking through it when I bake. I’ve added the full recipe onto a handy recipe card that you can save or print.
- 200 grams plain flour
- 200 grams caster sugar
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
- 40 grams best-quality cocoa powder
- 175 grams soft unsalted butter
- 2 large eggs
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 150 ml sour cream
- 75 grams unsalted butter
- 175 grams best quality dark chocolate (broken into small pieces)
- 300 grams icing sugar
- 1 tablespoon golden syrup
- 125 ml sour cream
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- sugar flowers (optional)
- Take everything out of the fridge so that all the ingredients can come to room temperature.
- Preheat the oven to gas mark 4/180°C/350ºF and line and butter two 20cm / 8 inch sandwich tins with removable bases.
- Now all you have to do is put all the cake ingredients - flour, sugar, baking powder and bicarb, cocoa, butter, eggs, vanilla and sour cream - into a food processor and process until you have a smooth, thick batter. If you want to go the long way around, just mix the flour, sugar and leavening agents in a large bowl and beat in the soft butter until you have a combined and creamy mixture. Now whisk together the cocoa, sour cream, vanilla and eggs and beat this into your bowl of mixture.
- Divide this batter, using a rubber spatula to help you scrape and spread, into the prepared tins and bake until a cake tester, or a thin skewer, comes out clean, which should be about 35 minutes, but it is wise to start checking at 25. Also, it might make sense to switch the two cakes around in the oven halfway through cooking time.
- Remove the cakes, in their tins, to a wire rack and let cool for 10 minutes before turning out of their tins. Don't worry about any cracks as they will easily be covered by the icing later.
- To make this icing, melt the butter and chocolate in a good-sized bowl either in the microwave or suspended over a pan of simmering water. Go slowly either way: you don't want any burning or seizing.
- While the chocolate and butter are cooling a little, sieve the icing sugar into another bowl. Or, easier still, put the icing sugar into the food processor and blitz. This is by far and away the least tedious way of removing lumps.
- Add the golden syrup to the cooled chocolate mixture, followed by the sour cream and vanilla and then when all this is combined whisk in the sieved icing sugar. Or just pour this mixture down the funnel of the food processor on to the icing sugar, with the motor running.
- When you've done, you may need to add a little boiling water - say a teaspoon or so - or indeed some more icing sugar: it depends on whether you need the icing to be runnier or thicker; or indeed it may be right as it is. It should be liquid enough to coat easily, but thick enough not to drip off.
- Choose your cake stand or plate and cut out four strips of baking parchment to form a square outline on it (this stops the icing running on to the plate). Then sit one of the cakes, uppermost (ie slightly domed) side down.
- Spoon about a third of the icing on to the centre of the cake half and spread with a knife or spatula until you cover the top of it evenly. Sit the other cake on top, normal way up, pressing gently to sandwich the two together.
- Spoon another third of the icing on to the top of the cake and spread it in a swirly, textured way (though you can go for a smooth finish if you prefer, and have the patience). Spread the sides of the cake with the remaining icing and leave a few minutes till set, then carefully pull away the paper strips.
- I love to dot the top of this with sugar pansies - and you must admit, they do look enchanting - but there really is no need to make a shopping expedition out of it. Anything, or indeed nothing, will do.
If you like chocolate cake. You will love this. It is so easy to make and if you have a food processor it is even easier. I didn’t have mine the first time I made it but it turned out great, however using one the second time around was, how should I say it? … a piece of cake? Tips on baking the perfect cake is to switch the cake tins around in the oven and make sure the cake is cool before you add the icing.