Nigella’s Devil’s Food Cake
50gm cocoa powder
100gm dark brown sugar
125gm unsalted butter
150gm caster sugar
225gm all-purpose flour
1⁄2 teaspoon baking powder
1⁄2 teaspoon baking soda
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 large eggs
For the frosting
30gm dark brown sugar
175gm unsalted butter
300gm dark chocolate
Two 8-inch baking pans
For the frosting
Place water, brown sugar and butter in a deep pan and melt over low heat. Remove the pan from the heat as soon as the butter has melted and add in the chocolate (chopped finely).
Keep swirling the pan around slowly so as to melt the chocolate. Give a good whisk to this mixture after a couple of minutes.
Keep aside for an hour in a cool place till the frosting is set. You should ideally make this frosting a couple of hours before starting work on the cake.
For the cake
Preheat the oven to 180°C. Prepare two square/round baking tins of 8inch diameter by lining with butter sheets and greasing the sides.
Put the cocoa and brown sugar into a bowl. Boil water and pour the same into the bowl containing cocoa and brown sugar. Whisk this mix until thoroughly combined and set aside.
Sift flour, baking powder and baking soda in another bowl and set aside.
Beat butter and caster sugar in a separate bowl until pale and fluffy. Add vanilla extract and 1 beaten egg and fold. Add one-third of the flour mixture and fold well. Add the second egg (beaten) and the rest of the flour and fold well. Add the cocoa and brown sugar mixture to this and combine well.
Pour the batter into the baking tins and bake for 30 minutes, or until a cake tester comes out clean. Allow the cakes to cool on a wire rack for 15 minutes.
Place one of the cooled cakes on a cake stand and spread a third of the frosting on top. Place the second cake on top of this and spread the remaining frosting over the top and the sides.
Chocolate Rum Balls
400-500gm chocolate cake
200ml good quality rum (I used Old Monk)
200-250gm chocolate ganache
500gm good quality chocolate (1 bar)
Crumble the chocolate cake finely in a big bowl. Add the chocolate ganache to this and mix thoroughly.
Slowly add 100ml rum and mix well. Add half of the rest and again mix well. If the chocolate cake ganache mix looks firm enough to take in more liquid, add the rest of the rum too. Otherwise about 1 50ml should be enough.
Keep this mix in the refrigerator till firm (for at least an hour). Once the mixture is firm enough to be rolled, take it out from the fridge. Scoop out a tablespoon of the mix and roll into the shape of a ball using your hands. Place the same on a plate. Continue this process with the rest of the mix and again refrigerate these balls for half an hour.
Meanwhile, chop up the chocolate finely and melt using a double boiler or in a microwave in a slightly curved deep bowl. Take out the chocolate balls from the fridge and dip each of these balls in the melted chocolate using a couple of forks. Place these balls (with the help of forks) on a baking sheet or tray and allow them to dry out and firm up (about 15 minutes).
Take a sharp knife and run it through the bottom of the rum balls to dislodge them safely from the tray. You can put these rum balls in mini cupcake liners and serve immediately or chilled.
The ideal proportion of chocolate to cream in the chocolate ganache would be 1.5:1. Also, prepare this ganache 2-3 hours before you start work on the rum balls.
For best results, keep the chocolate cake ganache rum mix overnight in the fridge.
Dirt Cake Jar
250gm chocolate cake
250gm orange flavoured chocolate mousse
250gm cream Chantilly
2 mason jars
For the chocolate mousse
1 cup chilled heavy cream
2 large egg yolks
1.5 tablespoon sugar
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
A pinch of salt
100gm good quality chocolate (finely chopped)
Whisk egg yolks, sugar and salt in a metal bowl until combined well. Keep aside.
Heat 150ml of cream in a heavy saucepan until hot. Add this hot cream slowly into the egg yolk mixture while whisking continuously.
Transfer this mixture back into the saucepan and cook over low heat. Keep stirring continuously until the egg yolks are cooked and you get a custard-like consistency. The ideal temperature for the same is 160°F. Pour this custard through a fine-mesh sieve into another bowl. Now stir in the vanilla and keep aside.
Melt the chocolate in a double boiler or in a glass bowl in a microwave. Whisk custard into this melted chocolate until smooth. Keep aside and allow this mix to cool.
Beat the 50 ml of leftover cream in a bowl with an electric mixer until soft peaks form. Fold this cream into the chocolate mix gently. Chill, for at least 6 hours.
For the jar
Prepare the chocolate mousse and the chocolate cake the night before. Keep the chocolate cake cling wrapped at room temperature.
In a deep bowl, put one cup of heavy chilled cream, one tablespoon sugar and half teaspoon vanilla extract. Whisk using electric beaters until soft peaks form. Cover the bowl and chill until it is time to assemble the jar.
Crumble the chocolate cake finely in a bowl and keep aside.
Sterilize the mason jars and make sure they are completely dry before starting on the jar dessert.
Spoon some of the crumbled chocolate cake into both the jars. Top this with a layer of chocolate mousse and then with cream Chantilly. You can also pipe the mousse and Chantilly into the jar to achieve a neat look rather than spoon them in. Repeat this process till the jar is full. Garnish with grated chocolate.
Store these jars in the refrigerator. Make sure to take these out at least 20 minutes before serving.
The chocolate mousse recipe given above is a standard one and it can be adjusted according to your preference. The mousse in the picture was flavoured with orange zest and juice to take it up a notch in the flavor department. I used about 2 teaspoons of freshly pressed orange juice and half a teaspoon of freshly grated orange zest for the same.