Prepare yourself for Domini's double chocolate hit
A special cake for a celebration, and a simple cookie that packs a super-powered chocolate hit
Once a year, I get into a blind panic about baking a cake for someone’s birthday. The little people are usually the toughest to impress, but older folk can also get a tad snooty about one’s best efforts.
A day or two before the Big Day, I plunge into a pile of books that promise divine results, asking the birthday girl or boy in shrill tones, “What about this one?” until they finally point at something multi-layered and extremely glossy and say “yes, yes, that one.”
Oh how my heart sinks at that point, especially when I see pages upon pages of instructions, with pictures that promise so much, knowing that my baking skills garner so little. Cakes and me are a leap of faith.
This special chocolate cake is a simplified version of a Mark Hix one. Chocolate cakes – except for flourless ones – usually underwhelm me, as they are either too dry or too gooey, with icing that’s just a bit too buttery.
This cake initially seemed as though it was simply not going to work, thought me of little faith. But I got to the end and I have to say the results were superb. .
For something a little more moderate, but equally as chocolaty, I heartily recommend these cookies.
Again, they resemble something fabulous in a domestic godess book, and are the type of thing I wouldn’t normally make, as I’d be prone to thinking they’d turn out a bit dull and unappetising. But after tinkering around with the ingredients, I was really happy with the end result and felt like inviting a friend over for coffee, just so I could show them off.
Such was my sense of satisfaction that I burnt the second batch baking in the oven while marvelling at my first tray of cookies. I decided to test drive them a little harder by seeing if they would freeze well, so despite a little charring, I wrapped them up well in cling film and tin foil and froze them. They defrosted into a pretty respectable cookie, but do take note: the ones that had been cooked, cooled and devoured an hour after baking, were voted number one.
I am just dying to have an excuse to bake these again as they really are that perfect combination of friable and gooey and could become an integral part of your baking recipe arsenal, especially when you need to pull out the big guns.