Classes usually wrap up at around 10pm, which is pretty early in the evening for studentfolk, so usually a group would land at a cafe somewhere for late night chips, coffee and cake (that covers all the major food groups, right?). The cafe of choice changes periodically, but for a large portion of my time with the club Le Cafe, for its reliable late-night-openness, was the destination of choice - and they had great desserts! My favourite was their chocolate nemesis cake, which was a decadent and almost deadly hit of chocolate, served with vanilla ice-cream and whatever fruit was in season. Sadly, the last time we visited I noticed the nemesis cake was no longer on the menu.
It's okay, though, because a little while ago I was scrolling through some of the glorious pictures on Tastespotting and a very chocolatey cake caught my eye - I clicked through and, well, I think you can see where this is going. ;-)
The recipe contains an astonishingly low four ingredients (five if you count water), which not only makes it fantastically decadent, it's also gluten free. It's not especially labour intensive, either - a few processes more than your average cake, perhaps, but it's worth it!
And even though you might dirty a couple of extra bowls there's nothing too tricky - melt the butter and chocolate together, beat the eggs with some sugar, boil the water with a little more sugar, and beat the eggs till foamy. Then mix it all together.
The baking part is done in a water bath - you fill a roasting pan or large baking dish with water, and put the cake tin in it. It's best if you can use a non-springform tin, since that will eliminate the chance of water reaching your cake - but if, like me, that's not an option you can use tinfoil to help keep the water out. I was a bit worried when I took my cake out of the water bath, as it dribbled a bit of water and I thought the cake might have been compromised, but it was fine.
The cake is utterly delicious - I made it on Sunday and we just polished off the last of it now (it probably should have lasted longer but it was too delicious!) and it actually improves with age - it was better tonight than last night, and better last night than the night before.
Chocolate Nemesis Torte (from What You Give Away You Keep)
340g 70% dark chocolate
225g unsalted butter
210g caster sugar
scant 1/2 cup water
Preheat the oven to 160 C. Grease and line a 25cm cake tin with baking paper. If you are using a springform tin wrap some foil around it to prevent leaking.
Melt the chocolate and butter in a bowl set over a saucepan of simmering water. Remove from the heat when the chocolate is almost all melted. Stir until smooth. Beat the eggs and two thirds of the sugar until the volume triples.
Heat the remaining sugar with the water until dissolved and allow it to boil for 1 -2 minutes to make a light syrup. Pour the syrup into the chocolate and butter mixture and allow to cool for 5 minutes. Pour the chocolate into the egg mixture and fold together gently until combined. Pour into the baking tin.
Put a folded tea towel into the bottom of a deep sided oven dish and place the cake on this (the teatowel helps prevent the cake moving around). Pour hot water into the pan to come 3/4 of the way up the sides of the cake tin.
Bake for 50 minutes, until set in the centre, then allow the cake to cool in the oven for 3 hours. Dust with icing sugar to serve.