It’s decadent, dark, and delicious and may well be the ultimate chocolate cake. It’s baked slowly on a lower temp to deliver a gooey, dense texture that teeters on the edge of ‘brownies-ness’ sending you straight into chocolate heaven. Don’t expect airy, fairy, light, and fluffy, this is a solid fudgy cake that will easily bowl anyone over.
It’s one of the best chocolate cake recipes I have come across, and it sits firmly in my top three of all time. It was voted as a BBC website winner and is one of GoodFoods top 80 best ever recipes. I can see why.
I have made it twice using less chocolate than the recipe calls for (i.e. 180gms), and used every day, less extravagant dark chocolate and cocoa powder, and it’s still exceptional. I also added vanilla extract (not in the original recipe) which I find very necessary to enhance the chocolate flavour.
Tips & substitutions:
- If you don’t have self-raising flour, simply use 150gms cake or all-purpose flour and 1 1/2 teaspoons of baking powder. Remember to sift the two together before adding them to the mixture (at least once but twice is preferable).
- You can use less chocolate if you prefer (180gms) and can get away with using cheaper dark chocolate if you want to save on costs.
Adapted from BBC Good Food magazine (I find the ganache too rich for this chocolate cake so have replaced it with a slightly lighter but very smooth frosting recipe).
The ultimate choclate cake
- 200 gm dark chocolate preferably 70% couverture
- 200 gms butter
- 1 tbsp instant coffee
- 85 gms self raising flour
- 85 gms plain flour
- ¼ tsp bicarbonate of soda
- 200 gms dark brown treacle sugar
- 200 gms white sugar
- 25 gms cocoa powder about 4 ½ slightly heaped tbsp
- 3 large eggs room temp
- 75 ml buttermilk 5Tbsp
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 175 gms chocolate
- 75 gms butter
- 1 Tbs corns syrup or golden syrup
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- ½ cup / 125ml sour cream or cream
- 2 ½ cups icing sugar 300gms
- I added 1 tsp of instant coffee granules dissolved in 1 - 2 tbsp of rum I love rum with chocolate and think coffee makes chocolate frosting more chocolatey
- Preheat the oven to 160 degrees c / fan 140 c and grease a 20cm round cake pan or spray with a cooking spray and line with baking paper
- Break the chocolate into pieces into a small pan and add the butter
- Dissolve the coffee with 125ml of cold water and then add to the butter and chocolate mixture and melt altogether over a gentle heat – do not boil
- When its all melted together set aside to cool
- In a bowl sift the 2 flours and bicarb
- Add the sugar and cocoa until it’s all combined
- In a separate bowl beat the eggs until light and fluffy
- Add the buttermilk and briefly beat together
- Add the cooled chocolate and egg / buttermilk mix to the dry mix and fold it all together by hand
- Pour the mixture into the prepared cake tin and bake for 1 hour 25 minutes – 1 ½ hours. Check by piercing the cake with a small sharp knife or skewer – it should come out clean. The top of the cake will be firm and may have a few cracks
- Allow the cake to cool in the tin, and when its completely cool, remove from the tin and peel off the paper.
- Cut into 2 or 3 horizontally (I think 2 layers are perfect), and ice the cake with the chocolate frosting
- Break the chocolate up into pieces and melt in a double boiler with the butter
- When it’s all melted together add the syrup and the cream and stir through to combine
- Put the icing sugar into the food processor and whiz or alternatively if you are using a beater, sift the icing sugar into a bowl
- Mix or process the chocolate mixture with the icing sugar until it all combined
- I added the coffee and rum at the final stage and found that it totally enhances the chocolate flavours.
Or you could make the Ganache as per the original GoodFood recipe:
- 200gms chocolate
- 284ml double cream (pouring)
- 2 tbs caster sugar
Heat the cream and sugar n a pan until it’s about to boil and then pour over the chopped up chocolate pieces in a separate boil and mix until it’s melted and combined and smooth.
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