What a dingy, murky day it is. We are stuck indoors and the children have been having a Star Wars DVD fest. Slaveboy is away engineering at the Blues At The Farm Festival, a local event which meant that he didn’t need to leave so early and hopefully will get him earlier home tonight too.
That is if he doesn’t get kidnapped by a rather amorous female photographer at the event. Years ago, back when we only had half the number of children, Slaveboy was invited by this photographer to her tent. This prompted him to drag us all to the festival the next day just so he could prove to her that he wasn’t joking when he said that he was married with (then) three children, and another on the way.
This month’s We Should Cocoa Challenge is Strawberry and it is hosted by Choclette. I was getting quite twitchy about this as I was aware that the deadline is looming and I still was flitting about, not quite decided as to what I was going to make. I drew my inspiration from Poires Au Chocolat, making my own interpretation of her recipe.
The cake is an oil based chocolate cake made with cocoa powder. The mixture is divided between two 9 inch loose bottomed cake tins. Top the two cake mixtures with meringue made with light brown muscovado sugar. They are then baked. When cool, spread butterscotch cream and arrange the strawberries, sandwich together.
That was the theory. I didn’t account for how much longer I would have to bake the cakes for as the meringue topping slowed down their cooking process. What normally took 35-40 minutes ended up taking 1hr 45 minutes, and I had to cover the meringue tops with foil to prevent them from overcooking halfway through.
Rich Chocolate Cake
Preheat oven to 175C
225g plain flour
400g granulated sugar
100g cocoa powder
2tsp bicarbonate of soda
1tsp baking powder
2 eggs, room temperature
250ml strong black coffee
250ml plain low fat yoghurt
125ml sunflower oil
1tbsp vanilla extract
Butter and flour two loose bottomed 9inch cake tins. Sift all the dry ingredients into a mixing bowl. Add to it the wet ingredients and on mix for 2 minutes on medium speed. Divide the mixture between the tins. This recipe, on its own, will bake at this temperature for 35-40 minutes. Please note, the cooking time is different for this particular meringue cake.
Light Brown Muscovado Sugar Meringue
– 6 egg whites, at room temperature
– 300g light brown muscovado sugar
Using a balloon whisk, beat the egg whites until they form stiff peaks, but not dry. Gradually add the sugar, allowing time for the sugar to be fully incorporated. The effect youare looking for is a stiff and glossy consistency. Set aside.
Chocolate Meringue Cake
– Bake for 1hr 45min. Cover with oil halfway through. You can test to see they are cooked with a long skewer. It needs to come out clean.
– 75g butter
– 100g brown sugar
– 600ml double cream
Put the butter, sugar and 100ml of the double cream to dissolve in a saucepan over medium heat. Allow to cool. Take the remaining cream and whisk it to soft peaks. Fold in around 3tbsp of the cooled butterscotch mixture. Adjust if you prefer it sweeter.
You will have surplus butterscotch mixture and cream. Don’t ask me what to do with it, I’m not your mother. Use your imagination. Myself, I’m banking on Slaveboy coming home early.
Enough strawberries to cover one layer of cake. Slice across the tops so you can arrange them bottom side up.
Notes On Construction
1. When putting the meringue mixture onto the cake batter, use a spoon and gently drop dollops on. Use a fork to tease the meringue dollops together. Resist the temptation to drop the whole meringue mixture in, it will sink.
2. Cover the meringue halfway through baking.
3. Spread the butterscotch cream first, then arrange the strawberries.
4. The meringue side of the cakes are always the outer part. Choose the uglier one of the two layers as the bottom half.
5. If like mine, your kitchen can get a bit hot, do chill the cake in the fridge.