There are some things you can’t share without ending up liking each other, and knocking out a twelve-foot mountain troll is one of them.”
― J.K. Rowling,
It’s been 20 years! 20 years since we were introduced to JK Rowling’s magical world; 20 years since we’ve known Harry, Ron and Hermoine and have seen their friendship bloom; 20 years since The Boy Who Lived learnt about his magical pedigree. I was 15 then and honestly I don’t remember the release of the book and it wasn’t even available at the book stores in Gorakhpur for the longest time. I watched the films first and didn’t read the book till I was 22-23. But once I started, I was a complete Potterhead. No, I didn’t collect figurines or merchandise…heck, I didn’t even have a physical book till recently (now I have the entire hard-bound set including the box set of Hogwarts Library and even that barf of a play – Cursed Child). I loved the world, the magic, the stories, the lessons…everything!
While Prisoner of Azkaban has stayed my favourite from the series, reading Philosopher’s Stone has its own excitement; when Harry finds out that he is a wizard; when he buys his first wand or owns his first pet owl; when he makes friends for the first time in his life; when he feels at home at Hogwarts; when he rides a broom for the first time to become the ‘youngest seeker in the world’ and so many other firsts. So, to mark this day – 26th June – I planned to cook Harry’s first food from the magical world. No, it isn’t one of the goodies from the Trolley Witch in the Hogwarts train. It’s the sticky chocolate cake that Hagrid bought Harry on his 11th birthday. Remember when Dursleys went and hid at the broken down house on a rock in the middle of the sea to avoid the owls barging in the house carrying the letter from Hogwarts? And Hagrid reached there to deliver the letter himself? Yes, that cake! Now it must not be the best cake in the world and Hagrid’s cooking skills might be questionable, but that’s probably the first real and affectionate birthday gift that Harry received in his 11 year long life.
‘Anyway – Harry,’ said the giant, turning his back on the Dursleys, ‘a very happy birthday to yeh. Got summat fer yeh here – I mighta sat on it at some point, but it’ll taste all right.’
From an inside pocket of his black overcoat he pulled a slightly squashed box. Harry opened it with trembling fingers. Inside was a large, sticky chocolate cake with Happy Birthday Harry written on it in green icing.
So here’s the recipe that’s my take on Hagrid’s sticky chocolate cake. I learnt this Chocolate Orange Cake from Nigella Lawson’s website a few years ago and have perfected it over the years through trial and error. There was a point when I even sold this cake in jars during my home-cheffing days. It gained a bit of popularity and I once got an order for 80 jars. I baked all night. This is a flourless cake and uses entire orange (with skin); the flavour combination of chocolate and orange is absolutely wonderful. The cake is sticky, gooey, dense and almost fudge like.
Flourless Chocolate Orange Cake
Oranges – 2
Dark Chocolate – 350 gms
Eggs – 4
Powdered sugar – 100 – 150 gms
Baking powder – 1/2 tsp
1. Boil the oranges for about an hour and a half to soften the skin. Let them cool down, remove the pips and grind into a pulp along with the skin.
2. Whisk the eggs in a large bowl and add the orange pulp to it. Mix well.
3. Chop the chocolate and add to the above mix.
4. Add baking powder and sugar and mix well.
5. Pre-heat the oven to 180 degree Celcius.
6. Pour the batter in a greased cake tin or line the tin with a foil or butter paper so that the can be easily removed. This cake tends to get sticky.
7. Bake for 35-40 minutes.
8. Let it completely cool down before removing it from a tin.
9 Refrigerate for a while before eating.
HAPPY BIRTHDAY HARRY!
Oh! Did you know that The Literary KItchen was featured on Mid-day as a part of #HarryPotter20 celebrations. Check it here