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Nigella’s Dense Chocolate Cake for Clandestine Cake Club

Large Cakes | 24th May 2012 | By

Less than two weeks after my first Clandestine Cake Club, I was getting ready for my second event. This one was themed A Fairy Tale and was set in a yurt in the middle of a big wood, Cardinham Woods to be precise, not too far from where we live.

One of my go to chocolate cakes, before I started my chocolate blogging adventures, was Nigella’s dense chocolate loaf cake from How to Be a Domestic Goddess. Somehow, this seemed like the right time to make it again. It’s a very simple cake to make and is so delicious it doesn’t really need any adornment. However, as this was a particularly special occasion, I decided to cover it with ganache.

Clever decorating not being a particular forte of mine, I was at a bit of a loss as to how to turn this into a fairy tale. Inspiration finally struck (actually it was CT’s idea) – the Fairy Godmother’s Wand.

This is how I made it:

  • Melted 150g 85% chocolate (G&B) in a bowl over hot water and left to cool a little.
  • Creamed 500g dark muscovado sugar together with 300g unsalted butter until light in colour and texture.
  • Beat in 1 goose egg (about 3 large eggs) until all incorporated.
  • Beat in the melted chocolate and 3 tsp rose water.
  • Folded in 300g flour (half white, half wholemeal) and 1.5 tsp bicarbonate of soda alternately with 350ml boiling water.
  • Poured into a 23cm cake mould and baked at 190C for 25 minutes then for a further 20 minutes at 170C until well risen but still slightly gooey inside.
  • Left to cool completely before tuning out.
  • Melted 150g dark 70% chocolate (G&B) in a pan over a low heat with 150ml double cream.
  • Added 15g unsalted butter and 1 tsp of rose water and stirred until smooth.
  • Left to cool until just firm enough to stay on the cake without running down the sides.
  • Spread over the top of the cake.
  • Cut the tops off two chocolate fingers and placed together on the cake to form a wand – that was the idea anyway!
  • Sprayed the top with gold shimmer.
  • Added stars sparking out of the wand’s tip and then dusted the cake with edible gold glitter.

This was as good as I remembered it. Dense and slightly sticky like good gingerbread, it was totally delicious with a smooth mouth feel and just got better as it got older. I bet Hansel and Gretel would have loved it.

As for the other cakes there that night, I was completely wowed and slunk my pitiful effort into a corner out of sight.

Organised by the indefatigable Ellie and hosted by the Woods Cafe, the evening was great fun. There were some familiar faces from my first CCC and many new ones. I was especially delighted to meet a We Should Cocoa regular, the Hungry Hinny, who made a most spectacular castle – a chocolate and raspberry Rapunzel one to boot! My picture wasn’t that great, but you can see it on Nat’s blog. We ate far too much delicious cake and got to take a plateful home with us again – what a wonderful way to spend an evening.

Little Red Riding Hood
 
The Three Bears
 
Cinderella’s Pumpkin

 

Shed in the Woods

 

What a Fairy Cake

Sadly, I’m not likely to be able to make any more CCCs for a while, but I live in hope I’ll get to another one at some point!

As Tea Time Treats, hosted by Karen this month, has a floral theme, I waved my magic wand and turned this plain old chocolate cake into a floral rose and chocolate delight. TTT is alternately hosted by Kate of What Kate Baked.

34 Comments

  1. Javelin Warrior

    24th May 2012 at 8:31 pm

    I wondered what was glinting at me on the top of the cake – I guess gold is bound to do that 😉 And there are a lot of creative cakes here – wow.

    Reply
    • Choclette

      27th May 2012 at 8:09 am

      As the saying goes, “all that is gold does not glitter” and sadly not all that glitters is gold. So although mine wasn’t as spectacular as many of the others, it was very tasty.

      Reply
  2. Dom at Belleau Kitchen

    24th May 2012 at 9:08 pm

    Oh my goodness C!! What a glorious cake. Would have loved to have seen inside it. I must start a CCC up here. All those glorious cakes. It’s just too much fabulousness!!

    Reply
    • Choclette

      27th May 2012 at 8:12 am

      Very annoyingly I forgot to take a photo of the cake once cut and the plate full of cake we bought home. It’s a fabulous cake though and keeps really well.

      Reply
  3. Baking Addict

    24th May 2012 at 9:40 pm

    Wow gorgeous cake! Can you wave the magic wand again and send me a slice please? Love all the other cakes too – looks like another successful CCC!

    Reply
    • Choclette

      27th May 2012 at 8:16 am

      Sadly the magic wand got eaten and all the magic vanished along with it 🙁 Well maybe not quite all 😉

      Reply
  4. Susan's blog

    24th May 2012 at 10:39 pm

    Every time I see this cake I can just imagine a child being so enamoured with it…its looks fabulous…and with hidden depths of flavour. x
    (nice cake club too)

    Reply
    • Choclette

      27th May 2012 at 8:17 am

      Susan, you’re absolutely right, this would be perfect for a child’s birthday party – perhaps a bit more elegantly decorated than mine though! It’s a great cake club, just wish I could get to a few more of them.

      Reply
  5. A Trifle Rushed

    24th May 2012 at 11:08 pm

    Your cake looks fabulous, I’m going to remember the wand for future fairy bakes. The other cakes were superb as well, I think the idea of going somewhere and sharing cakes with other cakes people sounds like heaven 🙂

    Reply
    • Choclette

      27th May 2012 at 8:20 am

      Thank you Jude. Yes, I suspect your little girl would appreciate something along these lines. Art is not my strong point, so I’m very sure it could be improved upon. Eating and talking cake is a great way to spend a couple of hours.

      Reply
  6. thelittleloaf

    25th May 2012 at 6:43 am

    You had me at ‘dense chocolate cake’ 🙂 I love your decoration and the other cakes look utterly incredible too. I’d love to go to a CCC event…maybe one day soon.

    Reply
    • Choclette

      27th May 2012 at 8:23 am

      Little Loaf, thank you. It is one of my favourite chocolate cakes and is never dry. Surely there must be a CCC somewhere near you – there are several in London I believe.

      Reply
  7. Working london mummy

    25th May 2012 at 8:25 am

    What a gorgeous cake. I know my little girl would love the wand decoration

    Reply
    • Choclette

      27th May 2012 at 8:25 am

      Thanks WLM, it’s a nice simple decoration that is actually quite effective.

      Reply
  8. Katie

    25th May 2012 at 9:45 am

    Lovely looking cake, so pretty with the gold dust – fairy tail dream like. What a wonderful way to spend an evening.

    Reply
    • Choclette

      27th May 2012 at 8:27 am

      Thank you Katie, that’s certainly what I was hoping for! Yes, eating cake with others who are really into it is a great way to spend an evening.

      Reply
  9. Johanna GGG

    25th May 2012 at 2:23 pm

    great cakes – and I love CT’s idea for the decoration – so simple and so gorgeous! I think I made Nigella’s dense chocolate cake years ago and was disappointed with it but can’t remember it that well – esp as so much of my baking pre-blog is a blur – now you have me curious to revisit it

    Reply
    • Choclette

      27th May 2012 at 8:30 am

      Thank you Johanna. It very much depends what you are looking for. It’s more like gingerbread in texture, moist and dense and it doesn’t have a massive amount of chocolate in it which is why I used 85%.

      Reply
  10. Shaheen

    25th May 2012 at 4:52 pm

    Oh these are truly fantastic, I am so loving the simplicity of yours and guess what, its one of my favourite cakes – so its strange for me to read that Johanna was not a fan..mmm.

    Reply
    • Choclette

      27th May 2012 at 8:32 am

      Shaheen, thank you. Now you do surprise me, I didn’t think chocolate was really your thing, but I’m glad you agree with me. I’m hoping Johanna will try it again and have a change of heart 😉

      Reply
  11. Alida

    25th May 2012 at 5:25 pm

    Goodness me, this is majestic, truly delicious and mouthwatering cake. I will add it to my list and make my husband happy as he is a real chocoholic!

    Reply
    • Choclette

      27th May 2012 at 8:34 am

      Alida, shocking news. You mean you are not a chocoholic???

      Reply
  12. hungryhinny

    25th May 2012 at 8:11 pm

    I can vouch for how good this cake was – the amount of rose flavour was perfect! Just thinking about all that cake is making me feel full again…

    Reply
    • Choclette

      27th May 2012 at 8:36 am

      Thanks HH. It was a fun evening and good to finally meet you.

      Reply
  13. Mac

    26th May 2012 at 1:42 pm

    This recipe sounds lush.

    Reply
    • Choclette

      27th May 2012 at 8:36 am

      Lush is just the way to describe this cake. Thanks Mac 🙂

      Reply
  14. Caroline

    26th May 2012 at 9:59 pm

    What a beautiful selection of cakes – they’re all amazing and so different too. Love your decoration – very pretty. I don’t think I’ve ever made Nigella’s dense chocolate cake. Perhaps I should remedy that!

    Reply
    • Choclette

      27th May 2012 at 8:38 am

      C, I think you’d like it. I still haven’t tried Dan’s brown sugar cake, but I suspect it might be similar.

      Reply
  15. Lucy, Vanilla Frost

    27th May 2012 at 9:04 am

    A cake party in Cardinham Woods! How fabulous. It’s hearing things like this that make me homesick for Cornwall. Your chocolate cake looks lovely!

    Reply
    • Choclette

      27th May 2012 at 9:50 am

      It was really a bit surreal Lucy, but great fun. I understand the homesickness for Cornwall, it took me many years to get back here after first leaving home.

      Reply
  16. Karen S Booth

    27th May 2012 at 3:02 pm

    Absolutely FABULOUS! This is indeed a magical cake! And what a fabulous selection of cakes at your CCC too…..I am hosting another one in July, and will hopefully have more takers next time….thanks so Much for entering this lovely cake in to Tea Time Treats! Karen

    Reply
    • Choclette

      27th May 2012 at 3:29 pm

      Thanks Karen. I’ll cross fingers for you. Intimate is good, but it’s nice to spread the cake love around a bit more 😉

      Reply
  17. Kit @ i-lostinausten

    30th May 2012 at 7:08 am

    Wow! What a collection of wonderful cakes! Your cake looks so lovely & gorgeous! 🙂

    Reply
    • Choclette

      3rd June 2012 at 2:40 pm

      Thanks Kit – it was just too hard to know which cakes to try, they were all so good :-S

      Reply

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