Chocolate Fudge Cake (serves 14)

Chocolate Fudge Cake by The Fat Foodie

This recipe for chocolate fudge cake kind of came about by accident because I was on autopilot making a coffee and walnut cake the other day and as I was pouring my cake batter into my two cake tins I realised that I’d added cocoa powder into the mix without even realising. I clearly enjoy chocolate cake far too much! However, this turned out to be a fortunate mistake because after I’d baked the chocolate cakes I realised that I could turn them into a rich chocolate fudge cake instead.

A lot of chocolate fudge cakes tend to be very dense and are often very heavily laced with cream, but because this one is gluten-free it remains light while also being rich in flavour. I added instant coffee to my cake mix because although you can’t taste the coffee in the finished cake, it adds a depth of flavour and enhances the taste of the cocoa, resulting in a very satisfying indulgent bake.

This chocolate fudge cake is rich, chocolatey and very, very decadent. It has the perfect blend of moist, cocoa-heavy cake sponge that’s lavishly slathered in melt-in-the-mouth chocolate fudge icing. It’s the ultimate death by chocolate experience and I make no apologies for it.

Ingredients for the sponge:

3 heaped tsps instant coffee dissolved in 50ml boiling water

180g butter (or a non-dairy version)

20g vegetable oil

2 eggs

200g brown sugar

170g gluten-free plain flour (I use Dove’s Farm G/F flour because it’s made with low FODMAP ingredients whereas many other gluten-free flours are made with high FODMAP options.)

1 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda

1 tsp xanthan gum

2 tsps vanilla extract

Ingredients for the fudge icing:

90g soft unsalted butter (or a non-dairy version)

180g icing sugar

3 tbsps cocoa powder

1 tsp vanilla extract

16 walnut halves to decorate (optional)

Method:

Preheat your oven to 200C/180C Fan/400F/Gas Mark 6.

Prepare two 8” cake tins by lining them with greaseproof paper or do what I do and use ready made cake tin liners.

Put all of your wet ingredients into a large mixing bowl and whisk thoroughly and then add the dry ingredients and mix well.

Divide your cake batter between the two cake tins and bake for 40-45 mins or until a skewer pushed into the middle of one of the cakes comes out relatively clean. (It’s okay if there’s still a little bit of mixture on the skewer because it is supposed to be a very moist fudge cake anyway.)

Leave the cakes to cool on a cooling rack.

To make the chocolate icing put your icing ingredients into a large mixing bowl and whisk together until it’s all combined. (If you feel it’s not loose enough add a tsp of milk or rice milk at a time until it’s the right consistency for you.)

Once your cakes are cool, remove them from their tins and greaseproof paper and spread half of the fudge icing onto one of the cakes.

Put the other cake on top, slather the top of it with the rest of the icing and decorate with walnuts if you fancy. Enjoy!

Chocolate Fudge Cake by The Fat Foodie

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Meringue Wreath (serves 6-8)

Meringue Wreath by The Fat Foodie

It’s Christmas Eve and I think that because it’s an evening that’s inherently filled with a sense of magic and wonder it’s a perfect evening for gathering around the dinner table and sharing a relaxing, warming meal with our loved ones. However, as much as I love making a good dinner on Christmas Eve I also think that it’s always nice to make something really special for dessert, such as this festive meringue wreath.

I’m really pleased with how this meringue wreath turned out. I’m not a fan of dry, crumbly old-fashioned meringue that just shatters into shards in your mouth and has nothing particularly interesting going for it. I much prefer my meringue to be crisp on the outside, but lovely and stickily chewy on the inside. I think this type of meringue has a lot more flavour to it, producing a caramel-flavoured note that dry meringue cannot. I chose to decorate mine with dark chocolate and pomegranate seeds, but you could use white chocolate if you prefer (although it won’t be dairy-free) and you could opt for blueberries or raspberries as your decorative fruit too.

This meringue wreath is really easy to make, but there are just a few things to remember to get the best results:

1.) Don’t get any fat (i.e egg yolk) in the egg whites because they will not fluff up properly if there is any fat in them. Also, make sure your bowl and electric whisk beaters are spotlessly clean of any residual fats.

2.) Use room temperature eggs as they will produce much more volume than fridge-cold ones.

3.) Use caster sugar because the egg white bubbles are so delicate that they’ll break more easily if they’re in contact with granulated sugar.

4.) Add a little cornflour to stabilise the beaten egg whites and to create a chewy texture to your meringue.

This meringue wreath is made of crisp, but chewy, sweet meringue that’s drizzled all over with melted dark chocolate, scattered with toasted flaked almonds and topped with freshly popped pomegranate seeds. It’s a real showpiece that just so happens to deliver on the taste front too. Just what you need in your recipe arsenal as we roll into Christmas in earnest.

Ingredients:

3 egg whites

180g caster sugar

1 tsp cornflour

For the decoration:

100g dark chocolate

40g flaked almonds

1 pomegranate (seeds only)

Method:

Preheat your oven to 180C/160C Fan/350F/Gas mark 4.

Put greaseproof paper on a large baking sheet and get a piping bag to hand. (I like using disposable piping bags because they’re so much easier!)

Separate the 3 eggs and put the egg whites in a large mixing bowl. Whisk until firm and then gently whisk in the cornflour and caster sugar.

Put your meringue mixture into a piping bag and pipe big dollops of meringue mixture in a circle onto the baking sheet.

Put the meringue wreath in the oven and then turn the oven down to 150C/130C Fan/300F/ Gas mark 2. Bake for 1 hour and then leave the meringue to cool.

While the meringue is cooling, toast the flaked almonds in a frying pan until they are golden brown and leave to one side.

Once the meringue is cold and ready to decorate, melt the dark chocolate and drizzle it all over the meringue wreath. Scatter the flaked almonds on top and add the pomegranate seeds before serving.

Meringue Wreath by The Fat Foodie

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