Friday, January 18, 2008

This Cake Is Seriously Booja Booja!



As you know, there is very little that is too rich or dark for Finley; 87% cocoa chocolate - yummy, a spoonful of molasses - loving it, chocolate with clotted cream covered with molasses and chocolate sauce - bring it on! So when he coined a phrase to express the unusual circumstance of something being too rich for him, we were gobsmacked.



It happened one Christmas when a thoughtful friend had bought a box of Booja Booja truffles to share. You may have come across these award winning vegan truffles yourself - but for those of you that haven't, they are amazingly rich and boozy. I guess they substituted booze for cream and you don't hear any complaints from me! Anyway, the boozy element was just too much for Fin and he left half his truffle, with a hitherto unseen look of defeat at the hands of chocolate.

'What are those things called?' he asked as though they had personally offended him. 'Well they are Booja Booja truffles' we replied, secretly rather glad that Fin had taken against them. I provided a ginger oatcake in their place and Fin was satisfied.

I made this cake, some time later and Fin, unable to wait for it to cool, demanded to have some whilst still warm. It is definitely richer whilst warm - like a warm mousse cake. Half way through he said, 'mummy, this is too Booja Booja I'm going to leave it for later'.

This cake my friends, is a dense slab of almondy chocolate. The centre should stay soft and truffly, the top slightly crisp and crusty and the edge toothsome and cake-ish. It may sound bizarre, but if you have it with some softly whipped cream or Greek yogurt - it seems less rich! The intensity cradled in a soothing balm of creaminess. I like it as it is, served in small slices with a shot of Kahlua, an espresso or a pretty glass of Moroccan mint tea.



If you want it to have more of a brownie crust you could use caster sugar and increase to 4oz and dust the top with icing sugar. Personally, I think we all need to think more about the amount of refined sugar we put into our bodies and so I give you my low impact, high density chocolate nirvana.......

Booja Booja Cake (6-8 slices)
3 oz organic butter
6 oz 70%-85% cocoa fairtrade chocolate
3 large eggs separated
3 oz raw brown sugar/date paste/palm sugar
2 oz ground almonds
1/2 oz fairtrade cocoa powder
1/2 oz tapioca starch/arrowroot
3/4 tsp cream of tartar or 1 tsp vinegar
1/4 tsp bicarbonate of soda

Set the oven to 170C/gas mark 3. Butter and line the bottom of an 8inch/20cm sandwich tin with baking parchment.

Chop the chocolate roughly. Melt the butter, take off the heat and add the chocolate. Leave a few minutes to melt and then stir until smooth.

In a large bowl whisk the egg whites with a pinch of salt, the cream of tartar/vinegar and the sugar/date paste until billowy and marshmallow like - about thickness of softly whipped cream. I would advise doing this with an electric mixer, but if you fancy the exercise, by all means whisk by hand.

Beat the egg yolks gently into the melted chocolate one at a time and set aside. Sift the cocoa, ground almonds, cornflour and bicarb onto the egg whites and fold gently together with a metal spoon until just amalgamated. This should keep the maximum amount of air in the egg whites.

Pour the melted chocolate onto the egg white mixture, scraping everything in and fold gently again until just incorporated using a metal spoon. A few streaks of egg white will be fine.

Pour and scrape into the prepared tin and bake in the middle of the oven for 20-25 mins or until just springy to the touch, but still wobbles a little in the middle when you shake the tin. Don’t overcook as this cake is best when a little gooey in the middle. It may sink slightly out of the oven, but don’t dismay, it will still taste fantastic.

Cool in the tin and then refrigerate until completely cold, then you will be able to invert the cake and peel off the baking parchment. Return it to a serving plate and allow to come up to room temperature again. If you're not bothered about the paper, just allow to cool completely and remove carefully from the tin.