Chocolate coffee and cardamon cake
An Indian meal needing an Indian dessert…but Indian sweets are way too sweet. I came across this recipe in an old Vogue Entertaining magazine that I was reading while waiting for new tyres to be fitted to my car. No pen in my bag (my kids always take off with them) and I felt too bad to rip out the page so I wrote down the ingredients in my phone. Decided to try it despite the mild performance anxiety associated with having a fellow food blogger over for lunch. How not to impress – try out a new recipe and mess with it. Ah well, I thought, at least we can laugh together if it is a disaster. But it actually turned out to be a fantastic cake and one that I will definitely add to my collection of ‘best’ chocolate cakes. It was a moist, chocolatey, rich yet light cake. The cardamom and coffee added a really nice note to the rich and bitter chocolate. We had it with some lovely jersey cream I bought at the growers market. Yum yum!
The dog fished out the paper I had used to line the cake tin from the bin (disgusting habit usually reserved for meat scraps when she is being naughty). I felt sorry for her and despite all the warnings about chocolate being bad for dogs I gave her a tiny piece. She let out a funny little woof with a leap of all four paws off the floor after that first bite which I reckon was the doggy equvalent of a chocolate moan. It was so funny that I gave her a second bite….don’t tell Sam I gave his dog chocolate!
Chocolate Cardamom Cake
(adapted from a Vogue Entertaining recipe)
As you will see below, I halved the amount of sugar specified in the recipe. The cake ended up sweet enough (for me) with slight bitter overtones from the dark chocolate and the coffee. Just the way I like it. It tasted of chocolate – not of sugar. If you used lower cocoa chocolate (eg the 56% dark chocolate) it would definately be sweet enough for even the sweetest tooth. But if you are used to really sweet things, then go ahead and try the full 400g and let me know if it turns out!
200ml expresso coffee
200g chocolate (I used 70% cocoa callebaut chocolate)
1/3 cup sour cream
200g caster sugar (the original recipe had 400gm)
170g plain flour
1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
1/3 cup cocoa (I used dutch processed cocoa)
10 cardamom pods (original recipe asked for just seeds, I used the whole pods)
Simmer the lightly crushed cardamom pods in a few tablespoons of water. The original recipe called for them to be simmered in the expresso but since I don’t like the taste of ‘stewed coffee’ I used water first to extract the flavour, then added the water and pods to the coffee. Melt the chocolate over a bowl of simmering water (or the coffee if you are doing that). Strain the coffee (to remove the pods and seeds) into the chocolate after it has cooled slightly. Beat the eggs, butter, sugar and sourcream until light. Add in the flour and the coffee/chocolate mixture. Bake in a 160 degrees centigrade oven for an hour. The original recipe specified an hour and a half but I needed the oven after an hour so I just took the cake out. Worked fine and I am sure the extra half an hour would have dried it out.
Top with some chocolate ganache. I melted some more 70% cocoa chocolate with a little cream and a splodge of Grand Marnier and Poire William liqueurs. I only topped it with the ganache because Celia (the lunch guest) said it would make for a better photo for her blog!! The things we do….
The photos are courtesy of Celia who is planning on putting other photos of the food from lunch up on her blog. Check out in the background of the second photo the chocolate truffles filled with caramelised white chocolate…and the chocolate brownies…that she made and brought over. And I was worried about not having dessert!