This Christmas my elder brother bought me The Doomsday Handbook. The book details 50 ways in which the world may end. I like to bake cakes. I very much enjoy this lego animation of an Eddie Izzard sketch.
So naturally I am hoping now to write a ~weekly series of posts where I present the choice between cake or death.
Chocolate Fudge Cake by Ruby Tandoh. The Guardian’s copyright has expired, but I have a paper copy.
This chocolate cake is really very good. I like the texture of the cake, which I think might be better than the texture of, say, the Devil’s Food Cake recipe I most often use.
The ganache used to fill and cover is also a bit interesting. The cream is heated with sugar, which means that it can reach a higher temperature before boiling, thus more easily melting the chopped chocolate. I have always had problems when using hot cream to melt chocolate to make chocolate truffles, but with the higher temperature there was no need to heat the proto-ganache to melt stubborn lumps of chocolate. I ended up not having enough chocolate, and so also mixed in some nutella.
This is really the end of the world for most other life on Earth, except humans, those plants and animals that we eat or grow for pleasure, and the plants and animals that can survive on our detritus. It’s also probably different from some of the other ends-of-the-world in the book in that it is happening now.
The book suggests that this is an end-of-the-world that we cannot prevent – though it muddles this by discussing the difficulty of reversing the effects of extinction. I’m a bit more hopeful. If the human population peaks in the middle of the 21st century, and technological developments are used to reduce our impact on the environment, then it’s plausible that by the end of the century we would have managed to reduce the extinction rate, and returned large land areas to wild habitat.