A very moreish Chocolate Cake

Chocolate cake. Ok, I’ll say it again: chocolate cake. Honestly, I think a post about this should have no further introduction. What’s not been said about chocolate cake? And, most importantly, what’s not to like? To those of you do not like chocolate (and I know there’s plenty out there, my best friend’s boyfriend, to give you an example), I offer my deepest condolences. I recently watched an episode of The Taste – the new cooking TV reality show with Nigella in the judge panel – about comfort food. Well, for me, nothing evokes the image of comfort better than a big slice of dark, intense and creamy chocolate cake. Not even a bowl of pasta. Such a pity that no-one on the show actually prepared one.

Anyway, back to this cake. I always like to try out new recipes and this is no exception. The recipe for the cake comes from the Add a Pinch blog, which labels it “The Best Chocolate Cake Recipe {Ever}” (I reduced the amount of sugar if compared to the original). I decided to put my own frosting on it as I wasn’t impressed with the one which came with the cake. On that note, I also hope the quantities got a bit lost in translation, otherwise eeek! 340g of butter! I also did not like the fact there was no chocolate in a chocolate cake. Cocoa powder, yes, but no chocolate. That’s why my chocolate solid frosting has some good quality 70% cocoa solids dark chocolate in it. The cake is moist and crumbly, but utterly delicious. Maybe not the best chocolate cake ever, but a good contender for the title.

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Ingredients (for the cake)

  • 250g plain flour
  • 250g caster sugar
  • 88g cocoa powder
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 235ml hot coffee
  • 235ml whole milk
  • 118ml vegetable oil
  • 2 medium eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp vanilla bean paste

Ingredients (for the chocolate frosting)

  • 50g unsalted butter, softened
  • 250g icing sugar, sifted
  • 100g dark chocolate, melted
  • 3 tbsp whole milk
  • 1 tbsp creme de cacao blanc (or any other chocolate liqueur)

Method

  1. Start by greasing and lining 2 x 20cm round cake tin. Don’t use a springform tin here or the mixture will ooze out (it’s very liquid!). Pre-heat your oven to 180C.
  2. In the bowl of a freestanding mixer (or in a normal bowl), sift the flour, raising agents, cocoa powder and sugar, then mix together.
  3. In a small jug, combine the eggs, milk, vanilla extract and paste and vegetable oil. Pour into the bowl with the dry ingredients and mix over low to medium speed until fully combined.
  4. Slowly add the hot coffee and beat on medium to high speed for a good couple of minutes to incorporate as much air as possible. Divide the mixture equally between the two cake tins and bake for 30 minutes.
  5. Check that the sponges are cooked through with a skewer, then remove from the oven and set on a wire rack. Remove from the tin after 10 minutes and leave to cool completely.
  6. Right before you are ready to ice the cake, prepare your icing.  In the bowl of a freestanding mixer combine the softened butter and the icing sugar, mixing well with the paddle attachment to combine. Add the milk to obtain a creamy consistency, then slowly pour in the melted chocolate and beat over high speed until light and fluffy. Lastly, add the chocolate liqueur and mix that in too.
  7. Transfer about half of the chocolate icing to a piping bag fitted with a star nozzle, then spread the rest on one of the sponges, which you should have positioned on your cake stand. Sandwich with the other sponge, then use the icing in the piping bag to pipe small stars or rosettes on top. Work quickly as the chocolate will harden in no time. Dust the cake with some icing sugar and drizzle over any remaining melted dark chocolate (I had about a tablespoon left in the bottom of the bowl), then apply to face and enjoy.

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