Saturday was one of my very best friend birthdays. Unfortunately Chantal was in England, and i’m in Hong Kong and I wasn’t there to celebrate her birthday. Again. I’m a terrible friend.
To say sorry I’ve made her a cake. I know she can’t eat it, but maybe she’ll see it as more of a promise for birthdays to come, when perhaps I might be there to be the one to make the cake. I might be the one drinking the cocktails, and ordering the Chinese in pyjamas the next day.
One day, one day.
The cake is a deliciously sticky, gooey honey chocolate cake. The recipe comes from Nigella Lawson’s Feast. I love this cookbook, I don’t own it, but i’ve taken it out from the library so many times it may as well be mine. Next to so many beautiful recipe books I love to read, but never find need to cook from, I find these recipe so wonderfully cookable. So many recipes I find myself regularly cooking. Each one always turns out delicious.
The cake itself contains a devilish combination of honey, cocoa powder and melted dark chocolate. The flavours are all brought out just before going in the oven by the addition of lots of boiling water. The batter is very runny, always the sign of a beautifully gooey cake. The crumb is deliciously moist and tightly packed, heading towards brownie fudgeyness.
The cake is covered with a wonderful honey and dark chocolate glaze. It stays sticky and glossy even when set.
Oh, and incase you’re wondering Chantal, the cake is being devoured today by a group of hungry men, more than happy to take on the birthday cake burden for you!
ps – camera is still being fixed, please bear with my grainy photos! Thank you 🙂
Honey Chocolate Cake
for the cake
100g dark chocolate
275g light muscavado sugar
225g soft butter
125ml runny honey
200g plain flour
1 teaspoon baking powder (original recipe calls for bicarbonate of soda, so feel free to substitute)
1 tablespoon cocoa powder
250ml boiling water
for the chocolate honey glaze
125ml runny honey
175g dark chocolate
75g icing sugar
Preheat the oven to 180C/350F.
Grease and line a 23cm spring form, or loose bottomed, cake tin.
Melt the chocolate in a bowl over a pan of gently simmering water. Set aside and allow to cool slightly.
Cream together the butter and sugar until soft and fluffy.
Stir in the runny honey.
Add one egg with a tablespoon of the flour. Beat to combine. Repeat with the second egg and another tablespoon of flour.
Fold in the melted chocolate.
Fold in the remaining flour and the baking powder.
Finally, beat in the boiling water.
Mix until you have a smooth, runny cake batter.
Pour into the prepared cake tin and bake for about an hour until firm to the touch. You may need to lightly cover it with foil after about 45 minutes if the top is beginning to burn.
Cool completely on a wire rack in the tin.
Once cool, prepare the plate you are planning on serving it on. Take four strips of greaseproof paper and arrange them into a square around the outside of the plate. Place the cake in the middle. The glaze is very runny and will flow down the sides of the cake. The greaseproof strips will allow you to decorate the cake, then gently pull out the strips leaving the plate clear of any extra glaze.
To make the glaze, boil the honey and water together in a medium saucepan.
Add the chocolate and stir a little as the hot liquid begins to melt the chocolate.
Leave to stand for a few minutes, then whisk together. Whisk in the icing sugar until smooth.
Very slowly pour over the cake, encouraging it to coat the sides.
Leave to set for about an hour before serving.