Where on earth to begin?! I knew the last two weeks of school would be insane, but the reality was so much more out of control than I could ever have guessed by looking at my scary to-do list. Let’s see, my mother in law arrived on Monday to kick off the festivities, and immediately found herself sucked into the miasma that is “our daughter is graduating to middle school, we’re leaving for America in two weeks and my husband just got a job.” I realize that I could write an entire blog post on the complications of any one of these little details, but such is life that I will barely be able to touch on them all, just to have a record of our lives, and then I’ll have to move on to the next bit of insanity. First off I must tell you of my very successful first time cooking “pork belly,” an inauspiciously named ingredient that results, nevertheless, in the glorious dish of what is essentially boneless pork ribs. Try it: it costs next to nothing and cooks itself. And it’s RICH, as you can see.
What part of living blissfully in New York and owning an art gallery didn’t work for me? Well, the part that was transferred to London with my husband’s job… Nine years later, here we are, and I am deliriously content to live in the second greatest city in the world (first? second?), cooking, eating, bellringing, watching our remarkable daughter bring herself up in style, and describing it all here, for posterity.
And now the cookbook is here, available in the UK so far and the US very soon! To get your own copy of “tonight at 7.30: one family’s life at the table,” click here.
This recipe is made from a combination of two chocolate cake recipes. The sponge is adapted from Angela Nilsen’s ‘Ultimate Chocolate Cake’ recipe and the ganache from Orlando Murrin’s ‘Celebration Chocolate Cake’ recipe.
For The Sponge
200g good quality dark chocolate, about 70% cocoa solids
200g unsalted butter, cut in pieces
1 tbsp instant coffee granules
85g self-raising flour
85g plain flour
1⁄4 tsp bicarbonate of soda
200g light muscovado sugar
200g golden caster sugar (I used 180g Golden Caster Sugar and 20g White Caster Sugar)
25g cocoa powder
3 medium eggs
5 tbsp/75ml buttermilk
N.B. If you wish to make a lighter sponge only use 100g of the chocolate. However, it is sweeter.
For The Ganache
220g dark chocolate, about 70% solids, chopped
240 ml double cream
2 tbsp golden syrup
2 tbsp unsalted butter, at room temp
3 tbsp crystallised violet petals