A chocolate cake where everyone will ask for seconds
One time at a dinner at my girlfriend Miriam's house, she brought out a big, chocolate cake for dessert. First of all, I can't think of anything more welcoming than a chewy, fudgy chocolate cake on a platter and two, this cake is so good. You know those little pleasures in life like drinking a huge glass of ice cold water on a boiling hot day? Or slipping into a hot bath when the it's sleeting outside and you can't quite beat the chill? Well, one of my other ones is to wake up in the morning (after baking a chocolate cake the day before), pouring a steamy cup of coffee and cutting a thick piece of cake to eat with each sip :)
(This is the happiest site in the world)
Anyway. This year I planned on a simple Christmas dinner: roasted rosemary chicken, mashed potatoes, crusty french bread & green beans. I thought I'd finish the whole thing off with a chocolate cake, but the recipe I tried a few weekends ago (from the book Cooking for Mr. Latte (a book I'd highly recommend)) wasn't exactly what I was hoping for. So I asked Miriam for her recipe again and then - mostly because of little mistakes - tinkered with it until I came up with something we loved.
It bears noting though that the original recipe is equally delicious and a bit easier. You can find that recipe here.
1 package dark chocolate cake mix (the one I used also had pudding in the mix)
1 package instant chocolate pudding
1 cup creme fraiche (of course. But sour cream would be just as good)
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1/2 cup warm water
2 tablespoons of heavy cream
1 1/2 cups chocolate chips
1 1/2 cups heavy cream
1/2 cup of granulated sugar
Beat first 6 ingredients together for about two minutes. This is a thick batter so you'll want a large, deep bowl for beating. I used parchment paper and lined two 9" pans, but the original recipe calls for a bundt pan - different looks, both very pretty. Bake the cake at 350 F for about 30 minutes (check).
I cooled the cakes and worked on the rest the next day. Melt the chocolate chips with the 2 tablespoons heavy cream over low heat until all blended together, smooth and melted. I used a spatula and spread the chocolate mixture (taste a little, you will die and go to heaven) on top of the first layer of the cake. I smooshed (gently) the second layer on top and then let the whole thing cool for a little while.
In the meantime I beat the rest of the heavy cream until I got soft peaks, added the sugar (taste while you slowly add, don't over sweeten), then beat to stiffer peaks. Frost the whole cake with whipped cream.
Oh my goodness. A thick slice of this choclate cake will fix anything.