So, admittedly this isn’t the best timed post in the world, what with the seemingly universal post-Christmas desire to imbibe huge quantities of fruit and never again touch another slice of anything baked. However, for those, like me, that are blessed with a birthday in the middle of national diet month, something is needed to make our special day a little extra sparkly, without being forced to eat an entire cake on our own because no one else can face it.
This little number is rich (so you only need the teeniest of slices), decadently chocolatey, gluten-free (so you can feel a little bit self-righteous), and has a lovely zingy kick from the ginger. The brandy can be quite easily left out too, if you’re going for the full January dryathlon effect. Just to be extra virtuous, I also used a rather wonderful bar of chocolate that I brought back from Cape Town. It’s from a local company called Honest Chocolate, who specialise in handmade chocolate created from raw, organic cacao, with no added dairy or sugar. For something that is supposed to be healthy, it really packs a punch, and you find yourself feeling like you’ve just had a double espresso after a couple of pieces. You can find out more about Honest Chocolate and the brilliant collaboration they have with local artists for their wrappers, here.
OK, so this cake may not be the prettiest in the world, but to me it is a thing of beauty. The idea is that the cake rises in the oven, and then collapses back in on itself as it cools, putting the slump into slump cake. This process creates a dense yet slightly marshmallowy centre, surrounded by a crisp outer shell. It is reminiscent of a brownie, but lighter somehow.
I first came across this recipe in a magazine at my friends house, and diligently copied it over. Unfortunately, when I came to make it this time round I discovered that I had left my recipe book on another continent, so I had to go rummaging around online. I found it here, but was once again frustrated when only half of the recipe appeared unless I subscribed to The Sunday Times. I decided instead to turn the experience into my own version of a GBBO technical challenge, and went with the ‘lets make it up as we go along’ spirit that has made this country great. It seemed to work pretty well, so for all of you that would like to make this wonderful cake, originally by Lucas Hollweg, here is my version of the recipe.
Chocolate & Ginger Slump Cake
Rich, dense gluten-free chocolate cake, spiked with stem ginger and brandy
For the Cake:
80g stem ginger (approx. 4 balls)
2tbsp syrup from the stem ginger jar
200g dark chocolate (70% cocoa solids)
100g unsalted butter
4 eggs, separated
125g caster sugar
pinch of salt
icing sugar for dusting
- Chop the stem ginger into small-ish pieces, then, using a blender or food processor, blitz it with the syrup and brandy to make a sort of slush.
- Place the chocolate and butter in a heatproof bowl over a pan of barely simmering water and melt together, stirring occasionally.
- Remove from the heat and allow to cool.
- While the chocolate is melting and cooling, whisk the egg yolks together with 100g of the sugar until the mixture pales and thickens slightly.
- In a separate bowl, whisk the egg whites until stiff peaks form (this will work better if you wipe the bowl and whisk over with lemon juice before starting).
- Add the remaining 25g of sugar to the egg whites and whisk for another minute.
- Add the cornflour and salt to the egg whites and whisk again until you have shiny peaks (approx. another minute).
- Add the ginger slush to the chocolate mixture and fold in until mixed.
- Carefully fold the egg yolk mixture into the chocolate mixture.
- Add one spoonful of the egg white mixture to the chocolate mixture and fold in to slacken it off, then pour the chocolate mixture into the egg white mixture and fold in carefully.
- When evenly mixed, pour into a bottom lined and greased 23cm springform cake tin and bake at 180°C for 30 minutes.
- Remove the cake from the oven and allow to cool in the tin for 15 minutes before carefully removing and allowing to cool completely (it will sink – don’t worry, it’s supposed to).
- When cool, dust with icing sugar and serve. It’s really good with some clotted cream if you’re feeling naughty.