Tuesday, 7 August 2007

Chocolate Marsala Cake

Chocolate Marsala Cake
This is one of my favourite chocolate cakes. I used to make it a lot and haven’t for quite a while now, I thought to myself is it really as good as I remember? Oh yes! It’s back on the circuit and it’ll be made again soon.

It comes from Nigella Lawson’s How To Be A Domestic Goddess, that wonderful comforting home bakers book. When it first came out I baked from it constantly, much as I’m doing with Dorie’s Baking now – but there is room for them both in my collection, as they are both so inspiring, packed with fabulous recipes and both brilliant in my eyes.

It’s a light but very chocolate-y cake that is drizzled when warm with marsala and then it has a chocolate ganache icing with an extra tablespoon of Marsala in it. I’ve liked Marsala since my very first taste, and like Maderia wine and sweet sherry too for the same raisin-y depth of flavour and sweetness. The cake puffs up while cooking then sinks to give a crater into which the warm chocolate icing is poured. Where it will set to a mirror like finish. Before I made the Daring Baker strawberry mirror cake I’d have said it was glossy, but it does have mirror like qualities!

I think it’s at it’s best with a spoon of softly whipped cream, it sets off the moist fudgy cake and the smooth marsala icing perfectly.

Chocolate Marsala Cake
From Nigella Lawson’s How To Be A Domestic Goddess. I change it a little in that for both the cake and icing I use half milk and half dark chocolate - instead of all dark chocolate. I sometimes only sift the flour once as well (!); but here is Nigella’s recipe unaltered.

For the Cake:
100g unsalted butter
100g dark chocolate, broken up
4 large eggs
175g caster sugar
50g self-raising flour, sifted 3 times
3 tablespoons Marsala

For the Icing:
100g dark chocolate
1 tablespoon Marsala
100ml double (heavy) cream
Preheat the oven to 180 oC / Gas Mark 4. Greasd and line a 22cm springform tin.
Melt the butter and chocolate together in a microwave or double boiler, and then set aside to cool slightly. Beat the eggs and sugar together until thick, pale and moussy, and greatly increased in volume; it should double, triple even. Gently fold in the sifted flour into the egg mixture, trying not to lose all the air. Now fold the butter and chocolate mixture into the cake mixture. Pour into the tin and cook for 35 minutes, by which time the top should be firm and the cake underneath dense and desirably damp.
Cool in a rack for 5 minutes, and then pour over the Marsala. I find it easier to do this by the teaspoonful so that the liquid is evenly distributed. Leave the cake to cool completely before releasing it from it’s tin.
So, the icing: melt the chocolate, Marsala and cream in a heavy-bottomed saucepan over a gentle heat. Take it off the heat, and whisk until it reaches a good icing consistency; smooth, thick, but not solid. I like to spread this just on the top of the cake, which anyway sinks on cooling so that you should have a roughly circular sunken pond to fill, leaving an outline of cooked-cake rim. When set, you’re left, beautifully with a Sacher-shiny disc of ganache suspended


Deborah said...

This looks like heaven! I love chocolate cake, and this one looks so chocolate-y!! I do not own a Nigella cookbook, but that will probably be next on my list.

Patricia Scarpin said...

Kelly-Jane, this cake is just chocolate heaven! It looks so good!

Brilynn said...

This cake looks so good it makes me want to give Nigella another chance.

Kate said...

u believe it if i told u I've never had marsala.Have read about almost forever but never had a chance to try some, and heres another one.I still don't own a copy of Nigella Lawson or Dorrie ( i do have the chocolate by Piere Herme though.The cake looks to die for.Specially as i see that slice u have cut ...oozing with chocolaty goodness.

Culinarily Curious said...

Thanks for drawing my attention to this. I'm on a chocolate kick lately, so it fits right in. :)

Pat said...

Ohhhhhhh That looks soooooooo Yummy!!!!! and here I am trying hard to loose a bit of weight too!!! And craving chocolate!!!

Nora B. said...

Kelly-Jane, that cake looks utterly delicious! I can't get over the crater of moist and fudgy goodness, which only means one thing - this recipe has been bump up the list of my "to do" list. So the next cake request I get from friends will have to be this. Thanks for sharing this, it will be very popular in my circuit ;-)

Lydia said...

I love the crater filled with ganache! What a fabulous chocolate cake.

Sandy said...

I've had that book for ages and I don't recall that recipe at all. Your pictures and description really inspire me though. It looks rich and soooooo good.

joey said...

That does look like a chocolate mirror! :) It looks so luscious! When I bake her Nutella Cake (from the same book) it kinda looks like this too...with the ganache filling in the crater :)

Truffle said...

This sounds absolutely incredible! Those photos have me drooling.

Rosy said...

It looks delicious. I love cakes especially chocolate cake.The recipe in the blog made my mouth watering.

Mara said...

Mmmmm, I opened a bottle of Marsala last week and thought of this cake immediately. I will have to bake this at the weekend :P

lynn said...

That looks like a definite diet killer! I love the glossy finish to the top - it looks so elegant.

veron said...

there mus be something in the air right now...since i'm seeing a lot of killer chocoalte cakes around. This looks like extra-strength chocolate to me!

Ilana said...

KJ, the problem with your blog is that after reading it I have a great desire for a slice of cake... Now I wonder why that is! LOL.

Looks beautiful and lovely to see you making a recipe from our girl. This looks DELICIOUS, and yet another cake I must make!


Joe said...

Look at the shine on that cake - Gorgeous!

kellypea said...

I love the sheen on the top -- It's lovely. And the marsala sounds quite good. I have a dense chocolate cake I like...with cayenne in it. I know...I love that spice!

Valli said...

This chocolate cake looks delicious!!!! I think it would cure any chocolate fix I needed!!!Nigella is on the Food Network here in Canada. I'll look forward to more of your posts.

Paola said...

Oh my lordy! You're making me want to lick that screen! I haven't baked that much from HTE. I don't know why really. Perhaps the lack of pictures has something to do with it. I guess if I see something delicious, that makes me want to make it. Seeing your photo is making me want to make that cake NOW!!


Shaun said...

Kelly-Jane - This is a beautiful cake and your descriptions of it make my mouth water. I have bookmarked this recipe in "How to Be A Domestic Goddess" but have not yet made it. I will now, though. Thanks for the reminder and for the proof of how well it can come out.

MyKitchenInHalfCups said...

Yes Kelly-Jane this is some kind of chocolate mirror heaven! So I guess this means I need some Marsala . . .

Nan said...

Good lord that looks good. I'm a big fan of Dorie's as well, but I've never cooked anything from Nigella.

Kelly-Jane said...

Deborah, her books are great.

Patricia, thank you :)

Brilynn, I'm a big Nigella fan!

Kate,if you have had Maderia or sweet sherry Marsala is similar but a little different from them.

Culinarily Curious, chocolate kick, me too!

Pat, there is nothing like cutting down to bring out the desire for chocolate!

Nora, I hope you like it.

Lydia, thank you.

Sandy, the chocolate and marsala are lovely together.

Joey, I've made that one too, mmm.

Truffle, Thank you :)

Rosy, sometimes only chocolate will do! :)

Mara, hope you like it.

Lynn, lol! and thank you.

Veron, It must be the time of year or something!

Ilana, I'm having a real Nigella turn atm :)

Joe, thank you :)

Kelly, you DO love your spice!

Hi Valli, I'll be doing a good bit more of Nigella soon!

Paola, there isn't even a picture in the book (HTBADG)!

Shaun, The problem / advantage with Nigella (and Dorie too)is there are so many good things to bookmark, it takes a while to get round even half of them!

Tanna, hee hee, I think you might...

Hi Nan, I really like Dorie and Nigella, two of my very favourite bakers :)


Lis said...

I have to admit.. Nigella's recipes usually don't work out so well for me.. unless! it's a chocolate cake recipe. Some of the best chocolate cakes I've made come from Feast and Nigella Bites. I will SO BE TRYING THIS ONE!! It looks SO GOOD!


Kirsten said...

Oh I am so behind on reading recipes...but this just moved WAY to the top of the dessert list.

I literally never bake, but when I do feel the spirit move, this tops the list.


Mansi Desai said...

Oh My God!!! This is so amazing to look, I'll have to go grab a cake from my cafe...you made me hungry!!


julie said...

I've nevr made this cake but your pics are so great I want to now!

Kristen said...

I am totally drooling...wow!

Sukkimi said...

The garnache is making me "must bake" this cake!

Wanna ask do you wait for the cake to cool, then pour the ganache?

And the ganache will harded and become mirror like ?


Bibione apartments said...

Looks so delicious. A chocolate heaven!