I really wasn’t sure what to call this. To my mind, the base is more of a chocolate truffle or mousse than a brownie, but Matt Tebbutt calls it a brownie, so who am I to object? It is his recipe, after all.
Let me back-track slightly. The idea for this ‘puddle cake’ started to grow when I came across both Matt’s recipe for Espresso and Walnut Brownies and Emily’s recipe for Chocolate-Peanut Butter Marble Cake on the same day last week (I actually found Matt’s brownie recipe whilst browsing cookbooks in the supermarket – it’s in his book, Cooks Country, and is very slightly different from the version I found online). The brownies were introduced as ‘one of the most popular puds on the menu at the restaurant’, whilst in Emily’s recipe I discovered what she describes as ‘the most delicious chocolate frosting in in the world’.
Knowing that we were soon to be visited by chocolate-pudding-loving friends from Bournemouth, I was keen to take advantage of their tastebuds by trying out my germinating idea on them …
To put it simply, I was wondering, “Why not bake these brownies in a springform pan and fill the part where it dipped in the middle with Emily’s frosting?” Okay, it’s hardly the thought of a genius, but this idea of mine just wouldn’t go away. As the weekend approached, I even began to dream of chocolate puddles and molten brownies.
I very nearly missed my opportunity. Even on the Monday morning when O had taken the children out of the house to give me a chance to get things ready, I still wasn’t sure that I would really go ahead and make the cake. This was partly because I was supposed to be making gingersnaps to go with the lemon-meringue ice-cream and poached rhubarb we were having for dessert in the evening, but also because I knew my savoury-toothed husband would be less than pleased to return to the copious amounts of washing-up I knew this cake would generate!
Needless to say, the chocolate brownie puddle cake found a way of coming into existence once the gingersnaps were safely cooling. I don’t think there were even too many dirty pots left by the time O returned, but that may be my guilty conscience putting a glossy spin on the proceedings.
I was pleased that it did grind me down into subservience, though. As I wrote at the beginning of this post, it wasn’t really a brownie as such. But it was certainly chocolate heaven.
Chocolate Brownie Puddle Cake (adapted from a recipe by Matt Tebbett and filled with Emily’s most delicious chocolate frosting)
For the base:
300 g (10 1/2 oz) plain chocolate
150 g (5 1/4 oz) unsalted butter
150 g (5 1/4 oz) light brown muscovado sugar)
4 medium eggs
2 oz raisins soaked in hot coffee
150 g (5 1/4 oz) mascarpone cheese
Pre-heat the oven to 150 degrees C. Grease and baseline a 9″ round springform cake pan.
Melt the chocolate in a double boiler or microwave (I used to do it the first way, but it takes far less time in a microwave – you just need to be careful to stir it frequently and to take it out before all the chocolate has melted completely so the last lumps can melt in the residual heat).
Blend the butter and sugar in a food processor until they are fluffy and pale.
Add the eggs one at a time, whizzing to incorporate.
Drain the raisins and whizz them into the mixture.
Add the mascarpone cheese and whizz to combine.
Pour in the melted chocolate and give the whole thing a final quick whizz to fold everything together.
Scrape into the prepared cake pan and bake in the centre of the oven for 45 to 50 minutes. The centre will be dipped and look gooey, but will feel surprisingly firm and springy when you press it gently.
Leave to cool in the pan on a wire rack (don’t be tempted to speed up the cooling by putting it in the fridge – the texture will change from meltingly smooth to densely fudgy).
When the base has cooled to room temperature, remove the sides of the pan and fill the centre of the cake with a half-quantity of Emily’s most delicious chocolate frosting (or make the full amount of frosting and save the leftovers for something else). Decorate with grated chocolate.
Any leftovers can be kept in the fridge for a couple of days, although the texture will be different (and very delicious too, but in a fudgier way).