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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."

Il diplomatico


You'll need

250 ml espresso-strength coffee 50 ml golden rum 100 gm caster sugar 450 gm dark chocolate (60-65% cocoa solids), finely chopped 700 ml thickened cream 4 eggs To serve: chocolate-coated coffee beans, coarsely crushed (optional)   Madeira cake 175 gm softened butter 155 gm caster sugar Finely grated rind and juice of 1 lemon 3 eggs 250 gm (1 2/3 cups) plain flour, sieved 1 tsp ground cinnamon ½ tsp baking powder 2 tbsp milk

Method

  • 01
  • For Madeira cake, preheat oven to 160C. Beat butter, sugar and lemon rind in an electric mixer until light and fluffy (3-4 minutes). Scrape down sides of bowl and add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Stir in flour, cinnamon and baking powder to combine, then add milk and lemon juice and stir until smooth. Spoon into a greased 8cm x 22cm loaf tin lined with baking paper, smooth top and bake until cake is light golden and a skewer inserted withdraws clean (45-50 minutes). Cool completely, then turn out and stand, uncovered, for 24 hours to dry out.
  • 02
  • Stir 150ml espresso, rum, 1½ tbsp sugar and 50ml water in a bowl until sugar dissolves and set aside.
  • 03
  • Slice Madeira cake widthways into 5mm- thick slices and line base and sides of an 8cm x 22cm loaf tin lined with plastic wrap (let plastic wrap hang over sides of tin), trimming cake to fit and filling all gaps (set aside remaining cake). Brush generously with espresso mixture and set aside.
  • 04
  • Melt chocolate in a heatproof bowl over a saucepan of simmering water (3-4 minutes), then set aside. Whisk 400ml cream in an electric mixer until soft peaks form (4-5 minutes), then refrigerate until required. Whisk eggs, remaining sugar and 50ml espresso in a heatproof bowl over a saucepan of simmering water until thick and pale (3-4 minutes), remove from heat and fold in melted chocolate, then whipped cream. Spoon into cake-lined tin, smooth top, then cover mousse with remaining cake slices, trimming to fit. Brush with espresso mixture, cover and refrigerate for 24 hours or up to a week. Whisk remaining cream and remaining espresso to soft peaks. Invert cake onto a platter, top with whipped cream, scatter crushed coffee beans over and serve.

This coffee-soaked dessert is often made with shop-bought Madeira cake. We've made our own here, but feel free to take the short cut if time's tight. We've intensified the coffee hit by adding espresso to the chocolate mousse filling and the cream topping too - it's not strictly traditional, but it's undeniably delicious. You'll need to begin this recipe 2 days ahead.


At A Glance

  • Serves 8 people
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At A Glance

  • Serves 8 people

Featured in

May 2011

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