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Paul Carmichael's great cake

"Great cake, also known in Barbados as black cake or rum cake, is a variation of British Christmas cake that's smashed with rum and falernum syrup," says Momofuku Seiobo chef Paul Carmichael. "This festive cake varies from household to household but they all have two things in common: tons of dried fruit and rum. It's a cake that should be started at least a month out so the fruit can marinate in the booze. Start this recipe up to five weeks ahead to macerate the fruit and baste the cake."

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Nothing says summer like mangoes. Go beyond the criss-cross cuts - bake a mango-filled meringue loaf with lime mascarpone, start off the day with a sweet coconut quinoa pudding with sticky mango, or toss it through a spicy warm weather Thai salad.

Rich chocolate cake


Rich, dense and fudgy, this cake is for the serious chocolate lover. It's best served at room temperature, however, it can be stored in the refrigerator if made ahead. Drizzle with melted chocolate before serving.

You'll need

390 gm dark chocolate (70% cocoa solids), coarsely chopped 175 gm butter, softened 100 gm raw golden caster sugar 5 eggs, separated 80 gm sifted plain flour 80 ml (1/3 cup) Tuaca (see note) Pinch cream of tartar   Ganache 300 ml pure cream (45% fat) 200 gm dark chocolate (70% cocoa solids), coarsely chopped

Method

  • 01
  • Grease and line an 18cm-diameter springform cake pan, then grease baking paper base, dust with flour and shake pan to remove excess.
  • 02
  • Melt 300gm chocolate in a heatproof bowl over a pan of simmering water and set aside.
  • 03
  • Preheat oven to 160C. Using an electric mixer, beat butter and sugar for 5 minutes or until pale and creamy. With motor running, add egg yolks, one at a time, beating briefly between each addition to incorporate. Add flour, beat to combine, add Tuaca and half the melted chocolate. Beat until half incorporated, then fold through remaining chocolate.
  • 04
  • In a separate bowl, whisk eggwhites with cream of tartar until soft peaks form. Fold one-third of eggwhites through chocolate mixture to loosen, then fold through remaining eggwhite, taking care not to overwork. Spoon mixture into prepared pan and bake in centre of oven for 1 hour or until a skewer inserted withdraws clean. Cool completely in pan on wire rack, then remove sides of pan and invert onto a cake stand.
  • 05
  • For ganache, bring cream just to the boil in a saucepan. Remove from heat, add chocolate, stand for 5 minutes or until chocolate melts, then stir until glossy and smooth. Transfer to a plastic container, cover closely with plastic wrap to prevent a skin forming, stand for 1 hour, then refrigerate for 45 minutes or until firm yet still pliable. Remove ganache from refrigerator and stir until smooth. Using a small offset spatula (see note), coat sides and top of cake evenly with ganache. (Dip spatula into a jug of boiling water, wiping excess water from spatula, to spread ganache evenly.)
  • 06
  • Meanwhile, melt remaining chocolate in a heatproof bowl over a pan of simmering water. Remove from heat, cool slightly, then, using an offset spatula, smooth chocolate in a circular motion towards the edges allowing chocolate to just spill over the edges. Serve immediately.

Note Tuaca is an Italian liqueur made from brandy with citrus and vanilla accents. It's available from speciality liquor stores. If unavailable, substitute with brandy or whisky. An offset spatula has a blade that dips away from the handle at an angle and is perfect for icing cakes. Available from kitchenware stores.


At A Glance

  • Serves 8 people
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At A Glance

  • Serves 8 people

Featured in

Dec 2007

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