So, before we get to the recipe our head chef Yolaine Corbin has created for the Thermomix, based on Helen’s original, this is the story I wrote all those years ago:
Keep your eyes open. You never know when you might pick up a decent recipe. And never be backward when it comes to asking professionals for a recipe. I can’t recall a knockback. I want to introduce you to the best chocolate cake I have made; a cake so rich, yet so light you’ll think you’ve been scammed. A cake so easy to make it’s together in minutes, and you’ll never buy a cake in a packet again. So good that you’ll puff up your chest and think you are a star. Are you with me? This is some cake.
This is the sort of recipe that good fathers and mothers should put in their children’s glory box, along with a first growth Burgundy from their year of birth, a parcel of mint-condition Phantom comics, an old cricket bat, and an MCC medallion. They are my sort of recipes because any idiot can make them work, and when it comes to baking, I’m any idiot. The best fun in cooking is manipulating simple flavours, without routines, without scales, without sequential processes. This chocolate cake ignores all the usual fiddly baking criteria. You just toss all the ingredients in the whizzer, press the button, bake the resulting sludge, and bingo it’s yours.
So, being a baking idiot, as described above, I handed over Helen Goh’s recipe to Yolaine—she who is NOT an idiot when it comes to baking, to create the cake for our magazine, using the Thermomix.
She did dress it up to the nines but, as Ottolenghi wrote, this cake can be served naked, or with a little icing, dusting of icing sugar, or cocoa; and, it can be warmed through briefly in the microwave and served with cream or ice cream.
And the final verdict, after all these years: it’s as good as I wrote back in 1994, truly a masterpiece.
ESPRESSO CINNAMON MASCARPONE CREAM
- Preheat oven to 170C. Grease a 23-centimetre round springform cake tin with butter and line with baking paper, then set aside.
- For the cake, place flour, cocoa powder and salt in mixing bowl and blitz 10 seconds/speed 6 then set aside. Without washing the bowl, grate the dark chocolate 10 seconds/speed 8. Add butter and hot coffee in the mixing bowl then mix 30 seconds/speed 4 until combined and smooth.
- Add sugar and mix to dissolve 30 seconds/speed 4. Add eggs and vanilla extract then whisk again 20 seconds/speed 4. Add the reserved flour mixture then combine 20 seconds/speed 4. The batter should be liquid.
- Pour batter into the prepared tin and bake for 1 hour, or until the cake is cooked and a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean or with just a few dry crumbs attached. Expect the top to form a crust and crack. Leave the cake to cool for 20 minutes before removing from the tin, then set aside on a cooling rack until completely cool.
- For the chocolate ganache, place the chocolate pieces into a clean and dry mixing bowl and grate 10 seconds/speed 8. Add cream and corn syrup and cook 3 minutes/50 degrees/speed 2. Lastly add the butter and combine 20 seconds/speed 3 to a shiny and smooth mixture. Transfer into a bowl and cover with cling film straight on the surface so it doesn’t form a dry, crusty layer. Set aside until it has set to the consistency you want. If you want a thin layer to spread over the cake, pour over while liquid to obtain a light and shiny coating. For a spreadable ganache, leave for about 2 hours at room temperature.
- For the espresso cinnamon mascarpone cream, insert butterfly in a clean and dry mixing bowl, then place all the ingredients in and whip 1 minute/Butterfly/speed 3 until soft peaks form. Keep a close eye on it through the hole of the mixing bowl so it does not go grainy or split.
- Peel the parchment from the cake, transfer to a serving platter and spread the ganache, over the top. Slice into wedges, and serve with a generous spoonful of the mascarpone cream alongside. The cake will keep well for 4 to 5 days in an airtight container.
AND… The chocolate ganache may be stored at room temperature (providing it isn’t too warm) for up to 3 days or refrigerated for up to 2 weeks. It may also be frozen but will lose a bit of its shine when defrosted. The chocolate ganache and espresso mascarpone cream are optional in this recipe and a beautiful addition but the cake is stunning enough to stand alone, be assured if you decide to serve it au naturel.