bruce bogtrotter’s chocolate cake

bruce bogtrotter's chocolate cakeThe famous chocolate cake from Roald Dahl’s book, Matilda.

In the book, a child named Bruce Bogtrotter was caught stealing a slice of chocolate cake made specially for the headmistress of the school, Miss Agatha Trunchbull. As his punishment, an immense cake (18 inches in diameter) was made for him and he had to finish it all in one sitting, in front of the entire school.

He managed to, of course. Everyone in the school (and reading the book or watching the movie, I’m sure) exploded into cheers when he succeeded.

If you’ve not read the book or seen the movie, do try to read or watch. It is a great story with plenty of laughs that is enjoyable for the whole family.

Bruce Bogtrotter’s Chocolate Cake (adapted from Roald Dah Fans)

Cake

  • 227 grams semi-sweet chocolate (I used Valrhona Equatoriale 55%)
  • 170 grams unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 130 + 50 grams castor sugar
  • 32 grams all-purpose flour
  • 6 eggs, separated; egg yolks to be lightly beaten with a fork

Icing

  • 170 grams semi-sweet chocolate (I used Valrhona Equatoriale 55%)
  • 170 grams heavy whipping cream
  • a big pinch of salt
  1. Grease and line a 8 inch round pan. I used a 7 inch square pan. It was barely enough.
  2. Preheat oven to 170 C.
  3. Melt chocolate and butter in a double boiler.
  4. Add in 130 grams sugar, salt and flour and mix well.
  5. Add in egg yolks and mix well.
  6. In a separate bowl, beat egg whites with 50 grams of sugar until stiff peaks.
  7. Add 1/3 of meringue to the egg yolk butter mixture and stir well.
  8. Gently fold in remaining meringue in 2 additions until well combined.
  9. Pour batter into prepared pan and tap the pan a few times on the bottom to burst any large air bubbles.
  10. Bake for 35 minutes or until a skewer inserted in the center of the cake does not have liquid batter. It is okay if it does not come out clean, but make sure it is not still liquid. Do note this took way longer than 35 minutes for me, most likely because I used a smaller container. Mine took at least 55-60 minutes.
  11. Let cool completely before icing.
  12. For the icing, add whipping cream and salt into a saucepan. Heat up until it boils. Pour over chocolate and mix until smooth. Cool until thick consistency before spreading over cake. I sprinkled sea salt flakes over the iced cake.

A mistake I made was to take out the cake without checking if it was sufficiently done at 35 minutes. 15 minutes later, I noticed the liquid batter in the center of the cake. It was placed back in the oven and checked every 5 minutes after. It took another 25 minutes before the liquid batter in the center was mostly gone.

bruce bogtrotter's chocolate cake1

I know this cake cannot be over-baked but at 35 minutes and 170 C, it will most likely still be quite liquid in the center. Squishy center is okay. Not liquid center. Perhaps the size of the pan must be strictly kept. So the lesson learnt is change the size of the pan and it will affect the timing, and check the cake if it is done before turning off the oven and placing on the cooling rack.

Because of this mistake, I felt my cake ended up too dry at the sides. Even coated with icing, you could taste a slight biscuit crunch. The taste, thank God, is still palatable. Everyone loved the chocolaty taste.

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