Monday, December 14, 2009

Happy Birthday (to me)

Birthday excitement is all done and dusted and it’s been back to work as usual today – but it was fun whilst it lasted. I have a respectable pile of new books all of which I’m very excited by, made a successful cake (with the help of one of the new books) and had a resounding win at scrabble, I’ve acquired a sugar thermometer which gives dire warnings about being exposed to extreme temperature changes and have a new Barbour complete with divine waxy smell and wax that rubs off, so nobody in their right mind will let me sit in their car for the next month. Basically I’m feeling pretty happy and pleased with life, despite a hard day on the shop floor.

I spent most of the weekend cooking, drinking and gossiping so no actual reading but I feel quite evangelical about the chocolate cake I made – recipe from ‘River Cottage every day’. As the divine Hugh points out everybody needs a little black cake in their repertoire and this is his. I thought it was going to be almost identical to a Nigel Slater version, but with apologies to Mr Slater I think this cake is better, probably because there’s so much butter and chocolate that even Nigella might think twice...

Hugh Fearnley–Whittingstall’s Easy Rich Chocolate Cake

250g dark chocolate broken into chunks

250g unsalted butter

4 medium eggs separated

100g caster sugar

100g soft brown sugar

50g plain flour

50g ground almonds

Line the base of a 23cm springform tin with baking parchment

Melt the butter and chocolate together in a thick bottomed pan on a very low heat. Stir from time to time and cool slightly.

Pre heat the oven to 170°c / gas 3

Meanwhile mix the egg yolks and sugar together until thick and smooth, stir in the melted chocolate and butter and add the flour and nuts.

In a separate bowl whisk the egg whites to stiff peaks, add 1 spoon of egg to the chocolate mix and fold in, then add the rest of the egg white folding carefully with a large metal spoon trying to keep the mix as light and airy as possible.

Poor the mix into the tin and bake for 30 mins until only just set – the middle of the cake should have a very appealing wobbly fudgy texture – let it cool for 10 to 15 mins before release from the tin and then prepare to enjoy...


  1. OOH, your oranges look divine! simply mouthwatering...

  2. Happy (retrospective) birthday to you. This cake looks totally amazing.

  3. Belated Happy Birthday from me! That looks so delicious, I am going to have to give it a whirl.

  4. Happy belated birthday, the cake looks yummy!

  5. Happy belated birthday! Gorgeous cake and gorgeous books. Glad you had a lovely time of it!

  6. Resounding win?Did you really have to put it like that? x xx