Friday, 18 February 2011

Forever Nigella - Seduced by Chocolate

This is the second Forever Nigella blogging challenge, a monthly blogging event using recipes from Nigella Lawson's many books based on a different theme each month. You won't find the ingredients or instructions for the recipe selected here as the aim of this event is to encourage people to go out and buy Nigella's books which I'm more than happy to support - I think every kitchen should have at least one of Nigella's books on the bookshelf.

This month's theme is "Seduced by Chocolate" and I found selecting a recipe particularly tough this time. Frankly, you could win me over with a slab of Dairy Milk, however I thought I should make the effort to find a recipe with that little extra something. But which one of the many, MANY chocolate recipes that Nigella has written about over the years should I choose? I spent a lot of time searching through all of her books and narrowed down the field to maybe half a dozen. I then agonised over the shortlist and made my decision. Then changed my mind. Then bought the ingredients I needed. Then changed my mind again.

I was going to use one of my favourite recipes that I've used many times before (her Chocolate Cheesecake Brownies in How to be a Domestic Goddess, if you're interested) but, in the end, and at the very last minute, I decided to make the Devil's Food Cake from her latest book, Kitchen:Recipes from the Heart of the Home. I have been salivating over this recipe ever since I saw her make it during her recent television series and this was the perfect excuse to try it out.

The method for making the cake is quite unusual. The cocoa powder and brown sugar are mixed with boiling water before being added to the cake mix at the end. This gives a particularly runny cake mix but it's this that gives the cake it's dense, moist texture. Making the icing is also an exercise in faith as Nigella explains in the recipe. While still warm the icing looks delicious but way too runny to be spread onto the cake. As promised, though, when left for an hour or so it firms up and becomes perfectly spreadable. Be warned though, left too long and the icing becomes quite stiff. I left mine for over two hours and it was almost too stiff to spread.

And the verdict? Well this cake is unquestionably delicious. Rich and incredibly chocolatey. There is a lot of dark chocolate in the icing (350g) which results in a correspondingly dark, intense flavour so if you're looking for something sweet and sugary this might not be for you. I thought it was fabulous and a real indulgent treat.


  1. this looks lovely... I need to get on a do mine or i'll fall behind again!... I love the thick gooey chocolate icing on yours, really yummy

  2. The cake looks so gorgeous and fudgy! I love dark chocolate but worried it might be a bit too intense for the milky in-law's tastes! What cocoa percentage chocolate did you use in the icing, if you don't mind me asking?

  3. I'm being lobbied verrrry heavily to try this Devil's Food Cake but I must say the way you have shaped your buttercream is making this one my favourite!
    Thanks for joining in with Forever Nigella!

  4. Great entry! I totally agree that every kitchen should have at least one Nigella cook book. I have bookmarked this recipe in my copy of Kitchen too - it's great to hear that you were happy with it.

  5. Anne - I used 70% dark chocolate and you could really taste it. There was a lot of butter in the icing but only about 30g of sugar. Maybe half and half dark chocolate and milk might work?

  6. This looks totally delicious and I like your fan decoration. I haven't made this one yet, but it's now on my list. I do agree about Nigella's cheesecake brownies - they are delicious.

  7. Anything chocolate from Nigella is always a wonderful result. Your cake looks so gorgeous!