Cravings. How I love& hate them all at the same time. There’s just no way around it. When that longing, that deep seeded hunger starts to form & takes over your every thought…. there is no stopping it.
I’ve been craving chocolate. You know, the really dark kind that is almost bitter. The kind that you only eat a little at a time & let it melt on your tongue engulfing your taste buds in a rich, luxurious velvety experience.
For Mel, well, he craves almond butter & maple syrup. He has this thing for the earthy flavors that I haven’t fully understood. His mouth is not my mouth though, we do not experience things in the same fashion. The only thing I can hope to do, is meet him in the middle.
The middle ground of course, is this cake. It’s completely gluten free so I can indulge all I want, and it combines Mel’s cravings & my cravings into what I can only describe as heaven.
Originally this recipe should make a whole cake… and originally you should follow the recipe to the letter. As an after thought though, I later decided that the dark chocolate cake itself is a little bit of a pain in the tush to remove from the tin, and every time you cut into it, it oozes maple caramel. Yes, the caramel just seeps out of it & it is beyond amazingly delicious. In the words of Eddie Izzard, it’s “fantabulous”. I’ve decided that this recipe might work much better as a single serving treat so that each individual can fully indulge & no one is scrapping the bottom of the cake tin trying to take more caramel than they rightfully should. Trust me, we all do it. The second way may not be techinically correct, but what it means is that:
1. it looks better
2. every one gets an equal amount
3. it’s easy to add a scoop of ice cream
4. well, my way is usually better
Ingredients, maple caramel:
– 150g dark brown sugar
– 72g unsalted butter
– 0.5 tsp salt
– 80g maple syrup
– 20g heavy cream
1. combine the sugar & butter in a heavy bottomed sauce pan & bring to low heat. Stir until all the butter has melted & the sugar has dissolved.
2. add in the salt, maple syrup & cream & bring to a boil over medium heat whilst continuously stirring. Once it has reached boiling, continue to stir for a further 2 to 4 minutes or until it begins to thicken a little. Remove from the heat & allow to cool, stirring at regular intervals.
Ingredients, cake: (20cm tin or 6 ramekins)
– 170g dark chocolate 80%, chopped
– 110g butter
– 120g sugar
– 0.75 tsp vanilla extract
– 0.5 tsp vanilla extract
– 80g ground almonds
– 4 egg yolks
– 4 egg whites
Directions: makes 6
1. butter & line your 20cm springform cake tin (or 6 ramekins) with baking parchment.
2. pre-heat the oven to 180°C
3. place the chocolate, butter & sugar in a bowl & melt it together either over a double boiler or in the microwave.
4. once melted, stir in the vanilla, almond extract & ground almonds.
5. stir the egg yolks in, one at a time.
6. in a separate bowl, beat the egg whites on high heat until stiff peaks form. Gently fold the beaten egg whites into the chocolate mixture.
7. pour 2/3 or the chocolate mixture into the cake tin (or ramekins). Pour the caramel into the centre of the cake. Pour in the remaining chocolate mixture.
8. Bake for 40 minutes (25 to 30 for the ramekins), allow to cool slightly before serving.
…for more recipes from us, check out our archives.
P.s. if you’re feeling creative, it could be funky to try the cake using different nuts… peanuts, cashews, macadamias, hazelnuts, pistachios…