21 January 2012
It ain't pretty, but it's good.
As you will know if you happen to be one of the people to follow me on Twitter, last night I hosted a "come dine with me"-inspired meal through the University of Edinburgh's Come Dine With Me Society. For anyone unfamiliar with the show, the basic idea is that you get a group of strangers around and cook them a meal - the TV version includes voting and a cash prize as well, though, whereas the society is just for a giggle. So, I invited 5 people around and cooked them a three course meal consisting of a mushroom soup starter, which was served with cheese straws with bacon (recipe to follow, didn't snap a pic so will have to make them again someday soon), chocolate-rubbed fillet of pork with a root vegetable terrine and whisky sauce for mains, and bacon cake for dessert. The plan was to serve the bacon cake with a salted maple crème, but in the end I didn't really have time to make it and, to be honest, the cake is at least as good on its own.
I wasn't sure how good an idea it was to cook something as "controversial" as bacon cake for a group of people I didn't know, but luckily they all turned out to be open to trying something different - and it went down rather well, assuming they weren't all lying to my face. I've made it three times before and served it to about..20-25 people by now, and so far only 1 person hasn't liked it - but as it turns out doesn't like bacon full stop, so that was to be expected really. Anyway, on to the recipe. I don't have any pics of the actual process this time around as I was under a bit of time pressure, and there's only so many times you can take a picture of flour, eggs, sugar and mixing bowls before you go insane - I'm sure you all know how to mix things together without visual aids. Oh, and because the actual chocolate cake base is a classic Swedish Kladdkaka, some of the measurements are in millilitres rather than your conventional grams..
Cake Base Ingredients
- 100g of Butter, melted
- 2 Eggs
- 250ml of Caster Sugar
- 150ml of Flour
- 4tbsp Cocoa Powder
- 1tsp Baking Powder
- 1tsp Vanilla Essence
- 100g of Chocolate - I used 50g 70% and 50g milk
- 40g Butter
- 150g Icing Sugar
- 30ml Water
- ~8 rashers of Caramelised Bacon
1) Set your oven to 200c, 175c if it's fan assisted.
2) Slap the butter in a pan and place over medium heat to melt. Meanwhile, grab a big bowl and add to it all of your dry cake base ingredients, mix together.
3) Set the melted butter aside to cool for a little bit, meanwhile mix your eggs into the dry ingredients - add the butter in once it's cooled slightly and mix it all well.
4) Transfer the cake mixture into a greased cake tin, ideally with removable sides. Bake in the oven for about 20 minutes - the cake should still be a bit wobbly when you take it out. I normally look at the edges, if at the top they're detached from the tin and starting to get a little bit of a crust going on, the cake is done.
5) Remove the sides of the cake tin and leave the cake to cool for about half an hour or so. This is an excellent time to caramelise your bacon (see link in ingredients list for method) and whip up your icing.
For the icing:
6) Melt the chocolate - check out step 3 in my chocolate and bacon cupcakes recipe for the best way to do so.
7) Once the chocolate is melted, chuck in your butter and stir it into the chocolate.
8) Once they're nicely mixed up, stir in your icing sugar - adding water if necessary to get a nice workable consistency. Cool for about 10 minutes, then spread evenly over the cake.
9) Break up your caramelised bacon and cover the top of the cake.
10) Prepare to have your mind blown through one of the most intense gastronomically induced mouthgasms of your life. Or, at least, your conception of what makes a good cake fundamentally altered.