Chocolate Brownie Cake with a Clementine Crème Fraîche

My vitriolic criticism of all things related to the superfood trend may have been a little short-sighted. I mean, shouldn't we celebrate a trend that allows us to eat antioxidant-rich and utterly delicious foods such as avocados and (dark) chocolate? Maybe I'm a hypocrite but beyond that I am a glutton. A recent study by the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm (published in the Journal of Internal Medicine) has reported that consuming chocolate cuts the death rate in heart attack survivors. Previous research had shown that antioxidant levels in dark chocolate was conducive to lowering blood pressure and aiding gastrointestinal health. Chocolate isn't just delicious but it's also good for us. The Mayans and the Aztecs had it right some centuries before chocolate was brought to Europe by the Spanish. Chocolate is an aphrodisiac, a drug, an addiction and everything that is good in life. This is a celebration of that.

Chocolate Brownie Cake
100g butter
150g caster sugar
50g brown sugar
130g good quality dark chocolate (I used 76%)
1 tbsp golden syrup
2 large eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
100g plain flour
1/2 a tsp baking powder
2 tbsp cocoa powder

Clementine Crème Fraîche
1 x 300ml pot of crème fraîche
2 clementines
4 tbsp icing sugar

To line the cake tin
1 tbsp of butter
1 tbsp cocoa powder

Preheat the oven to 180C. Grease the cake tin and line with cocoa powder. Shake off the excess. In a pan heat the chocolate, sugar, butter and golden syrup on a low heat until fully incorporated and as smooth as possible. Whisk the two eggs until frothy and doubled in volume. Sift the flour, baking powder and cocoa powder into a bowl. Add the vanilla extract. Take the chocolate mixture off the heat and place in a cold bowl. Whisk the eggs into the mixture vigorously before adding the flour (along with the other ingredients). Make sure everything is incorporated and then pour into the cake tin. Cook in the middle of the oven for 25 minutes or until a toothpick yields a slightly wet crumb (for a soft and chewy centre). Take out of the oven and cool on a wire rack. You can reheat and serve it warm with ice cream but I prefer whisking up a nice clementine crème fraîche. Zest the two clementines into the pot of crème fraîche and add the icing sugar. Whisk until incorporated and put in the fridge for five minutes. Cut the brownie cake into segments and spoon on the crème fraîche. Mmm.


6 September 2009 at 20:10 Jennifer said...

The cake sounds incredible but that creme fraiche with clementine really adds an interesting twist!

7 September 2009 at 08:47 Phoo-D said...

Ooh, I can imagine how nicely the clementine pairs with chocolate. Great combination! Do you think honey could be substituted for the golden syrup (for those of us in the States)?

7 September 2009 at 11:23 M. A. Salha said...

Jennifer - Thanks! Most people liked the clementine creme fraiche addition with the exception of my sister. I think success depends on whether you're an all-out chocoholic. I could've eaten the clementine creme fraiche by itself!

Phoo-D - Thanks! I don't think honey would give the same flavour profile in most recipes. I don't think it'll be too detrimental to use honey, maple syrup or a combination of either of the previous two with corn syrup in this recipe where it's all about the chocolate.

However, I believe that Whole Foods carries golden syrup in the US...I might be mistaken. But it's definitely worth trying to track down.

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