The cake itself was fine. A breeze to put together and it produced a lovely silky smooth batter.
There was a not a huge amount of batter mind you, so when split in to two pans (as the recipe called for) it yielded two relatively flat cakes.
Not to worry, I thought. It will all come together nicely when it's assembled and iced.
But the opposite of that happened!
The ganache was kind of a disaster. The recipe called for 300 grams of chocolate, half a cup of water and about 160 grams of butter. While I'm more used to the traditional cream/chocolate combo, I have no reason to doubt David Lebovitz so I did just as he said.
Problems arose as soon as I started to whisk the butter in. It just wouldn't integrate properly. I kept going, thinking maybe it would come good as I added more but it really didn't. It basically started off split, and didn't stop being split.
Soon butter was just pooling in the bowl.
I decided to add some icing sugar and that helped, but shit guys. Its not meant to be like this.
Basically the assembled cake looked really fugly.
I had to put Vaseline on the lens so it would look half decent. Not really. I suspect I accidentally smeared some butter on my camera phone lens because baking and photography really don't mix.
Anyway, I decided to put hundreds and thousands on top, again so it would look a little more presentable.
Better. But still not great.
Of course, the proof of the pudding is in the eating, and that bit came later.
I took it to the Neville's house where I was going for dinner on Saturday night.
When I cut in to it, I have to say I liked what I saw.
And the taste, readers. The all important taste. It was delightful, truly delightful. A deadset sweet treat, but not cloyingly sweet. But...it wasn't very chocolatey. Sure, the ganache tasted like chocolate. The cake's taste declared itself of the chocolate family. But I think I wanted more.
Perhaps this is impossible if one also wants a light and fluffy texture, which happily becomes a little fudgey the next day.
Perhaps you can't have both lightness and bold chocolateyness. Regardless, this is an excellent cake, and one I would totally make again. But, I think I'm going to have to try the Felicity Cloake recipe too. I've seen what no chocolate in the recipe can do, now science needs me to see what chocolate in a recipe can do.
Unless...the nigella recipe J is tried can answer the question.