Friday, 29 August 2014

Nigella's Old Fashioned Chocolate Cake



In the past, all my chocolate cake photos look like black blobs that no amount of editing could help, rendering them useless to post. But at long last, I can take a decent photo. The secret?

Natural light of course. Something very lacking in my house. I have to tap natural light from a window at the landing upstairs. Not very convenient if you ask me. Climbing up and down the stairs to set up the shoot and ferrying my cake up and down is no fun I tell you.



This is the third time I am baking Nigella's chocolate cake. The first time, it was not very successful and neither was the second. I am embarrassed to say that I gave the second bake to my auntie and my brother. I don't usually give away a cake that I feel is not good enough. The cake was slightly over baked and everything went wrong because I was in a hurry.



I was held up at the Japanese Buffet and was way behind schedule. I hate it when my schedule is messed up and I came home feeling very chaotic and out of sync. When that happens, I can feel the ugly grip of depression and anxiety come over me. I know it is hard for most people including my partner to understand why I react this way. But hey, we are talking about chocolate cake today and there is nothing depressing about that!



This being a Nigella cake, it is very much simplified. As Nigella said and I quote " If you're going to get started, this is the cake you should begin with. Not just because it's simple - though it is - but because for me it is, the essence of chocolate cake : melting, luscious and mood-enhancingly good." I can't argue with that.



All the cake ingredients are supposed to be dumped into a food processor and processed until smooth and thick. And that's it. Pour batter into a pan and bake. But I don't own a food processor and I did not dare to dump everything into the mixing bowl to mix. 



So I went the usual way of creaming the butter and sugar and blah..blah..blah... It was third time lucky as my cake turned out just the way it should be. And yes, Madam itchy fingers did tweak the recipe. Not even Nigella's recipe is spared my bad butterholic ways. Nigella is known to be very liberal with butter and fats and I am sure she would not mind one bit.






The only good thing I did which I always do is to reduce the sugar. In this particular instance, I used muscavado sugar which does not taste as sweet as regular caster sugar. The chocolate icing calls for a whopping 300g of icing sugar which I reduced to a mere 2 tablespoons.

This cake is moist, rich and chocolaty. It will be my go to cake recipe whenever I want something quick but easy to impress. Please go to Nigella for her original recipe.










Old Fashioned Chocolate Cake
Recipe source : Adapted from Nigella Lawson

Ingredients :
For the cake :
- 200g self-raising flour
- 180g muscavado sugar (I would reduce to 160g if using caster sugar)
- 40g cocoa powder
- 200 butter
- 2 large eggs
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 200g sour cream

For the icing :
- 10g butter
-150g chocolate, broken into small pieces
- 2 tbsp icing sugar
- 50g sour cream
- 1 tsp vanilla extract

Method :
1. Preheat oven to 160C.
2. Grease and line the bottom of an 8" cake pan and set aside.
3. Sift flour and cocoa powder together and use a whisk to evenly combine.
4. Cream butter and sugar until light and creamy.
5. Add eggs one at a time, mixing well after eash addition.
6. Add vanilla extract and mix until well incorporated
7. Fold in flour/cocoa powder and sour cream.
8. Pour batter into cake pan and bake for 60 minutes or until skewer inserted into that cake comes out clean.
9. Remove cake from oven and cool for about 10 minutes before removing from the pan.

Note : I tented the cake after 40 minutes and continued to bake until cake is completely baked. It took me 60 minutes.

To make chocolate icing :
1. Melt chocolate and butter over double boiler.
2. Allow to cool.
3. Add sour cream, icing sugar and vanilla extract. Stir to evenly combine.

To ice the cake, coat the cake with the chocolate icing on top and sides.


52 comments:

  1. The cake looks awesome, the texture. Pretty obvious that it is really very good. I'll have that without the icing, please.

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    Replies
    1. Thank you, Arthur! I am happy that the cake turned out well this time. I usually prefer my cakes without icing but I made an exception for this one.

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  2. old fashion does not mean anything inferior.. in fact when it comes to food, the older the fashion the better the taste, haha!! I know some serious grammar error here but I guess you get what I mean yeah??

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    1. SK, I agree! Most times, the old fashioned ones are more superior in taste.

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  3. I mean the old fashion food are always made using the most authentic and original way with the more cumbersome way to get the best taste out of it.. unlike the many mass production convenient ones we have now, you just can taste the difference right away..

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    Replies
    1. Yes, too may shortcuts will compromise the quality of the end product. That's why most of the traditional kuehs don't taste as good as they used to.

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  4. don't get what I mean?? haha.. I also don't know what I said, hehe.. anyway, just to say this cake is superbly delicious even looking at it.. the richness the chocolatey-ness the moist!! plain looking but it's definitely good stuff!! :)

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    Replies
    1. hee..hee..I know what you mean! Yes, the chocolate cake may look plain but the taste is anything but!

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  5. Hi Phong Hong, your bakes are all so lovely. Looks so moist and soft. Can I have a piece or more if possible?

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    1. Hi Kimmy! Thank you for your compliments. My bakes don't always turn out well hah..hah...Of course you can have a piece or as many as you wish!

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  6. This one looks good, well I believe chocolate cake is something everyone can accept, right? =)

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    1. Hi Hayley! Yup, most people love chocolate cake :)

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  7. Unlike STP, I love the cake with choc icing... I would love a piece too especially after my heavy breakfast a moment ago.. its time to relax with a piece of choc cake... hmmm....

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    1. Claire, a piece of chocolate cake after a heavy breakfast? You are worse than me ha..ha...ha...

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  8. Wah ....yummy ..... look at the choc cream.on top !!!

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    Replies
    1. Chris, can scrape off the choc icing and eat it first :)

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  9. HI PH,
    Ohhh!! I love your chocolate cake.
    Looks so tempting!! Can I have a piece for breakfast please :D
    Agreed, taking picture with natural light, the picture do turn out great !!!
    Nice click there!! Happy weekend!!

    mui

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    Replies
    1. Hi mui mui! A piece of chocolate cake for breakfast sounds like a very good but naughty idea!

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  10. Love choc cake. :)

    But for me i will omit the icing coz very lazy to make the icing. tedious. As it is the cake looks taste good already

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    Replies
    1. Ya lah, I was also lazy but I wanted to have the cake the way Nigella made hers :)

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  11. Nigella Cake sounds nice! This is the first time I hear this. I like the way you presented your cake with a hibiscus.

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    Replies
    1. Happy Merdeka to you and family!

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    2. Thank you, TM! Happy Merdeka to you and family too!

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  12. May I have a slice without icing please? Thank you. It is absolutely delicious!

    Have a good long weekend!

    This is out of topic but did you always dislike having things delayed since you were a child or did it only happen when you get older?

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    Replies
    1. No icing, Mun? Sure, no problem! I know lots of people who are not fond of icing. Yes, I dislike having my schedule interrupted. I think this started in early adulthood.

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  13. Old fashioned recipe always turn out great and reliable.....they are always simple and yet it taste so delicious too.

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  14. You sure succeeded in making me drool. Lotsa drool! LOL

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    Replies
    1. Lina, to date I have collected a bucket of your drool. hah..hah..hah...

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  15. Looks really moist, with so must wet ingredients it should be huh! I too would not dare to dump everything into a processor yet :P Somehow, I expect that to fail lol!

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    Replies
    1. Hi Jeannie! So you are like me, huh? I am always cautious because there are very expensive ingredients involved LOL!

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  16. hahaha.. yes, i know what it means when you need to ferry the cake about just to take a decent pic.. for me, i am confined to a small little spot in a particular room at a particular hour when the sunlight is my best friend.. of course when it is raining, then i'm doomed...

    anywayz, what beats a good old chocolate cake right? anything to satisfy and bring the adrenalin rush for a friday evening! woot!

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    Replies
    1. Hi Victoria! There is another spot that has great sunlight - the toilet. Arrghh!!!!!

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  17. I am drawn to any cakes that said 'old fashioned'. Your choc cake looks superb. Moist with tender crumbs.

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    Replies
    1. Thanks, Veronica! This chocolate cake is very basic but so good.

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  18. You are right! Nigella is very liberal with her use of fattening ingredients. Even me will cringe every time I watch the stuff she used in her videos!

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    1. ha..ha...If it makes the bacon lover cringe, then it is really bad!

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  19. I must give her cakes a chance, this chocolate glaze on the top looks very fascinating:)

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  20. Phong Hong, I thought you have a garden? Well, taking pictures in the garden will have natural light. And I like that you decor the yummy cake with flower ...really lovely!

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    1. Hi Karen! The problem is my garden is very messy hah..hah...Besides, I don't want the neighbors to start peeping and hanging around my gate LOL!

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  21. I totally agree with you! I was super unsuccessful taking pictures at my house because I rarely had natural light coming in. Now I have a cute little window with natural light. Not the best, but it still does the trick.
    Gorgeous pictures! I wish I could reach through the screen and take a bite.Especially out of the last photo!

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    Replies
    1. Hi Cathleen! My window doesn't all the time. Now I have to observe when is the best time and work within that time frame. Thanks for the compliments!

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  22. Beautiful cake, Phong Hong! I love it that you've added a touch of the little japanese roses on the plate, a touch of elegance! haha!
    Your cake looks really moist and delicious. I like simple and fuss-free cakes like this! Yums!

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    1. Thank you, Joyce! That Japanese rose was desperate attempt to color things up hah..hah... So glad I can just nip out to the garden and pick up my props hee..hee...

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  23. i also have lighting problem in my house..and i know how troublesome to bring the food up and down..cos i do that too sometimes ..sometimes no choice also hv to put the food out in the garden..then my dogs will start barking ..thinking that it's their dinner ..LOL!

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    1. Hi Lena! hah..hah... Your dogs want to eat your cooks and bakes :) The light upstairs is not always consistent. So frustrating sometimes :(

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  24. Oh Wow! What a decadent cake ! This is what I truly need , a slice of your chocolatey cake & kopi . Droooling ;)

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    Replies
    1. Hi Kit! Yes, chocolate cake with kopi is so uplifting!

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  25. May i know if the sour cream is regular or reduced fat? I have difficulty finding regular ones...

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