I love a good chocolate cake, I mean who doesn’t. There is something so delicious about a rich, chocolatey sponge against a creamy chocolatey frosting. Chocolate cake is a real classic, but a lot can go wrong with it, which is definitely something I have experienced in the past – either the sponge hasn’t been quite chocolatey enough, or the cake has been too dry! These are all problems most bakers will have come across from time to time, so finding that trusted recipe can be difficult. But I have to say, I think I have finally mastered the winning combination …Ingredients:
- 400g good quality dark chocolate, about 60% cocoa solids
- 400g butter
- 2 tbsp instant coffee granules
- 170g self-raising flour
- 170g plain flour
- 1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
- 400g light muscovado sugar
- 400g golden caster sugar
- 50g cocoa powder
- 6 medium eggs
- 150ml buttermilk (10 tbsp)
- grated chocolate or curls, to decorate
Ingredients for the Chocolate Ganache Frosting:
- 400g good quality dark chocolate, as above
- 600ml carton double cream (pouring type)
- 4 tbsp golden caster sugar
The above ingredients is enough to make an 11inch cake, with enough chocolate ganache to fill the middle and the outside of the cake, as well as enough for a small amount of decoration like the image above. I also had a small amount left to make 12 cupcake – these were equally as delicious and will appear on the blog soon!
- Line an 11inch pan with greaseproof paper at the bottom of the tine, and then grease the sides with some butter.
- Preheat the oven to 160C.
- Break the dark chocolate into pieces into a medium pan, and cut 400g of butter into pieces and tip in with the chocolate. Then mix 2 tbsp instant coffee granules into 150ml of cold water and pour into the pan with the chocolate and butter.
- Warm through over a low heat just until everything is melted, making sure not to overheat the mixture. If it’s easier, melt in the microwave on medium for about 5-10 minutes, stirring half way through.
- While the chocolate is melting, mix together the self-raising and plain flour, the bicarbonate of soda, light muscovado sugar, golden caster sugar and the cocoa powder in a big bowl, mixing with your hands to get rid of any lumps.
- Beat together 6 medium eggs in a bowl and stir in 10 tbsp of the buttermilk. Once combined, add to the flour mixture and continue to mix until combined.
- Now pour the melted chocolate mixture into the flour mixture, stirring just until everything is well blended and you have a smooth, quite runny consistency.
- Pour this into the tin and bake for 1 hour 25. My top tip would be a few minutes before this time, take the cake out of the oven and push a skewer in the centre. When you take it back out, it should come out clean and the top of the cake should feel firm (don’t worry if it cracks a bit).
- Leave to cool in the tin (also don’t worry if it dips slightly), then turn out onto a wire rack to cool completely.
- When the cake is cold, cut it in half.
- To make the ganache frosting: chop the dark chocolate into small pieces and tip into a bowl. Then pour the carton of double cream into a pan, add 4 tbsp golden caster sugar, and heat until it is about to boil.
- Take off the heat and pour it over the chocolate. Stir until the chocolate has melted and the mixture is smooth.
I find that the ganache is best made a few hours before the cake so it has enough time to set. You can pop it in the fridge if you need it to set quickly, but it can then be harder to bring back to room temperature to be able to spread easily. For this cake, I did actually make the chocolate ganache first before the cake, but needed the extra 5 minutes of fridge time to bring it to a consistency that was good for covering the cake.
The extra 5 minutes in the fridge also made it a good consistency to be able to pipe decoratively on the cake as well, which you can see above. I finished off the cake with flaked white and plain chocolate which I thought gave the cake a little extra edge. What do you think?
I was a little jealous actually that I didn’t get to try a slice for myself, but was happy when I had a little left over cake mix which made a very nice batch of 12 cupcakes. Luckily there was even enough ganache left over, so keep an eye out for that post coming to the blog soon.
Those chocolately cupcakes were a scrummy little treat to keep us going for a few days, especially while the chocolate cake itself needed decorating and collecting, ready for a long weekend of celebrations!
What is your favourite type of cake? Is it chocolate like mine?
Have you tried decorating with chocolate ganache? What were your experiences and how did you get on?