I’m a little embarrassed to admit that I didn’t know who Nigella Lawson was. Someone sent me a link to a video of her making this chocolate cake on You Tube. So after a little reading I discovered that she is a Food Network star (yes apparently I have been living under a rock) and has written several cookbooks (4 of which I will be picking up from the library tomorrow). She’s also British, which I am too, though I don’t have an accent anymore like she does. I couldn’t help but make this cake after seeing the video.
This cake recipe is also available on The Food Network’s website here and is also from Nigella’s book Feast. The reviews produced 4 stars out of 5, though many people complained that the cake was dry. Even more said that the cake was fine but that you had to watch it carefully and in most cases it was done at 25 minutes instead of 30. I have to agree. I actually baked mine for the full 30 minutes and it was a little bit dry, but next time I will watch it more closely. In the instructions below I’ve changed the time to 22-25 minutes.
I don’t agree with those reviewers that said the cake was tasteless. I thought it tasted great and the frosting was fabulous. I will definitely make this again. Someone on my Facebook page said that the frosting was pure food porn. I agree. :)
If you would like to watch the video and hear Nigella’s lovely accent, click here.
Nigella’s Old-fashioned Chocolate Cake
1 1/2 cups flour
1 cup sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
2 teaspoons vanilla
2/3 cup sour cream
1 1/2 sticks unsalted soft butter
1/3 cup cocoa
6 ounces good-quality semisweet chocolate, broken into small pieces
3/4 stick unsalted butter
2 1/2 cups confectioners’ sugar
1 tablespoon light corn syrup
1/2 cup sour cream
1 teaspoon good-quality vanilla extract
Take everything out of the refrigerator so that all ingredients can come room temperature.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
Put all the cake ingredients: flour, sugar, baking powder and soda, cocoa, butter, eggs, vanilla, and sour cream into a food processor and process until you have a smooth, thick batter.
Divide this batter, using a rubber spatula to help you scrape and spread, into the prepared tins and bake until a cake tester comes out clean, 22-25 minutes. Remove the cakes, in their tins, to a wire rack and let cool for 10 minutes before turning out of their tins.
To make the frosting, melt the chocolate and butter in a good-sized bowl either in the microwave or suspended over a pan of simmering water. Cool.
Place confectioners’ sugar into the food processor and blitz to remove lumps. Add remaining frosting ingredients and process until smooth.
Spoon about 1/3 of the frosting onto the center of the cake-half and spread with a knife or spatula until you cover the top of it evenly, leaving about 1/2″ from the edges. Sit the other cake on top, normal way up, pressing gently to sandwich the 2 together.
Spoon another 1/3 of the frosting onto the top of the cake and spread it in a swirly, textured way. Spread the sides of the cake last of the icing.
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