Monday, 26 December 2011

Nigella's Gluten Free Chocolate Cloud Cake

Happy Boxing Day everyone! Here's hoping you all had a wonderfully lazy and indulgent Christmas.

As none of us in the Eve household like traditional Christmas Cake, it's become a tradition over the years for my family to feast on Chocolate Cake and Fruit Cake on Christmas Day. The Murrambigee fruit cake was baked a week or so ago, and on Christmas Eve my toddler niece and nephew joined me in baking their first ever cake, Nigella's wonderful Chocolate Cloud Cake. Like a souffle, this cake needs no flour which makes it great for those with gluten intolerances, and it tastes oh so melt in the mouth with the rich chocolate base and the fluffy whipped cream topping. The twin toddlers my niece and nephew did the dusting and threw on some wafer butterflies with festive abandon before we all tucked in! My ideal delicious no fuss idle celebration cake.

By Nigella Lawson, it can be found in her book Nigella Bites, and also on her website, see it here.
Apparently her recipe originates from one by Richard Sax.

Serves 10

125g butter, room temperature
250g dark chocolate, minimum 70% cocoa solids
6 eggs: 2 whole & 4 separated
175g caster sugar
2 tablespoons Cointreau, optional (not if children are eating it)
grated zest of 1 orange, optional

1. Turn the oven 180C (160C fan ovens) and grease and line a 20cm cake tin.

2. Break the chocolate into pieces and melt over a bain maire (a bowl over a pan of almost simmering water). When melted, take off the heat and add the butter to melt into the chocolate until combined.

3. In a large bowl, whisk the 2 whole eggs and 4 egg yolks with 75g of the caster sugar, then stir in the melted chocolate and butter into the mixture with a wooden spoon. Next add the grated orange zest, and Cointreau if using.

4. In a second bowl, whisk the 4 egg whites til pale and foamy, then add the sugar gradually and beat until the whites are holding their shape but not too stiff.

5. Add a spoonful of the beaten egg white to the chocolate batter in the 1st bowl, then carefully and gently fold in the rest of the whites to batter.

6. Pour the batter into the cake tin, and bake in the oven for 35-40 minutes, until the cake has risen and cracked and a skewer in the centre comes out clean.

7. Let the cake cool in its tin on a wire rack. The middle sinks as it cools.

for the topping:

500ml double cream
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 tablespoon cointreau (not if children are eating it)
half a teaspoon unsweetened cocoa powder for dusting decoration
glace fruit, fresh fruit or wafer butterflies for decoration

8. Before serving, put the cake - still in its tin - on a plate or cake stand, and remove from the tin.

9. Whip the cream until soft, then stir in the vanilla extract and Cointreau if using.

10. Beat the cream until it is firm but not stiff.

11. Spread the centre of the cake with whipped cream, and spread it out to cover the top of the cake.

12. Finally, dust with cocoa powder and decorate with whatever you fancy, the messier the better if the kids are decorating!

This cake was idly baked with my niece and nephew while listening to Christmas Carols on the radio.

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