super simple dense fabulous chocolate cake that's not too rich and not too too sweet...makes an any-occasion dessert that tastes incredible and looks "pastry-chef" impressive
i say "super simple" because Nigella always makes things look so simple. if you look at the recipe as it is written, it doesn't sound all that easy and quick, BUT if you catch the show like i did, you'll see how easy she makes it look. she throws everything into the processor, pours it into the pan, then in the oven for about an hour or so...done. this prompted me to make it that very day. i caught the show on one of her early morning reruns on the cooking channel and the cake was made by that afternoon.
when all was done i found the cake WAS super easy...
BUT THE BEES ARE A PAIN IN THE BUTT!
on the show she had her kids making the bees...no kids around here so i was left to the task at hand...please pardon my bees. i think it's a job best left for the kids. well...they were kinda cute i guess.
NIGELLA'S CHOCOLATE HONEY BEE CAKE.
as mentioned above...the instructions for the recipe found at foodnetwork.com are different than how she made it on the show. i have posted the instructions for the way i saw it done on the show. the ingredients are the same...but i added 1 tsp espresso powder and 1 tsp vanilla to the cake...
AND i covered it with a dark chocolate ganache instead of the Sticky Honey Glaze.
4 oz. semi sweet chocolate broken into pieces
1 1/3 cup light brown sugar
2 sticks or 1 cup super soft unsalted butter
1/2 cup honey
1 1/2 cup AP flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 Tbsp cocoa powder
optional...1 tsp espresso powder and 1 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup boiling water
preheat oven to 350 F
line the bottom of a 9 inch springform pan with parchment. i buttered the sides and covered with cocoa powder as well.
melt the chocolate in a double boiler and set aside.
in the processor add in this order...(if it matters)
1 1/3 cup light brown sugar, 1 cup super soft unsalted butter, 2 eggs, 1/2 cup honey, 1 1/2 cup flour, 1 tsp baking soda, 1 Tbsp cocoa powder (sift it in), (add 1 tsp espresso powder and 1 tsp vanilla if you are using)...and finally add the melted chocolate...whiz this until it is smooth, stopping a moment to scrape the sides. incorporate well...while the processor is going add the 1 cup of boiling water until all is nice and smooth and incorporated well...BUT do not over process. this is a very runny batter. do not pull out your blade if you have a smaller size processor. remove the processor bowl with the blade still inside and pour into prepared pan. place the filled pan on a aluminum covered cookie sheet (batter might escape at the bottom a little bit). put in 350 F degree oven for approximately 1 to 1 1/2 hour. check cake at 45 minutes to see if you need to cover the top for the final 15 minutes or so. mine took 1 hour. check with tooth pick. remove and let the cake cool completely before glazing.
i used a simple 1 to 1 chocolate ganache
6 oz good dark 60% chocolate
6 oz heavy cream
bring cream to almost a boil, stirring so as not to burn on the bottom. add hot cream to chocolate and stir until all is melted and there are no tiny pieces. don't stir too hard or you will create bubbles.
pour over cooled cake and refrigerate until set.
bees are easy, but tedious. use 1-2 oz. of marzipan and some sliced almonds for the wings. paint them with black frosting or use the melted chocolate for the "bee look".