Is there anything better than chocolate and wine, especially paired together? Sounds like heaven to me, and I’ve got my favourite combinations already. Want to do it even better? Bake a cake. And if you’re looking for something simple yet melting in the mouth, then this recipe is a solution – even for an utter beginner; served with wine for cosy nights in, with milk for a mid-day cheerful chocolate treat.
Wait, I remember this clearly.
Once upon a time, I bumped into that brownies recipe, and although I had no idea how to melt chocolate, I enthusiastically got the ingredients together and started making it. It all seemed too easy to be true, that chocolate cake; normally, the definition of it would be a sponge chocolate cake with a creamy filling. But let’s save that recipe for another time. My mum, having stopped me from throwing chocolate in a pan and putting in on the stove, looked at me, amused, from the distance. I figured out you need to take a pan, fill it with boiling water, and then do the rest. It all went fairly fine, even though I didn’t have a microwave, so the essential part was more traditional than suggested by the recipe.
My mum wasn’t convinced that I should bake, although she welcomed the idea of the Internet to research others’ recommended recipes warmly as long as she didn’t have to google them. “Where do you get good ones from?” she asked, and it finished with me or my sister looking them up anyway.
“This one doesn’t look good, not a cake for sure…”Well, none of us has seen such an invention before, weirdly enough: my grandmas, aunties and my mum adored yeast fruitcakes, sponge cakes, apple pies, plum cakes, cocoa cakes, and the like. Nothing with melted chocolate inside.
“Watch me,” I demanded, and then popped the baking tray into the oven.
Taking the brownies outside, I panicked. It looked weird. This cake legitimately moved and, what the f…fudge? It was meant to be done, although the top has cracked gently.
Mum gave me a sceptical look.
I decided to follow the recipe. I left the brownies aside to cool down, and the cake disappeared in the next two days. With cups of tea, cappuccino, milk, it just happened to dissolve.
A few weeks after, my dad brought three chocolate bars home, coming back from work.
“Kasia,” he called me, “There is a chocolate bar for you. Keep it. Oh, wait… and then there’s two more… will you bake that cake again?”
With a green light from such a picky eater as my dad, I knew I could re-use the recipe. And convince my mum, who was normally scared of even touching the computer, to go online in the search of recipes – and then, further. (Great tip: tell a technophobe that unless they keep drinks and axes away from their computer, nothing tragic is gonna happen – to anything and anybody).
These days, I still get asked to bake. And I do, because the outcome makes relaxed moments even more of a celebration of the day-to-day reality. And because chocolate contains antioxidants. And because chocolate cake, a bottle of wine and a good film can constitute a pretty good evening, which is, by the way, fairly elegant. Or if you’ve got milk, or a latte, a dessert in the middle of the day. Share them. Or hide them. Cause you’ll get accused of hiding them anyway 😉
Chocolate Brownie Cake
Serves: 16-18 mini squares | Preparation time: 20mins, total time: ~45 minutes
200g of butter
200g of dark chocolate (two chocolate bars, usually)
6 tablespoons of cocoa powder (50g)
2/3 cups of flour (roughly 90g)
1 and 1/3 cup of granulated sugar (270g)
Fill a pot with boiling water, place it on the stove and keep it on the medium heat. Place butter, cut into pieces, in a bowl with crushed chocolate. Put the bowl on the hot water surface and mix the contents together into they melt completely. Switch the heat off and cool the chocolate mixture down a bit.
In a separate bowl, mix the flour with the cocoa powder.
Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 180 Celsius degrees (gas mark 4). Spread a bit of butter inside the baking tray, then dust it with flour (or breadcrumbs, I adore both).
Beat the eggs with sugar till the mixture becomes creamy and really thick. Slowly pour the previously melted chocolate into the egg mixture. Mix them until the texture of the bowl content is even. Sift in the flour mixture and start mixing gently. When all the ingredients made a smooth mixture, with no lumps or visible flour bits, pour it into the prepared baking tray.
Bake it for 25-30 minutes, checking if the middle is still too wobbly after that time. If so, extend the baking time accordingly.
After taking the cake out of the oven, let it cool down for around 10 minutes, and cut into squares.
Serve with some nice sweet rosé wine. Or a cup of milk, if you so wish.