The flexible baker by Jo Pratt is a super adaptable cookbook with 75 delicious recipes that have options for gluten-free, dairy-free, nut-free, or vegan versions.
“This deliciously dense chocolate cake tends to be my go-to recipe when I need to make a cake that’s quick to make and uncomplicated to serve as dessert at a party,” says Jo. “You can easily change flavors depending on the liqueur used – it’s a very flexible cake.”
|175g||dark chocolate (70 percent cocoa), chopped|
|175g||butter, plus extra for greasing b|
|1 cup||sweet brown sugar|
|1 teaspoon||vanilla bean paste|
|2 tablespoons||liquor of your choice (optional) such as brandy, whiskey, orange, almond, hazelnut, coconut or coffee|
|1 tbsp||cocoa powder, for dusting|
- Heat the oven to 180°C/160°C convection. Butter a 20cm diameter cake tin and line the bottom with parchment paper.
- Place the chocolate in a bowl over a saucepan of barely simmering water to slowly melt it. Alternatively, gently melt in the microwave in 10 second increments.
- Beat together the butter, sugar and vanilla using an electric mixer, until creamy and light in texture. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Pour in the melted chocolate in an even stream, beating as you pour, until combined and you have a creamy consistency.
- Stir in the ground almonds and chosen liqueur, if using, then pour into the prepared pan, leveling the surface.
- Bake for 35-40 minutes until risen and just firm in the center, with a very slight wobble.
- Leave in the pan for 10 minutes before sliding a table knife around the inside edge of the pan and removing the cake completely to cool on a wire rack.
- Serve at room temperature for a fluffier texture, or if you want a firmer cake, serve chilled. Sprinkle the surface with cocoa powder just before serving.
– Nut Free: The same weight of desiccated (grated) coconut can be used as a nut free alternative. However, you can also use the same weight of plain flour, gluten-free flour blend, or coconut flour.
– Dairy-free: use a plant-based alternative to butter or margarine. Coconut oil can also be used, which has a very distinctive taste and works great with the addition of coconut liqueur.
– Flavor swap: if you don’t want to use alcoholic liqueurs to add flavor, you can add finely grated zest of 1 orange, 1 teaspoon almond or coconut essence, 1 tsp teaspoon of orange blossom or rose water or 2 tablespoons of very strong espresso coffee.
Edited excerpt from The Flexible Baker by Jo Pratt. Published by Quarto UK. RRP $39.99