Sunday, December 19, 2010

Moema's chocolate fudge cake

I don’t really go in for chocolate cake. Or chocolate in general.

I know.

To be a woman and not care about chocolate is tantamount to admitting you don’t like puppies. I mean, what kind of freak doesn’t like chocolate?

It has been my secret shame for so long now. I haven’t deliberately tried to mislead anyone, but the above-mentioned confession has been met with reactions of disbelief, disdain and  deep mistrust so often that I just started keeping it to myself.

And it’s not that I dislike chocolate — I’m just indifferent to it. I’m not generally turned on by sweet stuff. Gimme vinegar crisps, savoury seafood, cheesy crackers, sea-fresh oysters, crispy bacon fat, lemony guacamole, salty, buttery veggies... These are the flavours I dream about. I’ve always felt towards chocolate confections rather the way I feel towards other people’s kids: they seem like a nice enough idea, over there on the other side of the room, but it’s kind of a relief when someone takes them away.

And often I have to wash my hands after handling them.

Well no more. You see, I finally found a chocolate cake that I like. No, scratch that. A chocolate cake I adore. One I could quite happily scoff all on my own, in a dark cupboard. It’s somewhere between a mousse, a sponge cake, and velvety fudge — basically every chocolate fantasy in existence rolled into one.

The view from the Westcliff

A sunny bit of the Westcliff

I tasted it for the first time a few weeks ago at the Westcliff (a friend of a friend’s birthday). One of the guests told me about Moema’s and that was that — I had to have the recipe. As a matter of interest for anyone who is a Yotam Ottolenghi fan (I am his numero uno, and I have the restraining order to prove it), Danielle — one of the owners of Moema’s and the kind lady who provided me with the recipe — worked with the chef in London before moving to our shores.

So, without further ado...

Moema’s chocolate fudge cake
Makes 2

1kg 815 chocolate
200g 70/30 chocolate
870g butter
340g egg yolks
580g sugar (for yolks)
290g sugar (for whites)
530g egg whites
3 double espressos

1. Preheat oven to 155C. Line 2 carrot cake tins with grease-proof paper and grease the sides with butter.
2. Put the chocolate and butter in a bain-marie and heat until melted.
3. Place the yolks and sugar (580g) in a large food mixer and combine until a sabayon is formed (I’m not sure what this is — I just read it as ‘combine well’)
4. Start mixing the egg whites. When they turn white add the sugar.
5. Fold the warm chocolate into the sabayon, along with the espresso.
6. Once combined, pour into each lined tin — 1200g of mixture into each (so you should have some left over).
7. Bake for 1 hour, until the mixture looks cracked and has risen.
8. Take out of the oven and allow to cool.
9. Add the remainder of the mixture to the tins (divided evenly between them, obviously) and return to the oven for about 10 minutes, until the top looks shiny.
10. And that’s that. Try not to eat it all in one sitting.

PS: This would make an excellent addition to your Christmas table — if you live in Joburg and you don’t feel like making one, you could always just pop in to Moema’s...


  1. I am entirely besotted with Moema's. And we really owe you one for getting us all this recipe. Thank you!

  2. Looks uber decadent!

    What is 815 chocolate? (85%? A brand?) And 70/30 chocolate (70%?)

  3. Shame on you for not liking chocolate hehe (= it appears your palette is loving the savory side of things. But so glad you found THE chocolate cake, you have been converted. Its a good thing.

  4. OK. You've completely convinced me that THIS chocolate cake is THE chocolate cake.... as I'm one of the masses (female therefore love chocolate) then I'm absolutely obliged to give this baby a whirl :) I'm secretly impressed that a non chokky luva thinks this is THE chokky cake.... now that's sayin' something sista :)

  5. This is a beautiful cake! While I do love me some chocolate, I agree with you that the savory stuff is much more appealing. Wishing you the best for the holiday.

  6. to go from no chocolate to 1kg of chocolate is quite an!! Looks delicious!!!

  7. What a delightful cake. It would be perfect fir the holiday. Have a great day. Blessings...Mary

  8. That looks delicious! Perfect for December, as it's definitely a month for celebrations - my birthday, my brother's birthday, my parents' anniversary, Christmas and New Year's Eve... might need to make a few of these!

  9. I am a fan of Ottolenghis and Tamimi's food; this chocolate cake is totally over the top and I am glad you admitted your basic indifference to chocolate first, this makes it all the more impressive that it got your attention. However 1 kg 815 g of chocolate translates to almost 4 pounds of the stuff; I will have to either divide the recipe or wait till I have a party of about thirty people; since I am a chocoholic, you can imagine the damage this cake would do to my diet! (only allow myself 100 g per day)

  10. The chocolate fudge cake looks huge, pretty & ooh so appetizing but what a lot of butter & sugar!!

    Too much of a thickening cake for me!!!

  11. So you are a secret fan of the flourless chocolate cake! Now it's out of the closet. This does look delish. As a fellow favorite of those things savory and not by any means a chocoholic I warn you these are addictive....
    A Happy Xmas from way across the pond!

  12. I'm with you on the chocolate - I can take it or leave it & it has to be REALLY GOOD to tempt me away from cheese & mayonnaise & crisps (preferably together!!) :o) But this does look rather exceptional. Tea at the Westcliff is so civilised!

  13. that is insanely gorgeous + indulgent looking. I think I have to make something similar this afternoon..

  14. Chocolate? Check. Coffee? Check. Yep, nothing wrong here.

  15. Robyn, its a real win you getting this recipe, but please do clarify the 815 chocolate? also such a bizarre method: take the cake out to cool then add more raw mixture then bake again for only 10 minutes?. Im up in Jozi soon and always go to Moema's (my absolute favourite spot), and this time Im going to scoff this along with THE very best pork and sage sausage rolls know to human kind.