I don’t really go in for chocolate cake. Or chocolate in general.
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
1kg 815 chocolate
200g 70/30 chocolate
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...