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Posted by Imogen, April 21, 2011

The Nosy Crow Chocolate Cake

Hello! I’m Tom, today’s guest-blogger, the intern with the terrible photography skills and allegory-based book recommendations. I’ve had a lovely time at Nosy Crow over the last few weeks and realised more or less immediately what a fun place this would be to work. Desperately looking for some way of ingratiating myself with everyone here – and with a very meagre pool of talents to draw from – I decided the thing to do would be to bake a cake.

Last week, I made a quite wonderful clementine cake (courtesy of Nigella Lawson, whose recipe can be found here, although really she nicked it from Claudia Roden), which is one of my absolute favourite things to eat at the moment, as clementine season is abruptly coming to an end and soon I’ll have to wait until next year. As well as being very light and moist, that cake is almost unspeakably good for you (no dairy, no wheat…), and so this week I decided to head in the opposite direction and make the unhealthiest thing in my repertoire, a very chocolate-y chocolate cake.

Well, it seems to have been a crowd-pleaser with everyone at Nosy Crow and also Sue Ransom, who dropped by yesterday afternoon, and even drew some Twitter comments, which is very nice for me. But before long all kinds of accusations were being thrown around, like one from @vivschwarz, herself a god of bakery, that perhaps the cake was made from a recipe rather than out of spontaneous invention. Kate has very kindly given me this opportunity to clear my name, so let it be known: there was once a recipe for this cake, but I’ve long since lost it, and the one I made on Tuesday was completed with something a little like muscle-memory (certainly the closest thing a decided non-athlete like me will ever come to muscle-memory).

There has, however, been much clamouring from Kate and Imogen for instructions of some sort or another, so here it is: the Nosy Crow Chocolate Cake.

300g very dark chocolate (at least 70% cocoa solids)
250g butter
1 shot of very strong espresso coffee
200g caster sugar
6 eggs
100g plain flour

Melt the chocolate and butter in a bowl over a pan of boiling water. Add the espresso and stir gently.

Beat the sugar and egg yolks together until very light. Stir in the chocolate and then very gently fold in the flour.

Whisk the egg whites until they form stiff peaks. Fold into the mixture carefully – the aim is to avoid beating out the air.

Pour into a greased and lined springform tin and cook for 15-20 minutes in a preheated oven at 200c/400f/GM 6.

The cake should be set at the edges and wobbly in the middle. Leave to set for at least 12 hours then dust with icing sugar and serve however you’d like.

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