Cho-COLA-tea? Choc-LA-tea? My brain had trouble with the pronunciation of ChocolaTea Cake. Not that I had to say it out loud to anyone really but every time I looked at the recipe I found myself chanting a mantra, cho-COLA-tea, no, choc-LA-tea, no, chocolatY, yes, chocolatY, chocolatY, chocolatY. Bakers be crazy.
And this was nothing, if not a chocolatey cake. Acres of dark chocolate went into the cake itself and the ganache icing. Not to mention tubs of creme fraiche in the ganache too. And I only made three quarters of the ganache recipe. There was no way this cake could be anything but delicious, with two chocolate sponge layers plastered together and covered in ultra creamy dark chocolate ganache. I ate my piece with some cream and I think it would have been nice with whipped cream in the middle to lighten it slightly.
I gave this cake as a good bye gift to my colleagues on the 10th floor of our office building since my team have moved to another floor. They've been very appreciative Alpha Baker testers over the last year and this cake was no exception. It doesn't matter how many people are on diets, when you bring out a chocolate cake, all objections are somehow forgotten.
As we've come to expect with Rose's cakes this has an unusual method. First you melt dark chocolate with boiling water and then simmer it to thicken. I wondered if the chocolate would survive this treatment but it seemed to be fine. The thick pudding-like chocolate is mixed with flour to make a rather strange, elastic chocolate paste.
As I and many other Alpha Bakers have remarked before, whipping up eggs and sugar into a fluffy cloud is amazing every time you see it.
There's method in Rose's madness, with the chocolate paste folded into the egg clouds avoiding the dreaded pellets of unmixed flour that is a common problem with sponge cakes.
This is not a great photo but it does make me think of the sun sparkling on the sea, in this case a creamy chocolate sea.
Guess which cake I put on the bottom?! The top was a bit too moist when I tipped it out of the tin. Actually it didn't matter because the top is scraped off both cakes to brush them with syrup and then they're smothered in ganache.
I couldn't really taste the tea in the syrup since the brandy is quite dominant (I don't have any cognac). I didn't want to buy any tea powder, since I'd never use it again, so the ganache went tea free. It was still delicious.
Next week the Alpha Bakers are making Hungarian Raisin Walnut Tartlets.