Saturday, 21 April 2012


Serves 8-10

dusted with icing and a royal A outlined for Alex's birthday
This is a recipe from the Telegraph newspaper, given in the article as an Easter cake. The writer clearly thought there wouldn't be enough chocolate in the recipe, so in the newspaper version they added a chocolate glaze, and some chocolate eggs. After all, no-one gets enough chocolate at Easter. It said it was the River Cafe recipe for their chocolate nemesis cake. Every recipe I have ever tried from the River Cafe cook book up to now didn't work out well. It can't fail to offend when that happens, I take it very personally. I expect that if I follow a recipe it will work. So I don't like that cook book, and was little nervous making this. As usual I added the pressure of making it for a friend, for a birthday party. The result, after over an hour, was a highly chocolate-y mousse. I reread a number of recipes referencing chocolate nemesis by the River Cafe, and found out that
it had a reputation of being impossible to make
the temperatures given online varied from 120C to 200C
you are meant to beat the eggs with an electric whisk for 10 minutes (I got bored after 4m)

The 'cake' was very well received, and held its own against a most delicious lemon cake (recipe follows). However, if I do it again I shall whisk the eggs for longer and bake it at around 200C. And use a cake tin of 25cm instead of 22cm.

Feeling like taking a risk, and really like chocolate? And have lots of friends who like chocolate? Have a go then.


340g 70 per cent cocoa solids chocolate
225g unsalted butter
270g caster sugar
5 medium eggs
100g water

Butter a 25cm cake tin with a loose base and line with baking parchment.
Preheat the oven to 120C/gas mark 1/2.

  • Break up the chocolate and put in a bowl set over a pan of simmering water. Add the butter and melt together.
  • Put 100g of the sugar in a pan with 100ml water and bring to the boil.
  • Boil for three to four minutes, then pour into a jug to cool a little before pouring into the chocolate mixture.
  • Mix well.
  • Meanwhile, whisk the eggs with the remaining sugar until doubled in size and foamy.
  • Slowly pour in the chocolate/sugar mixture, continuing to stir.
  • Pour the cake batter into the tin.
  • Put the cake tin in a roasting pan, and add enough boiling water to the pan so it reaches halfway up the cake tin.
  • Put the cake into the oven and bake for one hour or until the surface is still and set.
  • Remove from the oven and allow to cool in the tin before unmoulding on to a plate.

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