Autumn Recipes
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Bitter Chocolate & Whiskey Cake

Do you, like me, have greedy children who can sniff out a biscuit, cake or chocolate bar from 5 miles away? Do you, like me, sometimes think they were born with an in-built radar alerting them to where all the confectionary is hidden? Competition for the sweet stuff is fierce in this household. Both G. and I have tried – and failed – to find fiendishly tricky hiding places for our stock of goodies. We’re always rumbled with the kids finding our best hiding places within days. It has, however, not gone completely unnoticed by me that they are not very keen on more adult flavours – such a marzipan, liquorice or dark, bitter chocolate. All of which I love. Whenever we have some dark chocolate, marzipan or liquorice in the house  I can normally enjoy these things at my own pace and over a period of days without them vanishing before they’ve even been unpacked and put on the shelf.

It was my intention in combining dark, bitter chocolate with whiskey that the children would hate these flavours thus allowing G. and I a reasonable time to enjoy this cake.  How wrong was I!  Everyone loves this cake – from toddlers to grown-ups. So if you feel like it – give it a go but don’t expect the children to turn their noses up. They’ll gobble it up if left to their own devices! By the way – in case you’re concerned – the long baking time (one and half hours) means that most of the alcohol evaporates leaving just the flavour so you don’t need to worry that you are feeding children or young adults a strong stiff whiskey!



For the cake

300 gr. plain flour.

100 gr. ground hazelnut or ground almonds

300 gr. dark brown sugar

150 gr. butter

150 gr. dark bitter chocolate

4 eggs

2 tsp. bicarbonate of soda

1 tbs. vinegar or the juice of one lemon

A pinch of salt.

A good shot of whiskey (or any other spirit you like the taste of – rum, armagnac, brandy)

For the topping

Some jam (you choose but I like raspberry)

A handful of chopped hazelnuts


Mix the all the dry ingredients together in a bowl (sugar, flour, bicarbonate of soda, ground hazelnut, pinch of salt.) Melt the butter with the chocolate over a gentle heat and add to the dry ingredients. Add the eggs,  vinegar (or juice of lemon) and whiskey. Mix all together until it forms a silky smooth mixture.

Line a sandwich tin with some baking paper, oil and pour the mixture into the tin.

Bake for 30 minutes at 180 degrees centigrade. After 30 minutes take the cake out of the oven and cover with tin foil to stop the top from burning.

Bake for a further 30 minutes at 180 degrees centigrade.

For the last 30 minutes turn the oven down to 150 degrees centigrade. The cake is baked thoroughly once a knife comes out clean.

Leave the cake to rest until it has cooled down. Spread the top with some jam and then sprinkle the chopped hazelnuts over the top.


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