Have you ever stood up on a soapbox and announced something and then jumped down and done the exact opposite? My hand’s high in the air, as I’m guilty, guilty, guilty! I had the best of intentions with my healthy Valentine’s dessert, but I ended up making chocolate cake anyway.
I blame my friend Michelle. It was her birthday you see. Yes, her birthday is on Valentine’s Day. And I wanted to make her something special. So I pulled out my trusty ‘Crazy Negress’ chocolate cake recipe and put on my apron. It’s not as bad as it sounds – since Michelle is also trying to eat low-GI, I lessened the impact of the cake by changing out some of the ingredients. I used spelt and wholemeal flour, olive oil and dark chocolate. If anything it tasted better than the original. More complex, earthier and definitely more filling. I’m never going back!
The recipe makes a huge cake. I usually divide it up and make two 8-inch rounds and a dozen cupcakes with it. I could (and perhaps should) have halved the recipe, since the last thing we need is a tempting cake on the counter, but I wanted to update the photos. And I couldn’t very well cut Michelle’s cake, then deliver it to her, could I? So I decorated and delivered Michelle’s, then came home to photograph the other one. I decided, after covering it with the usual icing, to brighten it a bit. I had some blue candy melts left over from my cake pops, so I melted them down and poured them over the cake, first in a smooth layer, then in a crazy pattern.
The result was a duck-egg blue ‘crazy cake’ (as my son has named it) fully worthy of its name. The candy topping dried hard and was difficult to cut (use a warmed knife) but the kids loved it. And it’s a good thing, too, because they’re going to have to (mostly) eat it. Personally I like it better without the hard candy coating, and it’s certainly healthier that way. I broke mine off and gave it to my kids, who never seem to tire of it!
- 4 eggs
- 2 cups (350 g) raw (unrefined) sugar
- 1 cup powdered (120 g) hot chocolate mix (Nesquik or similar)
- 1 cup (120 g) unsweetened cocoa
- 1 cup (250 ml) light olive (or rapeseed/canola) oil
- 2 cups (240 g) wholemeal flour
- 1 cup (120 g) spelt flour
- 1 Tbsp baking powder
- 1½ cups (375 ml) hot water
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1 cup (150 g) raw (unrefined) sugar
- 3 squares (about 30 g) solid dark chocolate (at least 70%)
- 2 Tbsp butter
- ⅓ cup (70 ml) milk
- Candy Topping (optional):
- 1½ cups (about 200 g) coloured candy melts (Wilton or similar)
- Preheat oven to 375 F/160 C/gas mark 5
- In a large bowl, beat the eggs, then add the sugar, powdered chocolates and oil and mix well.
- Add the wholemeal flour, baking powder and soda, then the hot water and mix well.
- Add the spelt flour and mix.
- Pour into greased, floured (or lined) tins (a large rectangular or two 8-inch round plus a dozen cupcakes) and bake for about 40 minutes or until a toothpick in the centre comes out clean.
- Let the cake cool and then carefully tip it out of the pan, cut the rounded top off and flip it upside-down so you have the flat bottom as the top to ice.
- Heat all the ingredients for the icing together, stirring until they are homogenous.
- Using a chopstick (or a fork), poke holes all over the cake and then, little by little, pour the icing over the cake so that it seeps into the holes and also let some run down the sides. You should have enough to let some pool on top, creating a sort of glaze.
- Top with your choice of decoration or melt down the candy and drizzle over the cake until it's as you want it (I think I overdid it, but then it isn't called Crazy Cake for nothing).