Over the last few weeks, Max has been asking ‘Where is your Lithuanian Cake? When is that one coming?’ I’ll admit, I was putting it off until I got a good idea, but here it is! I am proud to present, straight from the cold Baltic states, Karstas Sokoladas Tortas, or Hot Chocolate Cake
We went to Vilnius (the Lithuanian Capital) for my 24th Birthday two years ago, and quite frankly fell in love with it. From the beautiful old town to the impressive Trakai Castle, it was a lovely trip and one we would love to repeat (soon!). I also fell in love with the hot chocolate – so thick and chocolate-y that you had to eat it with a spoon! I was delighted therefore to discover that they also incorporated this into puddings, namely providing you with a bowl of melted chocolate, cream and almonds! This cake is inspired by the fond memory of that dessert.
A melting-centred chocolate ad almond cake, sprinkled with flaked almonds and served with whipped cream – Simply heaven on a plate!
Karstas Sokoladas Tortas
- 100g dark chocolate, chopped
- 100g butter, chopped
- 100g caster sugar
- 50g plain flour
- 50g ground almonds
- 2 eggs and 2 yolks
- 50g melted butter
- 2 tbsp cocoa powder
- Whipped cream, flaked almonds and grated dark chocolate, to decorate.
Using a pastry brush, cover the insides of four ramekins with melted butter and chill in the fridge for 10 minutes. Remove from the fridge and brush again with melted butter before adding in a small amount of cocoa powder, ensuring the entirety of the inside is covered. Repeat for the other ramekins and return to the fridge.
Melt the chocolate and butter together in a small bowl, stirring until the mixture is smooth before leaving to cool for 10 minutes. Beat the eggs, yolks and sugar together until the mixture is thick and pale, forming a trail when the whisk is lifted. Use an electric whisk if possible – it’ll make your life so much easier! Sift in the flour and ground almonds and mix gently. Fold in the chocolate and butter mixture until you have a gently incorporated batter. Pour this into the moulds and return to the fridge for at least 45 minutes, preferably a few hours.
When you are ready to serve, preheat the oven to gas mark 6. Bake on the middle shelf for 16-18 minutes until the tops have a slight crust and the cakes have come away from the side of the pots. Leave for one minute before turning out onto a plate and decorating with the whipped cream and flaked almonds. Serve immediately and enjoy!
[Note on ovens: not all ovens are equal! The original recipe for these said they would only take 10 minutes – not the case with my oven, so I kept putting them back for further 2 minute intervals until they were done. This issue becomes problematic with dessert recipes like this when timing is so paramount, so you must keep a close eye on the puddings and don’t be afraid to keep them in longer (or indeed take them out sooner!) if they look done. Only you know how your oven works so don’t be afraid to experiment if these timings don’t work out perfectly! However, if it is slightly overdone, it is still delicious, it just wont melt in the middle!]