It is my humble opinion that certain cakes are not manly. Dear Mr B has often taste tested a cupcake or two for me but I don’t like to watch. It’s not right to see the father of my children eat cupcakes adorned with swirly icing and glitter. It’s just not what I want from him. Call me old fashioned.
It’s Father’s Day this weekend so I think it only fitting that I make him a little something that’s both sweet and indicative of my appreciation of his wonderful fathering, but also manly and not in the least likely to induce a snigger from his mates. This is the beast.
NB: It’s also flour free, keeps for a good few days and according to Mr B is best eaten with cream or homemade (yes, he is that fussy) ice-cream. But if you can’t be arsed to bake a cake for Father’s Day then entice your man to bake instead by buying him My Daddy Cooks – an excellent recipe book if ever I saw one.
- 65g cocoa powder
- 120ml boiling water with 30g of instant coffee added
- 225g unsalted butter, very soft
- 230g caster sugar
- 6 large eggs, separated
- a dot of salt
- 170g finely ground pistachios (I buy the pre shelled ones from Asda and pulse in the food processor – careful not to pulse for too long and make pistachio butter though.)
Preheat the oven to Gas 4. Grease and line a 23 cm springform tin. Whizz up your pistchios if they’re not already ground.
Take a bowl and pour the coffee into it then add the cocoa and mix until completely smooth – it will be quite thick. Leave the mocha mixture on the side to cool.
Take a bowl and using a handheld mixer/freestanding mixer cream the butter with 195g of the caster sugar until it’s lighter than when you started and fluffy looking. Beat in the egg yolks in little dribbles and make sure you scrape the sides to incorporate the lot. Beat in the mocha mixture followed by the ground pistachios until the mixture looks creamy and smooth and like a slightly knobbly looking chocolate mousse.
Place the whites in a very clean bowl, (you can wipe with lemon juice if you’re uncertain how good your washer upper is) with the dot of salt. Beat the egg whites using the very very clean handheld electric mixer/freestanding mixer you have just washed and beat until you have soft peaks. Then add the remaining 30g caster sugar and beat until you have stiff meringue that sits in peaks.
Take a spatula and mix in two large tablespoons of meringue to the chocolate moussey mixture to loosen it, then fold the rest of the mixture in a third at a time. Pop into the tin and smooth the top with the back of a metal spoon. Bake in the oven for about an hour. It’s ready when the centre has puffed up and a skewer comes out clean. (If you notice the cake browning too much, too early, feel free to fashion a hat for your cake out of foil but please don’t open the oven door until at least 40 minutes has passed.)
Let the cake cool in the tin for about 5 minutes on a wire rack, then unlock the springform thingy and let cool completely. It will sink. It’s supposed to. Fret not. It should have a ridge around the outside and be lower in the middle. Texture is kind of mousse like and close and fudgey. It’s manly, see.
Serve in wedges with strong black manly coffee. Try not to add glitter and pink icing if you can at all help it. Green icing is just about acceptable if you sling it on top of the cake in a Jackson Pollock style manly fashion.
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