The Matilda Cake [aka the chocolatiest chocolate cake ever. hands down.]

One of my goals this year is to strengthen relationships with friends and family and one of the accompanying resolutions is to remember and acknowledge birthdays.  I’ve never considered myself a particularly good baker, other than chocolate chip cookies, due to a botched cream puff attempt in my younger years, and I think now that I was a bit harsh on myself, especially considering the good reviews I’ve gotten for my banana bread and muffins.  What do these two things have to do with one another?

Every year on my birthday I take the day off, however for the last two years I have stopped by work to drop off some freshly baked chocolate cookies (a secret recipe).  I decided that this year I would celebrate my coworkers birthdays as well by bringing in baked goods every time one of them had a birthday.  Today just so happened to be one of my best friend’s birthday and she just happens to work with me.  What a perfect opportunity!

Aside from buying her a card and flowers I decided to show my appreciation for her friendship with a particularly special recipe that I’ve been wanting to try for years.  If you’ve seen the movie Matilda, you’ll likely know exactly what I’m talking about when I say that I’ve always wanted to try the cake that Ms. Trunchbull forces poor Bruce Bogtrotter to eat in front of an assembly of students.  It honestly looks like the moistest, chocolatiest cake ever baked.

Quite a long time ago I googled to see if there was a recipe for the cake, not really expecting anything.  Lo and behold — Roald Dahl’s Revolting Recipes does in fact have a recipe for the very cake I’d been craving for years, and someone on livejournal had  posted it online in the bakebakebake forum!  Despite how ecstatic I was to find it, I didn’t set out to bake it immediately, for who knows what reason (I suppose I was waiting for the perfect opportunity?).

As soon as I decided that I was going to bring in something for my dear friend’s birthday I knew it had to be this cake and so I set to work gathering up the ingredients:

Cake

  • 8oz good quality plain chocolate (I used 50z Green & Black’s Organic 72% Baking Chocolate & 3oz Ghirardelli Semi-Sweet Chocolate)
  • 6oz unsalted butter
  • 8oz caster sugar (which I found out is just the British term for superfine baking sugar)
  • 4 tbsp plain flour (I used pastry flour)
  • 6 eggs, separated

Coating
  • 8oz good quality plain chocolate (I used 4oz Ghirardelli Semi-Sweet Chocolate and 4oz Ghirardelli 60% Cacao Bittersweet Chocolate)
  • 8oz double cream (British for heavy whipping cream)
  • **my own personal addition of 3oz grated dark chocolate — you’ll see why later
(1) Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
(2) Melt the chocolate (for the cake) in a bowl, either in a double boiler or in the microwave.  Since we don’t have a microwave in our new apartment and I gave my double boiler away so I mimicked a double boiler by just holding a second pot over the first.
(3) Mix in the butter and stir until melted.
(4) Add flour, sugar, and lightly beaten egg yolks.
(5) Whisk the egg whites until stiff.  I’d never done this before so I wasn’t sure how long it would take, which for me was about 15 minutes by hand.  Towards the end I added a pinch of salt and a few drops of lemon juice which seemed to help it along.
(6) Gently fold half the whites into the chocolate mixture, mixing thoroughly, then fold in the remaining half.  By the time I was done folding in the whites the mixture seemed to have the consistency of very thick pudding.
(7) Bake for approximately 35 minutes.  The cake develops a thin crust and the middle will seem to still need more time if you do a toothpick test, but not to worry, that’s just the kind of cake it is.
(8) Leave the cake to cool on a wire rack.
(9) Melt the (coating) chocolate and whipping cream in a double boiler until they are totally blended.  Allow the mixture to cool slightly.  Or, if you’re impatient like me, don’t.  But be prepared for consequences — it will likely overflow the plate your cake is on.
(10) After taking the cake out of the pan and placing it on a plate, carefully spread the chocolate coating over the cake (or pour it on).
(11) Allow to cool.  When the temperature of the coating is room temperature or cooler, dust the cake with the grated chocolate.  Likely some of it will melt into the coating but it will still give it texture.  I even grated up a couple of Andes chocolates onto the top of it, which is why the middle is a slightly different color.
Be warned: this is not a chocolate cake for the faint of heart.  There is a reason the cake was used as punishment for poor Bruce.  It is without a doubt the chocolatiest, richest, most decadent, moistest, densest chocolate cake you will ever encounter.  It is like fudge on steroids.  Small slices, people, small slices.  But delicious, melt in your mouth, heavenly ones.
I brought the cake into work today and it was a raging success.  One thing I’ve noticed about bringing treats in is that it not only make me popular (ha!) but it adds a bit of positivity and happiness to everyone’s day.  Good food = warm feelings.  Fun to make, great to serve, lovely to eat.  Remember, the big V-Day is coming up…
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7 thoughts on “The Matilda Cake [aka the chocolatiest chocolate cake ever. hands down.]

    • You probably don’t need to practice — it was really easy to make. I was a little nervous since I couldn’t try any of it before I brought it to work but it was amazing.

  1. Pingback: 30 Recipes — Favorites & Things I’ve Learned Thus Far « Blessed*Happy*Healthy*Prosperous

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