Claudia Roden's Gateau Au Chocolat with Ganache Frosting

I have a Kitchenaid. At last. I feel like I have always wanted one, perhaps I have, although it’s realistic to say that in my early years, I was craving sweets a big stronger.

It is bright pink and stands proudly in my kitchen. I have been sent one to review – disclaimer – and I have been happily whipping up cakes and brownies and all sorts of other bits and pieces that are detrimental to my waistline but so, so good for my soul.

My Bright Pink Kitchen Soldier

It has made life very quick and convenient. We had a few run ins but I soon realised that that is because I was putting too much in the bowl. 1.5kg bread too much. That was a bit silly, it is a home mixer, not an industrial one, and treated as such – with one cake mix, not three – it works like a charm. It is tough and quick, and the patisserie attachment has been very useful, especially for my new baking experiments that have been taking place in my kitchen.

I don’t often write about cakes, for several reasons. They require precision and following the rules, and I find this restrictive and annoying. I can almost see my Home Economics teacher watching me carefully from the corner of the room. I think it’s part of my rejection of my previous scientific education. I have now decided to embrace it and learn the language properly, not just the stuff I know and learned at home in school, but more ambitious stuff, so that I can be as creative with my baking as I am with everything else that I cook at home.

This seems a pointless pre-amble now as Gateau au Chocolate is not my recipe but one from food superstar Claudia Roden. But I can’t resist a rich, dense chocolate cake. It is full of great stuff: eggs, ground almonds, butter and rich dark chocolate. I used Green & Blacks Cooking Chocolate which I find rich and dense with some lovely orange / citrus undertones. It’s protein rich, with just a whisper of sugar, a proper adults chocolate cake. You kids will need to look somewhere else.

Chocolate Ganache

I thought it looked a bit naked just on its own, so I whipped up a quick chocolate ganache to cover it with. It worked very well. Any leftovers can become truffles too.

The recipe has featured in many books, I got this from the Green & Black’s Ultimate: Chocolate Recipes: The New Collection, which has been sitting on my shelf for a year now unloved, I am ashamed to confess. It’s a lovely book with some gorgeous recipes and I will be trying more of them soon.

The recipe is unchanged except for the ordering of it. I changed it simply so that it was more practical for me.

Recipe: Claudia Roden’s Gateau Au Chocolate with a Lick of Chocolate Ganache Frosting

Ingredients

CAKE

250g dark chocolate (70% or above recommended)
100g unsalted butter (optional but I used it), plus extra for greasing
6 large free range eggs, seperated
75g caster sugar
100g ground almonds
Flour or matzo meal for dusting

GANACHE

150ml double cream
150g dark chocolate

Method

CAKE

Preheat your oven 180 deg C. Grease a 23cm cake pan and dust with your flour / matzo.

Melt the chocolate and butter in a pan over another (slightly larger) pan of water, or a double boiler.

Whisk the egg whites in a clean mixer bowl until white and fluffy with dense peaks, as you would for meringue. Leave to the side.

Refill your mixer bowl with sugar and butter and beat until light and fluffy (they will be pale and creamy).

Add the ground almonds and melted chocolate and butter and mix thoroughly. Gently fold in the whisked egg whites, taking care not to knock out the air.

Pour into your cake tin and make for 30 – 45 minutes. Test it by sticking a metal skewer or knife through it, when it comes out dry, it’s done. I found mine was perfect at 35 minutes.

GANACHE

Just as the cake is cooled, melt your chocolate as before. Stir through the cream and spread all over the cake once it’s cooled and out of the cake tin.

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Niamh

Cooking and travelling, and sharing it all with you.
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