Tag Archives: domestic goddess

Revisiting old favourites: Nigella’s moist chocolate cake

I still have my much fingered copy of “How to be a domestic goddess” by Nigella Lawson in prime position on my kitchen shelves. And I have adored this recipe since I started making it because it is both light and strong but does not give you this chocolate overdose feeling, even if you eat tons of it!
To emphasize the strength and lightness of the mix, I make it with twice as much chocolate and a third less sugar than the original but I particularly love the tangy taste left by the use of bicarbonate. It reminds me of a moist gingerbread…

Recently, I have been adding cinnamon and ginger to the original mix because I love spices and because they go so well with this moist and dense chocolate base… Here is one good reason for reblogging!

The other one is that I am due to serve it tomorrow to some of my favourite bloggers and can’t wait to get their feed back on it! I am having the closest thing there is in adulthood to a Teddy bear picnic: a mum and babes tea party! I wanted to celebrate a few very good friends first babies and this seems a good reason to throw a tea party but because those friends are real foodies and very demanding girls, I am desperately trying to impress and feeling a little nervous…

“Domestic goddess” or not, I am going to enjoy this tomorrow! (this was written early summer and party went well thank you very much – Babies lovely and even the mothers behaved!)
Ingredients list:

  • Butter 225g
  • Muscovado sugar 260g
  • Eggs 2
  • Vanilla extract 1tsp
  • Dark chocolate 200g
  • Flour 200g
  • Bicarbonate of soda, 1 tsp
  • Boiling water 250ml
  • Optional spices: Tablespoonful of cinnamon and ginger

Pre-heat the oven to 190° C and line a loaf tin with greaseproof paper. This cake mix will be very runny so this is pretty essential.
Cream the butter and sugar with a wooden spoon then add the beaten eggs and vanilla. Melt the chocolate with a spoonful of water and add it to the mix. Measure the flour with the bicarbonate and add it in batches to the mix with the boiling water until you have them all well combined.

Note that you can add some cinnamon and ginger in the mix to make it richer in taste but do not have . A nice twist is also to present it with a cinnamon and ginger infused chocolate icing- more indulgent but totally worth it for a special party.

Pour into the tin then bake at 190° for 30 minutes. Turn down the oven to 170 °and bake for another 15mn.

Remove when the cake has raised but is still squidgy inside. It keeps well and like gingerbread is lovely the next day with a cup of black tea or Chai Latte.

Here are a few photos from the tea party:

My lovely friend and blogger @homesweetlondon

My lovely friend and blogger @homesweetlondon

HIghtea IMG_0281

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My brioche “all butter”

This is NOT a quick recipe: hence I offer it for the week-end…

…But if you have never eaten homemade brioche, I promise you are in for a treat. Every time I make it, I glow in “domestic goddess” pride because somehow my guests are more touched by that offer than that of any cake or pudding. The truth is, I only make it on very special occasions because it does take 24h and I do have a life, you know… But really, it is not complicated at all and time spent on their behalf is the best gift you can bestow on your friends. At least, it is the one gift I appreciate most of all. Somebody gives me some time, or spends time doing something for me, and I go all wobbly with gratitude!

Ingredients list:

  • Flour, 350g (light and fine such as 00 type)
  • Salt 1 tsp
  • Raising yeast, 1tsp (Dry quick yeast type is fine) or if using fresh yeast, 1 thistle
  • Milk, warm and whole, 60ml
  • Eggs, 3 beaten lightly
  • Soften butter, 175g
  • Sugar, 2 tbsp
  • 1      extra Yolk to brush on tops

Take note that the butter must be soft and the eggs very fresh.

Mix the yeast into the warm milk and then pour into the flour while turning. Add the beaten eggs and salt.

Beat the dough a few minutes with a wooden spoon.

Cream the sugar with the butter and mix into the dough.

Cover the bowl with cling-film and leave to rise for 1 or 2 hours.

Knead into the bowl for a few minutes and then leave again to rise for the night or a good few hours of the day.

On the day, prepare and oil the brioche, or muffins tray, or one single pan.

Take the sticky dough out onto a floured surface and knead vigorously. Add a little flour to prevent sticking to your hands but do work quickly and with floured cold hands so it does not have time to glue your fingers together! The dough must be light and elastic.

Shape a little ball and drop it in each pan and then a smaller one on top. Brush with the yolk.

Leave for ½ hour at least in the pans, in a warm place in the kitchen.

When it has pumped up a little, put into a warm oven for 10min at 230 then lower to 180 for another 15 minutes.

I serve those little brioche with foie gras as starters or with a “fricassée” of mushrooms. But they are also delicious with butter and jam, anytime of the day. For the photo, I put whipped cream and Morello cherry jam inside and this was particularly groovy…