This month lent itself very nicely to this bake, as I hosted a Chocolate Tea Party yesterday for The Sick Children's Trust (read all about it here)…I needed something indulgent and chocolatey to bake, and this cake instantly sprung to mind.
I first ate it at my friend Janet's house last summer - she didn't tell me what was in it, just that there was a *secret* ingredient - when I tasted it's fudgey gooeyness I was hooked, and couldn't quite place what the extra ingredient was…was it golden syrup? No. Black treacle? No. …. HONEY. And lots of it.
As soon as I tasted it I knew I had to have a go at baking this myself, but hadn't gotten round to it, until now. Boy am I glad I did! This is hands down the BEST chocolate cake I've ever been able to make - I find them notoriously hard to get right - they're either dry, not chocolately enough or so deathly sweet you feel sick after one mouthful.
This cake just ticks all the boxes - it is rich and chocolatey but the honey cuts through the richness and adds a light flowery note to the cake, it is gooey and fudgey in the middle and the glaze is literally divine.
Of course, the recipe comes from the sexiest lady in baking, and one of my favourite celebrities, Nigella Lawson. I've never made a Nigella recipe I didn't like, so no surprises that this has become my new favourite cake!
Chocolate Honey Cake with Marzipan Bees
makes 15 modest slices
(from a Nigella Recipe found here)
ingredients for the cake
100g dark chocolate (70%)
275g muscavado sugar
125ml runny honey
200g plain flour
1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
1 tbsp cocoa powder
250ml boiling water
ingredients for the glaze
125ml runny honey
175g dark chocolate
75g icing sugar
ingredients for the bees (I made 16)
32 flaked almond pieces
drizzle of the glaze
a cocktail stick (to make the eyes)
1. Melt the chocolate for the cake mix and leave to cool. Preheat oven to 180, and butter/line a 23cm spring form cake tin.
2. Beat the butter and sugar together and add the honey. Beat in one of the eggs with 1 tbsp of the flour, then add the other egg in the same way (this stops the mix from curdling).
3. Fold in the melted chocolate, rest of the flour and the bicarbonate of soda.
4. Add the sieved cocoa powder and then the 250ml of boiling water and mix to make a smooth and very wet cake batter.
5. Pour batter into the cake tin and bake for 1 hour (I baked mine for 1 hour 10 mins in total, so don't worry if yours takes a little bit extra to bake - you want it to not wobble when lightly shook, and a skewer to come out almost clean). Check the cake after 45 minutes as the top can get dark - pop some foil over if needed to stop it burning.
6. Let the cake cool on a wire rack.
fresh from the oven - with a rather large dip - I think I opened the oven door a few times too many while it was cooking (oops!)- but it didn't affect the cake's taste at all, and provided a handy crater to place the bees safely on top! Lesson learned for next time.
7. While the cake is cooling you can make your glaze and marzipan bees - divide your marzipan into 16 equal-ish sized balls, and squash slightly to make bumble bee type shapes.
8. Make your glaze by putting the water and honey in a small pan and heating until boiling. Then turn off the heat and add the chopped chocolate.
9. Leave for a few minutes and then whisk in the fully melted chocolate.
10. Sieve in the icing sugar and whisk the glaze until smooth.
11. Finish your bees by drizzling some of the glaze across them to make stripes, use a cocktail stick dipped in the glaze to give your bees eyes, and add two flaked almonds pushed in the top to give your bee wings!
bees, bees, bees
12. Finally pour the glaze over your cake, and ease it down the sides until the cake is completely covered. Do this slowly and a little at a time to avoid too much mess - I used a cake board rather than putting my cake straight onto a cake stand as it meant I could wipe out the excess glaze that dripped off the sides before placing it on a nice clean cake stand. Pop on your bees and any other decorations you like, and t'ah d'ah - you're all done!
glazed and ready for decorating
all done - I was pretty pleased with the final outcome!
chocolate honey cake with marzipan bees
on the table ready to be devoured
it went down very well!
one modest slice of bee cake (as it will now be known) on my plate last night - I had to try it!
My friend Janet came along last night, and happily tried a piece of the cake (it is her favourite cake ever) - she kindly informs me that my version was ALMOST as good as her husbands! Thanks Janet! :-)
The chocolate honey cake works out at 442 calories per slice if you make it serve 15. Sorry, you didn't want to know that, did you?
What did you bake for Easter?