“There are many temptations in this life, but cake is probably one of the biggest of them.” ― Alexander McCall Smith, In the Company of Cheerful Ladies
Baking has been a real struggle for me and this dense, satisfying chocolate cake was my first success after so many burnt and greasy blocks of batter I’ve forced down my family’s throat. It seemed appropriate that it should be the first recipe on my blog. Go ahead, bake your cake and eat it too…
Recipe adapted from Nigella Lawson
Serves 6 – 8
What you’ll need:
1 ½ to 1 ¾ cups of chopped chocolate (sweetened)
½ cup powdered (caster) sugar
¾ cup vegetable oil
2 cups flour
¾ cup cocoa powder
1 ½ tablespoons baking soda
1 cup strong black coffee
1 cup buttermilk
1/3 cup cream
1 ½ tablespoons unsalted butter
Bake the Cake
1. Preheat the oven to 185° Celsius.
2. Melt 1¼ cups of chocolate.
Note: Now there are 2 ways of doing this, ideally you should use a double broiler, placing a metal bowl over a saucepan of boiling water and melt the chopped chocolate in there.
If you’re lazy (and I am) and this seems too fussy, try popping the chocolate into the microwave (on high) for a couple of minutes. If you’re going the microwave way, make sure (i) that your chocolate pieces are chopped up evenly so they melt quickly, and (ii) you put a few tablespoons of milk or water in the container with the chocolate so that your chocolate doesn’t dry out in the microwave. Watch carefully because the price of your laziness could be ending up with a dried up, chalky slab of chocolate.
3. Whisk the melted chocolate, vegetable oil and sugar until smooth. Add one egg and whisk some more. When smooth again, add the other egg and keep whisking.
4. In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda and cocoa powder, making sure there aren’t any clumps.
5. Combine half a cup of coffee, half a cup of buttermilk and half the dry ingredients to the egg mixture. Whisk till your batter is smooth and then repeat with what you have left.
6. Grease or line a baking pan and bake for 30 to 35 minutes. Be careful not to over-bake this because the chocolate may dry up, if a tiny bit of cake comes out on your toothpick, that’s fine.
7. Cool the cake completely before popping it out of the baking pan, this should take about an hour.
Make the Ganache
1. Melt the rest of the chocolate. (You can add ½ a tablespoon of corn syrup if you happen to have some)
2. In another pan heat up the cream.
3. Combine the cream, chocolate and butter and pour on top of the cake.
Top it Up – I’ve used chopped up almonds to top the ganache but you could also use walnuts, strawberries or candy. This is a nice dense chocolate cake so all the usual accompaniments to chocolate will work as toppings.