I love nothing more than a cake that demands you to be lazy. This is that cake. It’s the cake that begs you to bake it the day before you need it, so all you have to do when the cake time comes is wheel it out of the fridge. It’s also more or less all done in a food processor, so all you’re doing is pressing buttons and then there it is… a cake.
This cake is beautiful on so many layers. Not only is it rustic and beautifully broken to look at it, it also has a complexity of flavour layers with the rich clobber of cardamom strewn throughout. It’s a delightfully exotic take on a chocolate cake that, despite its Autumnal aesthetic, could sit quite proudly on your dinner table any time of the year.
Makes 1 cake (could be for 6 people, or just me sometimes)
10 Cardamom Pods
300g Dark Chocolate
200g Caster Sugar
6 Large Eggs
180ml Boiling Water
Pinch of Maldon salt
200g Unsalted Butter
For the topping
300ml Crème Fraiche
Preheat your oven to 160C and grease/line a 23inch spring form tin. Grab your cardamom pods and get them seeds out. I do this first to get it out of the way. How you get the seeds out is simply to bash the shells with something heavy, tip the little black seeds into a pestle and mortar and crush them as finely as you’ve got energy for.
Now in a food processor, throw in the chocolate and the sugar. To give your processor a bit of a break, I break the chocolate up in the packet first. I’m nice like that. Now process this up to a fine, sugary rubble.
Separate your six eggs by clacking one on the side of a bowl, hold your hand out over the bowl and pour the egg into your hand, allowing the white stuff to fall into the bowl. Then, pass the yolk back and forth between your two hands until all you have left is a little sunshine drop of yolk in your palm. Then throw it in the processor. Do this to all the eggs until you have a bowl of whites and a processor of six yolks.
Now on top of the yolks, pour in the boiling water before adding a pinch of salt, the butter and your cardamom dust from earlier. Blitz everything to a very liquid batter – don’t panic, it’s supposed to be very wet. Grab the bowl of egg whites and whisk these until they are glossy and firm, like snow mountain peaks. Achievable by hand, but also by electric whisk for the idle (like me). Once your snow mountains form, pour your liquid chocolate batter in and gently fold both together to create a pale brown mousse like batter.
Pour this loveliness into your tin and bake in the oven for 50-55 minutes. Remove the cake from the oven after this time and allow to cool for about 30 minutes. Promise me you won’t break your heart that the surface is cracked and looks as though it’s collapsing in on itself – that’s what it’s supposed to look like. After the 30 minutes is up, put the cake – still in the tin – in the fridge to set for a few hours (hence why the night before is perfect).
To decorate the cake, do nothing more than remove it from its tin, empty the whole tub (yes the whole tub) of crème fraiche on the surface and sprinkle on the pomegranates.
Once you try the cloud method, I swear this will be your fall-back cake recipe. Let me know your favourite cloud cake recipes, I’m always looking for new ways to approach this method!
All photography by Lowri Bethan Photography