So I can't believe there are less than two weeks until school's out. The past few weeks have been a rollercoaster of cake commissions, family drama and school activities. I think I'm looking forward to a day when the family can have a lie-in :) This weekend we were in the countryside, picking fruit and vegetables from the garden and making this lovely Chocolate Fudge Cake. This is the first bake I've made from John Whaite's Perfect Plates in 5 Ingredients - this is his Secret Ingredient Chocolate Fudge Cake.
The secret ingredient is one I've used before in cakes, but not in a chocolate cake. My recipe was one of my mum's from the 1970's so it's definitely been around for a long time -- condensed cream of tomato soup. It might seem a bit of an odd ingredient in a chocolate fudge cake but the taste is very subtle. There's no chocolate in this cake -- all of the chocolate flavour in the cake and sauce comes from cocoa powder and dark muscovado sugar. The cake is so rich and dense with a really intense chocolate sauce that's like the sauce you'd find on a melting chocolate pud. Do you need more persuasion??
The cake is a one-bowl chocolate cake and very simple to throw together. The sauce is a one saucepan sauce and equally easy to make, although needs to a while to set. The cake does crack in the oven and I found myself with some deep looking crevasses on the top of each cake which matters not in the least as we wrap it in chocolate fudge sauce (and John also says that this is normal). My chocolate sauce hadn't set enough when I first coated it in the sauce so it ran down into the cracks. Then when the sauce was fudgy, I finished off decorating the outside. What this meant was that when I cut into the cake, some of the runny sauce that had snuck into the cracks oozed over the slice of cake which was absolutely delicious.
I topped my cake with beautiful roses and peonies from the garden which contrasted so beautifully against the rich dark chocolate covering. This would make it so pretty for a summery afternoon tea. But I couldn't resist ultimately covering it in our freshly picked strawberries and raspberries and the fruit is amazing at cutting through the deep chocolate flavour and giving it a little lift.
I am totally impressed with this cake. The taste would make anyone think you'd toiled for hours in the kitchen to produce such a scrumptious dessert.
I can see it becoming a firm favourite with the boys in our house, especially when with their cheeks bulging and their mouths covered with chocolate, they gave me a big thumbs up :)
Chocolate Fudge Cake
from John Whaite's Perfect Plates in 5 Ingredients
- 640G DARK BROWN MUSCOVADO SUGAR
- 220G CAN CONDENSED CREAM OF TOMATO SOUP
- 4 LARGE EGGS
- 320G SELF-RAISING FLOUR
- 230G COCOA POWDER
- 240G BUTTER (at room temperature)
- 390ML BOILED WATER
- Preheat the oven to 160 degrees (fan)
- Grease and base line 2 x 8 inch tins (you don't need to line the sides as the cake shrinks away from the sides during baking)
- Place the butter, 400g sugar and 110g tomato soup in a stand mixer and cream with the paddle attachment for around 5 mins
- Add the remaining 110g soup and mix again until thoroughly combined
- Beat in the eggs -- your mixture will probably look split here but just keep going
- Sift 80g cocoa powder with the flour and beat until combined
- Turn the mixer down to low and pour in 240ml of the boiling water in a constant stream and mix until combined
- Divide the mixture between the 2 baking tins and bake for around 25-35 mins (until a skewer in the middle comes out clean)
- When the cakes are ready, remove from the oven and leave to cool for a few minutes
- Turn out the cakes onto a cooling rack
- Whilst your cakes are in the oven, you make your chocolate sauce
- Place the remaining 150ml water, 240g sugar, 150g cocoa and 120g butter into a saucepan and heat over a medium heat until all of the ingredients have melted and you have a smooth chocolate sauce
- Leave to cool until it's a spreadable consistency -- mine took 1.5 to 2 hours
- Once the cake is cool and the sauce is spreadable, sandwich together the two halves with around 1/3 of the sauce
- Then cover the top and sides with the remaining sauce
- Finally, top with some stunning fruit or serve naked with a dash of cream :)