TRAVEL & COOKING

ULTIMATE CHOCOLATE CAKE

Serious chocolate lover? Well, get ready, sweet stuff. You’re going to love this one. Our signature take on the classic chocolate cake is light and spongy yet devilishly decadent, and—thanks to Dutch cocoa—dark as a moonless midnight. If you want to stick to the basics, however, skip the GMS. You’ll still wind up with a seriously tasty dessert with which to wow your dinner guests, spoil your children, and shame the other parents at the bake sale. We like ours with frosting—recipe’s below—but you can swap in your favorite icing or ganache if you like. Just don’t forget to reserve a thick slice for yourself—we designed this one for serious chocolate lovers, after all. And if you’re ready to embark on this particular baking journey, we’re guessing your love of chocolate is serious indeed.

Butter a 20cm round cake tin (7.5cm deep) and line the base. Preheat the oven to fan 140C/conventional 160C/ gas 3. Break 200g good quality dark chocolate in pieces into a medium, heavy-based pan. Cut 200g butter into pieces and tip in with the chocolate, then mix 1 tbsp instant coffee granules into 125ml cold water and pour into the pan. Warm through over a low heat just until everything is melted – don’t overheat. Or melt in the microwave on Medium for about 5 minutes, stirring half way through.

  While the chocolate is melting, mix 85g self-raising flour, 85g plain flour, ¼ bicarbonate of soda, 200g  muscovado sugar, 200g golden caster sugar and 25g cocoa powder in a bowl, mixing with your hands to get rid of any lumps. Beat 3 medium eggs in a bowl and mixed in 75ml (5 tbsp) buttermilk.

  Using a rubber spatula, mix the butter in a large bowl until and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Gradually add sugar and vanilla. Add the eggs, one at a time, stirring well after each addition. Pour in the cooled cocoa mixture. Mix until fully incorporated.

Add the sifted dry ingredients to the chocolate mixture, stirring until just combined. Pour the batter into the prepared pans (about 4 cups in each pan). Bake for 20 minutes, rotate the pans, and bake for an additional 15 minutes, until a cake tester comes out clean when inserted into the center.

 Remove the cakes from the oven, and allow to cool in pans for 15 minutes on a cooling rack. Carefully run a small offset spatula around the edge of the cakes to loosen them from the pan. Remove cakes from pans, and invert onto a wire rack. Let cool completely, about 1 hour.

  To assemble, using a serrated knife, level the surface of each cake layer. Place four strips of parchment paper around the perimeter of the cake stand. Spread with 3/4 cup of frosting. Top with the remaining layer, bottom side up. Using a swirling motion, cover the outside of the cake with the remaining frosting. Remove parchment-paper strips.

Ingredients

  • 3 cups self-raising flour
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1½ tsp vanilla extract
  • ¾ cup cocoa powder
  • 2 tsp baking soda, sifted
  • 200g butter, softened
  • 1 cup milk or unsweetened yoghurt
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 cup boiling hot coffee