Week 132: Old-fashioned chocolate fudge cake

Some people come into your life and leave an impression so deep that no amount of cake can ever repay the debt you feel you owe them. When I started baking, I wanted a KitchenAid mixer so very badly. Long story short, after many exchanges with SNCF and thanks to Vincent, I received a sum of money I didn’t think I would ever see again, and it was just nice to pay for a KitchenAid mixer!

So now, every time he is in town, I make a point to bake something specially for him. And I have had the pleasure of feeding him plenty of chocolate bakes this time round! Ending this trip with my latest chocolate favourite just before he flew back to France.

Makes a 6-inch round cake

For the chocolate cake layers

42g Hong Kong flour

85g Optima sponge cake flour mix

42g unsweetened cocoa powder

1/4 tsp baking powder

1/8 tsp baking soda

1/4 tsp fleur de sel

4 large egg yolks

50g + 50g fine granulated sugar

75g corn or vegetable oil

75g water

20g chocolate paste

4 large egg whites

1/4 tsp cream of tartar

1) Preheat convection oven to 160C. Lightly grease and line the bottom of 2 6-inch round cake tin with baking parchment.

2) Sift the flours, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder and salt into a medium bowl and set aside.

3) Place egg yolks and 50g of sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment. Beat on high speed until mixture is thick and pale.

4) Add oil, water and chocolate paste and mix briefly until fully incorporated.

5) Add the sifted dried ingredients into egg yolk mixture and beat until just incorporated.

6) Place the egg white and cream of tartar in a clean bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment and whisk until frothy. Slowly add the remaining sugar and whisk until stiff peaks form.

7) Gently fold the meringue into the yolk and flour mixture in 3 additions.

8) Divide batter evenly between the cake tins and bake in preheated oven for 30 to 45 minutes until the center of the cake springs back when lightly pressed.

9) Remove cakes from oven and allow to cool for about 10 minutes before unmolding.

For the fudge frosting

720g water

48g green bean flour (hun kwee)

110g fine granulated sugar

130g dark chocolate couverture, chopped (> 70% cocoa butter)

30g chocolate paste

4.5 tsp gelatine powder

1/2 tsp fleur de sel

1) Place water in a medium pot. Remove a ladle of water and place in a medium bowl.

2) Whisk the green bean flour into the water in the bowl until dissolved. Set aside.

3) Place the rest of the ingredients into the water in the pot. Cook on medium heat while stirring continuously until it comes to a boil.

4) Add the green bean flour mix and whisk until it boils and thickened.

5) Remove pot from the heat and set aside until it has cooled to room temperature.

To assemble

50g dark chocolate couverture

100g heavy cream

Assorted berries, to garnish

Gold dust and a bit of vodka, optional

1) Slice the cakes horizontally to get 4 even cake layers.

2) Place the first cake layer on a cake board, top with a generous layer of fudge, about a third the thickness of the cake layer. Repeat with the rest of the cake layers.

3) After placing the top cake layer, lightly crumb coat the whole cake with a thin layer of fudge. Place in the freezer for at least 15 minutes to set.

4) Remove cake from freezer and apply a generous layer of fudge over the entire cake, smoothing the top and sides. Place cake back into the freezer for at least an hour.

5) If using, mix the gold dust with a tiny bit of vodka to make a thick paste. Remove cake from freezer and splatter generously around the sides of the cake. Place the cake back into the freezer for at least 5 minutes.

6) Prepare the chocolate ganache drizzle by melting the chocolate together with the heavy cream on a bain-marie. Stir until just melted and smooth. Remove from heat and allow to cool for about 5 minutes.

7) Remove cake from freezer and using a spoon, spoon the chocolate ganache onto the top of the cake, allowing to drizzle over the sides.

8) Place berries on the top of cake and decorated with gold dust if desired.

This recipe makes more fudge than needed. I guess it is better to have more than not to have enough. The original recipe makes a 2-layer cake so I thought I’d err on the side of more, going with a 4-layer cake here. I know the ingredients called for is not quite the usual ingredients one uses for a chocolate cake, but, they work somehow. I am not sure the cake would go very well with other frosting, nor the fudge. But they go together extremely well. And the cake is soft and spongy, quite a delight.

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