Basically, I apologise in advance for any nostalgia that creeps into this post. Also I'm finding it slightly hard to concentrate, since the group outside the pub next door is singing loudly, 'YOU WASH YER FACE... YOU WASH YER ARSE-ENAL!' and it's a bit distracting. Not to mention oddly catchy.
This chocolate rum cake is a tradition among my friends and I - any momentous occassion (and some less momentous one - 'LET'S HAVE CAKE MONDAY IN THE COMMON ROOM!') has seen my friend Ed whipping one out of thin air. I'll never forget the first time - it was the last day of fifth year (when the usual school rules didn't seem to apply ^__^), and we got very silly on chocolate rum cake in our Art lesson (I have the notes from the time; Ed filled an entire page with 'rum rum rum' and announced that I hoovered up crumbs 'with [my] long proboscis'. Let me make it clear that I have no proboscis). Of course, Ed's recipe did differ a bit from the printed one:
'I put in the amount of rum it said... and then it didn't look like much so I put in a bit more. And then a bit extra for luck. And I put a bit more in the icing as well; and then as I was putting it all together I realised I had a bit left over... so I poured the rest of the bottle over the top.'
I have never eaten a more potent cake in my life XD. We couldn't let the teachers have any when they asked because it would be the equivalent of drinking on the job.
When it came to Leavers' Day, it was going to be difficult for Ed to bring one in, so I volunteered to make the rum cake (it was inconceivable for us not to have one) to eat at our barbeque in the evening. Obviously I a) bore the above approach in mind and b) knew this cake had to be a good one.
It's worrying when your friendship is symbolised by a chocolate rum cake, but to be honest, this cake is practically one of the gang.
For the cake:
200g plain choc, broken into pieces
100g unsalted butter, cubed
3 eggs, separated
100g dark muscovado sugar
50ml dark rum
75g self raising flour
50g ground almonds
For the filling and icing:
225g plain choc, broken into pieces
100g unsalted butter, cubed
about 4tbsp apricot jam, warmed (I used raspberry since my dad had apparently eaten the apricot X__X)
For the chocolate ganache for piping (optional):
175g plain choc, broken into pieces
4 tbsp single cream
50g butter, cubed
2 egg yolks
1 tbsp rum
If you are Ed:
much more rum.
Preheat the oven to 180C and grease/line a 20cm (8") deep round cake tin.
1. Melt the chocolate and butter slowly in a bowl (either in the microwave or over a pan of hot water) and allow to cool slightly. Whisk the egg yolks and sugar in a large bowl till pale and creamy then add the cooled chocolate mixture and rum, mixing well. Gently fold in the flour and ground almonds.
2. In a separate bowl, mix the egg whites until stiff but not dry, then lightly fold into the mixture. Turn into the prepared tin and gently level the surface (alternatively you could use two tins to save you having to slice the cake in half once it's baked).
3. Bake for about 45 mins or until firm to the touch. Allow to cool in the tin for a few minutes. If you are Ed, use a cocktail stick or skewer to make little holes all over the surface of the cake while it's still in the tin and pour more rum over it, but if you don't have an alcohol problem you can skip this. Turn out and leave to cool completely on a wire rack.
4. For the filling and icing, melt the chocolate, add the cubed butter, and stir until the mixture has the consistency of thick pouring cream. Split the cake in half horizontally (or if you made two, whatever), and use a little of the icing to fill it.
5. Warm the jam and push it through a sieve. Brush this over the top and sides of the cake and allow to set before pouring the icing over. Smooth evenly with a palette knife and leave to set.
6. If you want to make chocolate ganache to pipe rosettes around the cake (that was the plan, anyway; my piping bag exploded halfway through so I just dolloped blobs on and swirled them around to pretend they were meant to be that way); melt the chocolate and cream together then beat in the butter a little at a time. Beat in the egg yolks and rum and leave until cool and firm, stirring occasionally (this takes at least an hour in the fridge, let me warn you). When firm enough to hold its shape, spoon into a piping bag with a star nozzle (pfft) and pipe rosettes of ganache to decorate.
Cool kids; I really am going to miss you guys so much in the autumn. We'll have to have alcohol/sugar-based reunions every other weekend XD. Love you all. ♥