Bruce Bogtrotter’s Peppered Chocolate Cake

September 13, 2016

Do you remember all your favorite stories and movies as a child? Chances are, a good number of them were written by Roald Dahl. Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, James and the Giant Peach, and Matilda are only a few of his stories. Besides being born from the mind of Dahl, these have another thing in common: Food.

The first time I watched Matilda as a child, I spent hours staring intently at random objects at home willing them to move. Unfortunately (and as expected), I’m not gifted with extra mental abilities but there are more ways than one to relive the movie. The way I prefer to is by attempting to polish off a giant chocolate cake just like Bruce Bogtrotter. In celebration of Roald Dahl’s 100th birthday, we prepared Trunchbull’s infamous chocolate cake with an unexpected new ingredient—pepper. You don’t think Trunchbull was going to let a snotty little kid enjoy a perfectly normal cake were you?

Peppered Chocolate Cake

Happy birthday to Roald Dahl, the man who had us dreaming of giant peaches flying over New York, and chocolate rivers running through a magical factory. Now, excuse us while we devour this peppered chocolate cake in the best way possible—with our hands.

Peppered Chocolate Cake

Yield: 8 servings
Time: 1 hour and 40 minutes (1 hr prep / 40 min baking)

Ingredients: Cake Batter

  • 140g unsalted butter, softened
  • ⅔ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • ⅔ cup boiling water
  • ¾ cup milk
  • 2 cups cake flour
  • 1½ tsp baking soda
  • ½ tsp baking powder
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 1¾ cups granulated sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract

Ingredients: Peppered Chocolate Frosting

  • 1½ cups sugar
  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • pinch of salt
  • 350g unsweetened chocolate, coarsely chopped
  • ⅓ cup butter, cut into cubes
  • 1½ tsp pepper
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
Peppered Chocolate Cake

Procedure: Chocolate Cake

  1. Preheat oven to 350°C. Grease 3 8-inch round baking pans, line the bottoms of each with a piece parchment paper cut into a circle and grease the paper. Use a little cocoa powder to coat the insides of the pans, rotating pans so the cocoa comes up the sides. Tap out the excess cocoa powder.
  2. In a small bowl, whisk together cocoa powder and boiling water. Whisk in milk.
  3. In a separate bowl, combine the following together: cake flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt.
  4. In a mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat butter and sugar until fluffy. Add in the eggs one at a time until fully incorporated. Beat in the vanilla extract. While your mixer in running on low speed, beat in a third of the dry ingredients, followed by half of the cocoa mixture. Add the remaining portions, alternating between the two mixtures. Beat until smooth.
  5. Divide the batter evenly among the prepared pans. Bake until the centers of the cakes are firm to the touch, about 30 to 40 minutes. Cool cakes in the pans on a wire rack for 10 minutes. Turn out the cakes on to the rack to cool completely. Peel off the parchment paper if it sticks to the cakes.

Procedure: Peppered Chocolate Frosting

  1. In a saucepan over medium heat, combine sugar, heavy cream, and salt. Simmer and stir occasionally until the sugar has completely dissolved.
  2. Transfer the mixture into a bowl. Stir in chocolate, butter, pepper, and vanilla extract until smooth.
  3. Set the bowl over a larger bowl filled with ice, using a hand mixer or an immersion blender with the whisk attachment, whip the mixture until thick and cool. Spread the frosting over the top and sides of the cake.
Peppered Chocolate Cake
Bernice Escobar SEE AUTHOR Bernice Escobar

Bernice loves to get nerdy about food and making people hungry. In her free time, she attempts to play with her anti-social cat and fantasizes about all things sweet.

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