My latest goal in life is to photograph Hugo and Java together, at the same time, in the same place and, if at all possible, sitting still. Never let it be said that I lack ambition. I recently told Hugo — well asked really; Hugo isn’t the sort of dog you order about — to sit while I took a photo of him. Since then, the moment he catches a glimpse of a camera lens he sits and tilts his head just enough to do his profile justice. I think he may be the reincarnation of one of Pavlov’s dogs. Java, on the other hand, not so much. Once she’s outside, under no circumstances does she ‘do’ sitting. Or even standing still. So I have one unnaturally static dog pouting into the camera and flaunting his best side like a runway model who’s just tossed her cookies, and the other who is nothing but a distant white blur. I have a feeling that I set the bar pretty high for myself, because so far all I’ve managed are these: The Pout and The Blur.
This cake, on the other hand, was a great success. Inspired from a David Lobowitz recipe, it really is one of the lightest, most delicious chocolate cakes ever…
Ingredients (10 servings)
170g dark chocolate (minimum 70% cocoa)
115g coconut oil
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 tablespoon rum (optional)
4 eggs, separated
100g cane sugar
100ml plain yoghurt
70g ground almonds (you could substitute ground hazelnuts)
40g buckwheat flour
Pinch of salt
1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
Preheat the oven to 180ºC and prepare a medium-sized loaf tin. Melt the chocolate and coconut oil until smooth and add the vanilla extract and rum. Whisk the egg yolks, sugar and yogurt until light and smooth and then combine with the melted chocolate/coconut oil. Mix the ground almonds, buckwheat flour, salt and bicarbonate of soda together and then combine well with the egg yolk and chocolate mixture. Whisk the egg whites until they form soft peaks and gently but thoroughly fold into the chocolate mixture. Pour the mixture into the loaf tin and bake for 30 minutes. Remove from the tin and leave to cool. Delicious served alone or with Greek yoghurt or ice cream.