The Eat Drink Live year began with a sugar rush and I can't think of a more fitting way to end it than on a chocolate high. A chocolate espresso Kahlua soaked high from Nigella's Chocolate Cake Hall of Fame. Elegant in a tender, slightly frayed around the edges way (which is about the best many of us will be able to aspire to come midnight tonight) the cake is not a million miles away from Kieran's Kahlua Brownies though with the addition of a strong caffeine hit from the espresso. Baked in the round you can fill the crater in the middle with whipped cream (with a drop or two of Kahlua whisked in) or serve in a big bowl alongside.
The ingredients are easy to find and the relatively small amount of chocolate means that your wallet won't be weeping at the price of that 70 % cocoa Green & Black's bar in your hand. If you don't have any Kahlua or other coffee liqueur to hand then you could probably leave it out, though given the time of year there's a good chance there are some dodgy bottles around the house. The time and effort involved is minimal so I don't really know why you are still here and not rummaging for a whisk and a bowl.
Whether your New Year gets off to a roaring or more sedate start may I wish a very Happy one. That last slice of cake will make a sweet start to your 2008. It will ease aching heads and put hairs on your chest.
HAPPY NEW YEAR!!
CHOCOLATE ESPRESSO CAKE
- 150g dark chocolate
- 150g butter
- 6 eggs
- 250g caster sugar
- 1 tsp real vanilla extract
- 75g plain flour
- 5 tsps instant espresso powder
- 4 tbls Kahlua, Tia Maria or other coffee liqueur
- Take everything out of the fridge to bring to room temperature, most importantly the eggs. If necessary put the eggs in a bowl covered with warm water for 10 minutes. If the eggs are too cold you will not be able to whisk in the volume you need for the cake.
- Preheat the oven to 180 C and butter and line a 23cm/9 inch springform tin. Melt the chocolate and butter in a microwave or in a bowl over a pan of simmering water. Set aside to cool slightly. Beat the eggs, sugar and vanilla together with an electric whisk or in a freestanding mixer until thick, pale, moussey and doubled or even tripled in volume.
- Gently fold in the flour and espresso powder, taking care not to lose the air you have incorporated, and finally fold in the melted chocolate and butter. Pour mixture into the prepared tin and bake for 35-40 minutes. The top of the cake should be firm and the underneath still a little gooey. If you insert a cake tester it should come out with with moist crumbs attached but not liquid batter. Immediately pour over the liqueur if using. Leave to cool completely on a rack before releasing from the tin.
- I didn't try to remove the cake from the base of the tin before serving as it was proving a messy business, so I just put the cake on the tin base on a cake stand. Serve the cake with creme fraiche or whipped cream.
Could possibly serve up to 10 people.