Signature Dish of Joseph Littleshoes

Catalan (Chocolate) Cake

If you're not making a children's b'day cake here's a recipe for a rather unusual but very delicious chocolate cake. As with anything chocolate, the better the chocolate the better the finished product. Its name in Catalan means "perfect little spanish cake". The following recipe is for a 5 x 5 inch pan, double it for a larger amount of cake but keep them small as they tend to not have the solidity of regular cakes and if too large will easily break up. However several small cakes can be put together horizontally or vertically and frosted. - JL

Ingredients

1 tablespoons all purpose flour
1 cup ruby port (a good porto, not something cheap)
1 and 1/4 cups semisweet chocolate (10 ounces)
4 tablespoons unsalted butter (1/2 stick)
1/3 cup toasted and ground hazelnuts
2 tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons cocoa powder (this is as the recipe is written I just use 3 tablespoons cocoa powder)
1 jumbo egg
1/3 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 tablespoon light corn syrup

Preparation

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F (180 C)
  2. grease and flour a 5x5 inch baking pan
  3. in a small heavy saucepan over medium high heat, reduce the port to 3 tablespoons (takes 10 to 15 minutes)
  4. in another small saucepan, combine 1/2 cup of the semi sweet chocolate with the butter and stir over low heat until melted; do not let the mixture burn. remove from the heat and cool slightly. stir in 2 tablespoons of the port, the ground hazelnuts, the the cocoa powder and the tablespoon of flour. set aside.
  5. in a medium sized bowl, beat the egg and sugar with an electric mixer until tripled in volume, about 5 minutes.
  6. Fold the egg mixture into the chocolate mixture thoroughly, and pour into the prepared pan. Bake for 35-40 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the centre comes out with moist crumbs. Place the pan on a wire rack to fool for 5 minutes. run a knife around the sides to loosen. Continue to cool for 1 hour, then invert the pan onto a serving plate.
  7. In a small heavy sauce pan over very low heat. melt the remaining 3/4 cup of semisweet chocolate. Stir in the remaining port. and add the vanilla and corn syrup. Remove from the heat and cool until the icing reaches a good spreading consistency. Spread the icing over the sides and top of the cake.

Fresh raspberries and whipped cream are very nice to pile on top of this small cake.

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