Somewhere in my parents house, in a drawer under the bed, are all our childhood photos. Piles and piles of them. Over the years I lived at home I loved any opportunity to look through all these pictures but it's been so long since I've seen them I need to persuade my Mum to let me rifle through them. I love old photographs. I love seeing what people looked like, what we were wearing or eating. I love the chance to see people who have left us now but who continue to have such a massive impact on my life. It's comforting.
Even now, I love to take pictures of everything. Every day out Nick and I have will be accompanied by the camera. Poor Nick has to carry it round in a little bag because, me being one of those women who has to carry their life in their handbag, I don't have enough spare hands. Even in the flat I'm always snapping away at Evie, and food, of course. I hate the idea that so many moments will pass and I will have no tangible memory of them if I don't take a photograph. When I have children I want them to be able to see all these pictures of what life was like before they existed.
To me, this cake is like a memory. I'd never had it before I made it, and I didn't grow up eating a cake like this but it felt familiar to me and it made me happy. Eating it with softly whipped cream took it to another level. Even 3 days later it tasted amazing, the ginger taste is more pronounced but the cake doesn't dry out at all.
Dark Chocolate and Ginger Cake
(adapted from Bon Appetit)
113g unsalted butter, cut into cubes and softened
170g plus 2 tablespoons caster sugar (plus extra for lining the tin)
280g dark chocolate, 70%
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
40g fresh ginger, peeled and finely grated
6 large eggs
2 tablespoons cocoa powder
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3/4 teaspoon salt
300ml double cream, to serve
- Preheat oven to 180 C/350 F. Grease a 23cm springform tin and dust with caster sugar.
- Place a heatproof bowl over a pan of simmering water. Place the chocolate, oil, and butter in the bowl and stir until melted. Remove from the heat and stir in the ginger.
- Separate 4 eggs, separating the whites and yolks into separate bowls. Add the cocoa powder, vanilla, salt, 55g of the sugar, and the remaining 2 eggs to the bowl with the yolks and whisk until smooth. Gradually whisk yolk mixture into melted chocolate mixture until well incorporated.
- Beat the egg whites with an electric whisk until frothy. With mixer still running, gradually beat in the remaining 115g of sugar and beat until firm peaks form.
- Gently fold the egg whites into the chocolate mixture in 2 halves, folding just until incorporated between additions. Scrape batter from a low height (so as not to knock all the air out) into prepared tin; level the top with a palette knife and sprinkle with remaining 2 tablespoons sugar.
- Bake for 35-40 minutes, until the top has started to crack and cake is just coming away from edge of tin. Transfer to a wire rack and let cake cool completely in the tin (it will collapse in the center and crack further as it cools).
- Softly whip the double cream to serve to deserving friends.