I have been eyeing up the Nigella’s spiced chocolate cake in the freezer that was made but not used for Christmas for some weeks now. Finally an excuse to sink my teeth in and enjoy its chocolatety richness and dense fudginess…my mother in laws birthday!
It gingerly balanced on my husband’s lap as we drove through twisty roads to our destination with our 5 year old yelling from the back of the car “Are we there yet?” . There is only so many times a parent can endure that phrase in an hour . Even if ignored we get the “Why are you not talking to me?” repeatedly then at full volume. Think every parent knows the slow torture of travelling distance with a child! . We are so looking forward to our 1 year old also joining in when he has the powers of speech!
On arrival, bubbles were blown in -1 temperatures, cards and presents opened( a vintage style wedgewood teapot and cup) , her heathers admired and the all important chocolate cake consumed. Not wanting to blow my own trumpet but it was seriously good – even my father in law had a slice and he does not do puddings!
So the recipe ( click here for American cup measures , Nigella’s extra tips and source) as follows…
For the cake
150 gram(s) dark chocolate (chopped)
150 gram(s) butter (soft)
6 medium egg(s)
250 gram(s) granulated sugar
1 teaspoon(s) vanilla extract
100 gram(s) ground almond(s)
1 teaspoon(s) ground cinnamon
1 pinch of ground cloves
1 clementine (zest)
4 teaspoon(s) espresso coffee
For the topping
1 clementine (juice)
15 gram(s) butter
1 tablespoon(s) caster sugar
¼ teaspoon(s) ground cinnamon
50 gram(s) flaked almond(s)
Preheat the oven to 180°C/gas mark 4.
Butter the sides and line the bottom of a 23cm springform tin.
Melt the chocolate and butter together in a heatproof bowl.
Beat the eggs, sugar and vanilla together until thick, pale and moussy.
Gently fold in the ground almonds, cinnamon, cloves, clementine/satsuma zest and espresso powder, taking care not to lose the air you have whisked in, then, finally, pour and scrape in the melted, slightly cooled, chocolate and butter, folding gently again.
Pour into the prepared tin and bake in the oven for 35–40 minutes, by which time the top of the cake should be firm, and the underneath still a bit gooey.
Remove from the oven, and sit it on a wire rack, draped with a clean tea towel, to cool completely.
To make the topping for the cake, put the clementine/satsuma juice into a small, preferably non-stick, frying pan with the butter, sugar and cinnamon and melt everything together, then let it sizzle for a minute or so and begin to caramelize before adding the almonds.
Stir everything together, and occasionally tip the pan to keep it all moving; what you want is for all the liquid to disappear and the nuts to look shiny and be coated thinly in a fragrant, orange-scented toffee.
Remove to a plate and cool.
Unspring the cake and scatter with the almonds
Devour and whole heartedly lick your lips!