Bruce Bogtrotter's chocolate cake

Remember the story “Matilda” by Roald Dahl that was later made into a movie? One of the characters was an overweight 11 year old boy called Bruce Bogtrotter. Caught stealing a slice of Principal Trunchbull’s chocolate cake, he was punished by being made to eat a whole 18 inch cake. Imagine a ginormous chocolate cake, dark, delicious and oozing with chocolate…so inviting that even though the boy knew it would get him into trouble, no force in the world could keep him away from swiping a slice of it. Sigh…if only Mr. Dahl had included a recipe...

Some time ago, leafing through an old magazine, I came across a recipe for what was called “Bruce Bogtrotter’s Cake”. Dahl’s widow had written a book called “Roald Dahl’s Revolting Recipes” where all kinds of food mentioned in his books now could be concocted as she had made up recipes for them. Along with “Lickable Wallpaper” and “Stink Bug Eggs”, there was a recipe for “Bruce Bogtrotter’s Cake”. BBC was inspired enough run a children's TV series called 'Roald Dahl's Revolting Recipes' and got English chef Gary Rhodes to make recipes from the book inside a giant peach with a bunch of kids. What fun!

Well, that was all I needed. The recipe called for about 500 grams of chocolate. Trial 1 took place on a day when the only chocolate I had at home was a bar of compound chocolate. I knew I wouldn’t like the end product, but was too impatient to wait for anything better. As expected, I wasn’t happy with the result as the flavor of chocolate just did not come through.

Trial 2 was a success in every possible way. Made with Callebaut's 54.5% dark callets, the cake was moist, chocolaty, slightly dense and absolutely fudgy. No, no, don’t run out to get the largest oven  in the market – the yield is an 8” cake, not the 18” mentioned in the story!

So this my rendition of Bruce Bogtrotter's chocolate cake. It is faithful to the original recipe in most parts.

Bruce Bogtrotter's Cake

125 gm flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
225 gm chocolate
225 gm sugar
180 gm butter - unsalted
6 eggs, separated (I dislike fussy recipes that ask for eggs to be beaten separately unless really necessary. However, I decided to stick to this method just to see if there would be a difference. Not really, but if you're a stickler for method based baking, do go ahead.)

Ganache topping
225 chocolate
100 gm cream
*Double the topping quantities for a thicker coat

Line and grease an 8" cake pan.
Sift together the flour, baking powder and baking soda, keep aside.
Melt the chocolate in a double boiler or in a microwave oven, add in the butter and stir till melted.

Beat together the yolks and sugar till light
Gently stir in the chocolate and butter mix, fold in the sieved flour.

With clean and dry beaters, whip the egg whites till stiff.

Lightly fold the whites into the flour and yolk mixture.

Pour the batter into the cake pan and bake in a preheated 175°C oven for about 45 minutes or till cooked.
Test by inserting a skewer into the cake, it should be almost clean.
Allow the cake to sit in the pan for about 20 minutes, then turn out onto a wire rack, remove the lining paper and let it cool completely.

To make the ganache, warm the cream in a saucepan. Add the chocolate and leave undisturbed for about 10 minutes.
Stir till smooth.
Place the cake on a cake board and spread with ganache topping.
Let it set for about an hour before slicing.


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