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When Baking with Chocolate use quality Chocolate and Unsweetened Cocoa Powder - especially with this Chocolate Cake Recipe. It adds so much to the finished Cake and what a Cake!
When I came across the original recipe years ago (I cannot remember where), I did not think it would or could work. How mistaken I was. The action of the Lemon Juice with the Baking Soda produces a very light, moist, well risen, cake. The Lemon Juice cuts through the richness of both the cake and topping. So this lovely, rich, decadent, Chocolate cake is not 'sickly' at all. The beautiful Chocolate flavour leaps out. It is pure decadence!
The topping was also a surprise. The Lemon Juice thickened the cream with no effort. The only issue when stirring high fat content couverture (50-70% butter fat), throughout the cream was, it began to set, leaving solid strands of chocolate. This issue was easily solved by allowing the Chocolate to cool down before stirring the cream through. Whip this topping up if you want it light and fluffy, it is very adaptable.
I like to do a Four Layer Celebration Cake with this recipe using fruit
Compote as a layer filling. To do so, just double the ingredients, i.e.
4 eggs and use two Sandwich tins. I also 'grate', Chocolate and cote
the bottom edge of the Cake with these delectable Chocolate 'shards'.
It looks brilliant when done. You can also microwave a slice of the
'basic' Chocolate Cake, the topping melts and you get a scrumptious
Chocolate Fudge Cake.
Once you have tried this recipe no other Chocolate Cake will do!
Large and Small Bowl
Gas Mark 4/350F/170C
Method - Cake
1. Add Lemon Juice to Milk and stir well. Mixture will Sour - it is meant to do this.
2. Cream Butter with half of the sugar until light and fluffy.
3. Add eggs one at a time mixing in well.
4. Place sieve over the bowl and put in the Flour, Baking Soda, Salt and Cocoa. Sieve dry ingredients into the creamed Butter Mixture.
5. Mix in until incorporated.
6. Add Soured Milk and other half of sugar. Mix until the batter is smooth. The batter mixture will be soft.
7. Meanwhile, butter the tin and coat thinly with Flour or Sugar. Place a buttered disc of parchment paper in the bottom of the tin to make removal of the Cake easy. Add cake batter and level off the top.
8. Bake until cake is set in the middle - about 30 minutes. If going dark around the edges cover lightly with parchment paper until center springs up when pressed with finger.
9. Take out of the tin by running a knife around the edge. Turn out onto a wire rack, remove the parchment disc and allow to cool.
Method - Topping
1. Melt the Chocolate either in a microwave or a bowl over a pan of gently simmering water. Leave on one side until it is cool but still runny.
2. Add the juice of half a lemon to the Cream and stir well. It will immediately thicken.
3. Add the salt and sugar to the cream, stir in.
4. Then add the cream to the chocolate and stir well. If the Chocolate is too warm it will solidify before you can stir the cream in thoroughly. It will leave chocolate strands through it loosing the smooth texture.
Method - Finishing the Cake
1. Cut the cake in half crosswise into two discs.
2. Beat the topping with a spoon (or electric hand whisk), until it becomes lighter. It does not take much effort or time.
3. Using a flat bladed knife (palate knife), spread one third of the topping over a cake disk. Place the other cake disc on top to make a 'sandwich'.
4. Put your cake onto a serving plate.
5. Use the second third of topping to top the cake, spreading it evenly.
6. The last third of topping use to completely cover the sides of the cake. Use the palate knife to 'ripple' the topping and make attractive, (or smooth if you prefer).
7. Eat the Cake!