Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Ugly But So Very Tasty

There's a type of Italian biscuit known as the brutti ma buoni, which means the ugly, but nice (tasty) ones. I have never made these, primarily because I like to make cakes, biscuits not so much, but the other day I made a cake that looks indeed ugly but that is very, very tasty. As you can see, it looks like a black brick, but appearances are deceiving, for this is neither burnt, nor heavy. It is damp and airy and as you will see from the ingredients below, not too bad for you either, provided you can stop at one slice.

Chocolate Loaf Cake

225g soft unsalted butter
375g dark muscovado sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
50g cocoa powder
200g flour
1 tsp bicarb of soda
250ml milk

Loaf tin, lined

Pre-heat the oven at 190C and stick the lining into your tin.

Cream the butter and sugar, then add the lightly beaten eggs and the vanilla extract. In another bowl, mix the cocoa powder, the flour and the bicarb of soda. Now incorporate the flour (and cocoa and soda, as above) into the creamed sugar a bit at a time, helping yourself with the milk. You don't want anything too dry and crumbly and certainly nothing too watery. So proceed with caution beating well, either by hand or with an electric mixer. Once you have done this, you will be left with a batter that is rather wet. Now pour it into the lined tin and bake for 45 minutes. Once you take it out, leave it to sink in the tin and don't be alarmed by its wobbly look and decidedly not cooked (yet burnt-looking ) exterior. Take it out of the tin a good couple of hours later and cut it into much later still. It will be deliciously damp yet airy inside, with a slightly crackly top due to the sugar.
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