a recipe

~honey glaze chocolate cake~
(for celebrations, no less)

I'm not such a huge fan of chocolate cake - I love love nibbling dark chocolate on its own (the 70 - 85% stuff) - but I usually find cake too sweet and floury. This cake is wonderful however, and I think my favourite chocolate cake yet. its rich and dark and sticky and not too sweet - the hint of honey is marvellous. Alex who does love chocolate cake agrees, its pretty darn good. So its got the manly-endorsements too.

recipe from nigella's book "Feast" (with a few minor adjustments)

100g dark chocolate 70% cocoa min (I used 85%)
200g butter
1 cup light brown sugar
125 ml runny honey
2 eggs
1 1/2 cups plain flour
1 tsp bicarb soda
1 tbsp cocoa powder
boiling water

for the glaze:
water (30ml), honey (100ml), 100g dark chocolate, 2 tablespoons cocoa powder

Let eggs and butter come to room temperature. Meanwhile melt the chocolate for the cake. Set aside to cool. In a separate bowl beat together sugar and soft butter until airy and creamy then add the honey. Add one of the eggs, beating it in with a tablespoon of the flour, then do the same with the second egg. Fold in the melted chocolate, then the rest of the flour and the bicarb soda. Add sifted cocoa and beat in the boiling water - you should have a thick-batter like mixture.

Place batter in a well greased and paper lined 23" circle tin - spring-form or regular works fine. Bake in a moderate oven (180'c) for up to 1 1/2 hrs - but check after 45 minutes - mine cooked in 1 hour. Let the cake cool completely in the tin or on a rack.

To make the glaze bring the water and honey to boil in a small-medium saucepan, then turn off the heat and add finely chopped chocolate, swirling it around to melt in the hot liquid. Leave it for a few minutes then whisk together and sieve in the cocoa. Stir again till smooth.

Choose your plate or stand and cut out four strips of baking paper and form a square outline on the plate. this is to catch any spillage of sticky icing (so that it doesn't run all over the plate if thats what you desire). Sit the cake on top of the paper. Pour the icing over the cold cake and smooth it over the top and sides. The icing stays very sticky - Nigella suggests waiting at least an hour for it to set but mine was still very tacky at one hour of room temperature. I actually left it in the fridge overnight and it became beautifully hard and set.

Enjoy on its own, or with a dollop of creme fraiche or the like!