I’ve suddenly realised I promised a chocolate cake recipe, and I haven’t quite finished my holiday photos!
Without going on and on any longer, I just wanted to share this photo, taken in St Leonards….
that Banksy gets everywhere doesn’t he?
Although where he found the sand to make those sandcastles from in St Leonards I don’t know…
Now, this chocolate cake…
….and why is it called Clovis cake?
Well, we have to go back a few years, when my son was getting married. For those of you that don’t know, my son is the children’s writer and illustrator Thomas Taylor… you can find out more on his blog, That Elusive Line.
When the children were small I’d done the usual thing of birthday cakes in the shape of dinosaurs and spaceships, which gave Thomas and Celia the idea that a cake in the shape of the little tiger which Tom was spending most of his waking moment drawing might be a jolly idea. Meet Clovis.
Cue, completely panic from me. Making a butter icing and smartie creation for 10 eight year olds was one thing, but a tiger shaped wedding cake for 100 people? Oh, and it mustn’t be a fruit cake…
However, I do like a challenge, so I set about trying to find a cake recipe for something which would be a solid and forgiving as a fruit cake without being heavy and dry. I have no name to credit with the eventual choice, it’s provenance is lost in the mists of time, it appeared in a Saturday Telegraph supplement, I’m sure no one will mind if I share it with you.
It’s eventual chocolatey-ness is up to you. Vast quantities are required, and if you go down the 70% cocoa solids all the way it will be a very grown up cake indeed. I tend to go half milk, half plain, which seems to agree with most palates.
Grease and line an 8”/20cm cake tin
6 oz/170g caster sugar
8 oz/225g melted plain or milk chocolate
8 oz/225g roughly chopped milk or plain chocolate
6 oz/170g ground almonds
6 eggs, separated
3 oz/85g fresh breadcrumbs
3 tablespoons cocoa powder
Grated rind and juice of 1 orange
Pinch of salt
Beat the butter and sugar together, then stir in the melted chocolate with the ground almonds, egg yolks, breadcrumbs, cocoa powder and the rind and juice of the orange. Whisk the egg whites with the pinch of salt and fold into the cake mixture with the chopped chocolate.
Pour into the tin and bake at 180C/350F/gas mark 4 for about 1hr 40mins.
Cool in the tin for 10 mins before turning out.
Melt 5 oz/140g plain or milk chocolate with a 5 fl oz/125ml carton of double cream in a bowl over warm water. Cool, then chill for 30 mins until lightly thickened then pour over the cake to cover.
Cool and store in an airtight tin.
And that’s it. A great deal of chocolate, with more chocolate on top. It’s very definitely a celebration cake, not to be entered into lightly!