The house reminded me of my mother’s aspirations for the perfect home in
My perfectly dressed, perfectly coiffed colleague (with a perfect body) served us coffee in cups with saucers and tiny silver spoons to stir our sugar with. I had almost forgotten what it was like to drink coffee using anything other than a large thick mug. She brought out the velvety-smooth chocolate cake, along with some melt-in-the-mouth biscuits and syrupy apple pie, all home-made by herself. She served us a piece of each sweet, and then sat back cross-legged in her classic high-backed upholstered armchair sipping her coffee. ‘Aren’t you having any cake yourself?’ I asked her. ‘Oh no, I don’t really feel like any right now.’ Cakes are never part of a daily-weigh-in calorie-counting-fanatic’s diet.
I liked this cake so much that I asked her for the recipe. She gladly passed it on to me. I also realised that this is the cake that is often served at cafes and trendy coffee shops in Hania.In fact, I've seen it included in some Greek recipe websites, all under the general label of boiled cake (βραστό κέικ), which shows how widely its fame has spread. The texture, taste and appearance are all the same, with the exception of the extra sauce that is poured over each huge individual slice, which I found out how to copy (see the instructions that follow). Although I have inherited my mother’s Royal Albert cup-and-saucer collection, I cannot imagine I will ever use it when serving this cake. My children are too young to ask me yet what it’s used for, but maybe one day when I make this cake again for their birthday (as they always ask me to do), I might get it out and read this story to them to help them understand a little more about where it came from and the grandmother that owned it, who they have never met.
To make this perfect chocolate cake, you need:
6 eggs, separated
12 tablespoons of water
5 tablespoons of cocoa powder
2 tablespoons of lemon juice
2 tablespoons of cognac (brandy)
2 vials of vanilla powder
2 cups of sugar
1 3/4 cups of self-raising flour AND
2 teaspoons of baking powder
Boil everything together EXCEPT the eggs, flour and baking powder. Beat the egg yolks and add them slowly to the cooled chocolate mixture, taking care that the eggs do not ‘cook’ in the warm chocolate mix. This is not really a disaster, but it will have an effect on the final appearance of the cake. Then pour out one large glass of mixture and set it aside, in the freezer. It will not freeze, but it does need to be quite cold for the recipe to work.
Now add the flour and baking powder to the remaining mixture, then beat the egg whites till stiff, and fold them into the batter. Pour it out into a greased pyrex dish. Bake for 25 minutes at 200C. The cake will be ready when you insert a knife into it and it comes out clean. Cut the hot cake into squares but don't lift the pieces out of the pyrex dish. Pour the freezer mixture over all the cake, ensuring that it goes into the cracks. This cake can be served at room temperature, but don't put it into the fridge, because it shrivels and hardens.
To make a more spectacular dessert, bake the cake as instructed, and make up another batch (or half, if you don’t want to be too wasteful concerning egg whites) of the sauce mixture: use all the ingredients, EXCEPT the egg whites, flour and baking powder, as described above. Put the mixture in the fridge and when it is time to serve the cake, pour the extra sauce (slightly warmed to a pouring consistency in the microwave) over each individual piece served, so that it spreads over the cake and around the plate. Served in this way, the cake will remind of something you have eaten at a trendy upmarket café. It is divine when served with a scoop of vanilla ice-cream or some whipped cream.©All Rights Reserved/Organically cooked. No part of this blog may be reproduced and/or copied by any means without prior consent from Maria Verivaki.