This evening I was aimlessly looking through my cupboards (a worrying but common occurrence) when it struck me that I had all the ingredients for my favourite chocolate cake recipe.. Okay, I was an egg short, but my housemate had one spare, so it was pretty much fated that I would be making cake.
There are many reasons that this is my favourite chocolate cake recipe – it’s easy, it doesn’t have any bizarre ingredients, and above all, it pretty much tastes like heaven on a plate (not that it gets to spend long on the plate..!)
It comes from one of my favourite cookbooks ever – The Chocolate and Coffee Bible – which I recommend to anyone and everyone. It has an amazing history of chocolate and coffee in it, and the recipes themselves are (99% of the time) fantastic. Plus, the ingredients list includes every different way of measuring things, which is incredibly useful.
So without further ado! Here it is…
115g/4oz plain chocolate, broken/chopped into pieces
150g/5oz/ 2/3 of a cup unsalted butter, softened
150g/5oz/scant 1 cup light muscavado sugar
200g/7oz/ 1&3/4 cups self-raising flour
15ml/1tbsp cocoa powder
First, preheat the oven to 180c/350f/Gas Mark 4, and grease two 18cm cake tins, lining the base with greaseproof paper.
Next, put the chocolate and milk into a heatproof bowl that will fit over a small saucepan of water. Heat the water to just below simmering point and place the bowl containing the chocolate mixture on top. The bowl should not touch the water or the chocolate will burn.
Leave it for about 5 mins, and then give it a stir until it’s smooth. Don’t over stir it, let it do it’s own thing and it will be much silkier.
Leave the bowl on top of the pan, but remove it from the heat.
In a separate bowl (or food processor) cream the butter and sugar until pale and fluffy. Personally, I like to cream the butter on its own first, until it slightly changes colour, and then cream it with the sugar. I’m not sure if this does anything…but it’s a habit now!
Add the eggs one at a time, adding a little flour from the 200g with the 2nd and 3rd. Beat well after each addition.
Stir in the chocolate mixture until it is well combined.
Sift the flour and the cocoa over the mixture, and fold it in with a metal spoon. Scrape it into the prepared tin, smooth level, and bake for 35-40 minutes, or until well risen and a skewer poked into it comes out clean. Turn them onto wire racks to cool.
I only have one cake tin in my uni house, so I did it in that. If you are going to do this, keep an extra eye on it while it is cooking as it will take slightly longer but the top is liable to burn slightly. Make sure the cake is completely cool before you cut it in half.
If you have made two cakes, gently slice the very top off one to level it and make it easier for the cakes to sit on top of each other.
Sandwich the cakes together with a thick layer of chocolate buttercream and dust the top with icing sugar.
Now see how long it lasts! Yum.