Tuesday, 9 November 2010

A very belated Happy Birthday to me!

Happy Birthday to me! I'm a hundred and three! I look like a monkey, I'm sure you'll agree.

OK, not really, but it was a contender for Worst. Birthday. Ever. I spent it on the couch snorting and snuffling with a nasty sinus infection, looking at all my facebook messages (which was nice) and failing to get a doctor's appointment. Luckily CALMS had appointments, so I got antibiotics on the Saturday and felt improved enough to bake, if not 100%. Even so, I had to get 2 more rounds of antibiotics after that one.

But damn, why was I writing that tripe? Pathetic whinging has its place but surely the entire point of a birthday post is CAKE!!! So let us discuss CAKE.

*deletes worst of whining*

The custom at work is to take in a cake for one's birthday. Tuesday was the next working day, so I baked on the public holiday Monday. I intended to make a chocolate chestnut cake, but I couldn't find the recipe in my half-hearted search, so instead I made a chocolate raspberry cake from Chocolate and Zucchini - not the blog, but the book. This is one of those cakes that's more like a fudgy mousse. Almost solid chocolate.

It's pretty easy to make, and quite impressive.

Recipe: Clotilde's Chocolate and Raspberry Cake, Cath's minor variation.
225g (and a bit) salted continental style butter
225g good dark chocolate
200g raspberries (frozen is fine)
Extra raspberries, to serve, optional.
200g sugar

4 eggs

50g self raising flour

  • Defrost raspberries if needed, and mash well.
  • Preheat the oven to 180C (or 160C fan forced)
  • Grease a 25cm springform pan thoroughly with a little more butter.
  • Roughly chop the butter and break up the chocolate, and place in a microwave safe bowl.
  • Microwave for 20 seconds, then remove and stir well.
  • Repeat this procedure until all the chocolate is melted.
  • Set aside to cool for 5 minutes.
  • Pour into a mixing bowl, and mix in the sugar, then the raspberry puree.
  • One at a time, break each egg into a cup, mix with fork, then blend in to the mix.
  • Sift the flour over and fold in gently.
  • Bake for 30 minutes, then turn the oven off and leave to cool for 10 minutes.
  • Remove from oven, place on a rack, run a knife around the edge and then loosen the spring form.
  • Leave to cool for an hour, then cover and place in fridge overnight.
Notes: To serve, slice thinly as it is very rich. Add a dollop of cream and a raspberry or two if desired.

The variations I used were minor - salted butter rather than unsalted butter plus salt; 10g extra flour; self raising rather than plain. I added the little more flour because the mix was so sloppy I thought it would help. Using self-raising was an accident from vagueness, but it seems to have worked fine.

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