The World's Best Chocolate Cakes
13th January 2004
You remember chocolate crispies? Those cakes you made when you were
seven, by melting chocolate, mixing in cornflakes and spooning the
mixture out into little lumps to set? It turns out that this humble
recipe, lightly tweaked, makes the most awesomely addictive cakes
imaginable. I am pretty much physically not capable of eating just
one of these. Two is never enough. Three is barely adequate.
- 400g chocolate. Lots of recipes will tell you to buy specialist
chocolate with a high proportion of cocoa solids. I say,
rubbish. Just get a big bar of Cadbury's or Galaxy or
whatever chocolate you usually eat.
- 80g butter. That's about a third of a packet, if you use the
usual 250g/half-pound packets. Despite what Nigella Lawson
and her ilk will tell you, there's no need to go out and get
unsalted butter unless that's what you use anyway.
- A good-sized dollop of golden syrup.
- Exactly the right amount of cornflakes.
- 80g raisins.
- Boil a small amount of water in a pan. Keep it gently simmering,
put a bowl over the water and break the chocolate into it.
Wait until it's melted, stirring gently if necessary.
- Chop the butter into thin slices and add them to the chocolate.
Stir until melted.
- Pour in the golden syrup. It's hard to say what amount I use,
but I'd guess it's maybe two heaped tablespoons, if ``heaped''
is the right word for golden syrup. DO NOT use honey for this
recipe - it gives a completely different result which is still
nice, but doesn't have the close-to-magical effect of using
syrup. Why is this? I suspect it's because there's a suble
salty undertaste to golden syrup that sets off the sweetness.
I keep meaning to try this recipe with a little added salt,
but never get round to it. It might also be worth trying with
maple syrup instead of golden.
- Now you have a bowl of thick liquid chocolate/butter/syrup
mixture. Take it off the heat. Now you need to add just the
right amount of cornflakes to make a thick mixture that will
set into individual cakes. There really no substitute for
doing this by feel: adding some, stirring and considering.
But if it's any use to you, I generally start by adding ``a
couple of generous handfuls'' and then a bit more as
necessary. It's probably better to use too few cornflakes
than too many, so be careful out there.
- Once all the cornflakes are nicely coated, mix in the raisins.
- Scoop the mixture out into about 24 separate lumps. I find the
best surface to use is a bread-board covered with a layer of
aluminium foil. Then I can pop the whole thing in the fridge,
and the cakes will peel of easily once they've set.
- LEAVE THEM OVERNIGHT! I know it's tempting to eat one after just
a couple of hours, but they're nowhere near as good then as
they are the next day, when the chocolate mixture has properly
I love this recipe because it's one of those where the whole seems to
be greater than the sum of the parts. I know what chocolate, butter,
golden syrup, cornflakes and raisins taste like individually, and
there is no way that they should be able to combine into such a
wonderful flavour as they do. But they do.
Ah, the subtle alchemy of cookery!