Thank you all for your lovely words and kind wishes to JT for his recent birthday in June. It was fairly low key because it landed on a Tuesday, but we still went out for a very nice dinner (review to come). The Monday before JTs birthday, he’d made plans with a friend to go out for dinner, which left me with some private time in the kitchen and I knew exactly what I wanted to do: Bake a cake as a surprise for his birthday! But I only had a small window of opportunity to bake, cool and ice it.
JT had walked up to a local place to meet this friend, so he was gone by the time I got home. Good, but I was home a little later than expected having to finish off a few things at work and ride my bike the 8 km home. As soon as I got in, I was immediately racing around in record time to bake this cake. But first I had to find a recipe! Without much time (I was expecting JT back around 8-9) I found this recipe which was called fastest fudge cake (just what I needed) and I was able to easily half the recipe so that I can bake it in a small spring form pan. Just as I was cleaning up and waiting for the cake and ganache to cool, I get a text from JT at 7:30 that he’s one his way home. That means I’ve got 10 minutes tops. Even with this easy recipe, I just barely squeaked by, dumping the barely cooled ganache onto the barely cooled cake and hiding it in the living room credenza! It was a very nice surprise.
Fast and Easy Fudge Cake
Makes one 13 cm or 5″ cake plus a muffin-sized cake
- 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
- 4 tbsp unsweetened natural cocoa powder (not Dutch processed)
- 1/4 tsp baking soda
- pinch table salt
- 1/4 cup unsalted butter, melted and warm
- 3/4 cups packed light brown sugar
- 1 large egg
- 1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
- pinch of cayenne
- 1/4 cup orange liquor
- 1/2 cup Ganache
- Preheat the oven to 350°F (177°C). Grease the bottom of an 13 cm spring form cake pan and line it with parchment.
- In a small bowl sift the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, cayenne and salt.
- In a large bowl, combine the melted butter and brown sugar and stir with a wooden spoon or rubber spatula. Add the egg and vanilla and stir until well blended.
- Add the flour mixture all at once and stir just until all the flour is moistened. Scrape the batter into the prepared pan.
- Bake until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, about 35-40 minutes for a 13 cm (5″) spring form pan. Let cool in the pan on a rack for 10 min. Run a thin knife around the edge and invert the cake (peel off the parchment). Pour the orange liquor over the cake and allow to saturate. Allow to cool completely (or mostly as in my case!).
- Once cool, set the rack over a baking sheet or foil. Pour the warm ganache over the cake and use an icing spatula to spread it over the top of the cake and down the sides. Let set for about an hour before serving.
- 4 oz of dark semi-sweet chocolate, finely chopped
- 1/2 cup of 18% cream
- Warm the cream just before boiling point. Pour the hot cream over the finely chopped chocolate and stir until it’s all melted.
- Allow to thicken (or not) and pour over cooled (or not) cake (place cake on a piece of parchment). Even out. Allow to cool in a cool dark place (like a credenza!).
- Serve with a sprig of mint over a small puddle of orange liquor.
- The batter was a bit too much for the pan, it did bubble over a bit, so I was glad I put a cookie sheet under the spring form.
- The cake has a rich, chewy texture with a nice crunchy crust (like brownies).
- The ganache would have been better if it had been allowed to thicken a bit more, but it was still super tasty.
- Recipe updated (May 2016) to reflect correct pan size. To make a slightly larger cake (22 cm or 8″), double the recipe.
- The original recipe in the link makes 600 mL of batter (using only 1/4 cup hot water), the perfect size for an 22 cm or 8″ spring form pan (updated December 2016).