(Original recipe posted on July 7, 2012 and updated on September 1, 2013)
Here’s a question for you, my OrangePot Friends… What do you do when you are in dire need of comfort?
You see, yesterday was one of those days when things just sort of crumble around me. Nothing I can do seem to make it right and I was just very anxious to do something that I can control, and bring some order back into the day again. For me that usually mean two things – have a fierce session at my kickboxing dojo and cook something amazing in the kitchen.
For the first one, generally it is good for the morale if you are able to smack the hell of the sandbag and give a good (healthy sportsmanship) battering to your opponent. So, the 1-hour session I did at the dojo was completely worth it, even though I walked away with some serious soreness in the calf and my upper body. Ahh…
As for the second thing, my heart has been set all day long to make this delicious and decadent chocolate cake. And I have just the recipe in mind that has been true and tested times and again. There is also something about measuring things in perfection, knowing that by doing so you’re keeping control of the cake that makes it right in the end.
Chocolate cake is good for the soul, I tell you. It is as good as chicken soup for those who are suffering a terrible cold, if not better! A moist and gooey cake is equal to a heartfelt bear hug from your loved ones, packaged in beautiful fudgey chocolate. Try it, you’ll see what I mean.
My Favorite Chocolate Cake
Recipe inspiration: Angela Nilsen at BBC Good Food
200g good quality dark chocolate , about 60% cocoa solids (I used Ghirardelli bittersweet chocolate chips)
200g butter, cut into pieces (not necessary to bring butter to room temperature)
1 tbsp instant coffee granules mix with 125 ml cold water
170g plain flour
1 1/4 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp fine salt
1⁄4 tsp baking soda
200g brown sugar
100g icing sugar
25g cocoa powder
75ml buttermilk (which I made from 75ml hot water + 2 tbsp powder buttermilk. If you don’t have it, just use any other milk you have. Almond/soy milk should work, too)
285ml fresh cream/ heavy milk
200 gram good quality dark chocolate
2 tbsp icing sugar
Tools: 2 x 20-cm round cake tins
- Spray two 20-cm round cake tins (about 7.5cm deep) with oil/butter and line the base. Preheat the oven to fan 140C or conventional 160C
- Combine all in Ingredients 1 in a medium saucepan. Warm the mixture over low heat until just melted, make sure you stir occasionally to make sure the heat is even throughout. Do not overheat!
- While the chocolate is melting, mix all in Ingredients 2 in a big bowl using a whisk.
- In a separate bowl, beat the eggs using a whisk, then stir in the buttermilk.
- Now pour the melted chocolate mixture and the egg mixture into the flour mixture, stirring (I used the hand whisk to stir, but you can use a wooden spoon if you like) until everything is well blended. You will have a smooth, but quite runny consistency
- Divide the mixtures into the pre-prepared tins and bake for 60 minutes. The mixture will sort of raise, but will also go back down in time. To test if it’s done, push a skewer in the center and it should come out clean. The top should feel firm. (Mine was actually looking rather slanted, but don’t worry! You can trim it before doing the ganache and even taste test in the meantime!)***
- Leave to cool in the tin and turn out onto a wire rack to cool completely.
- To make the ganache: heat the cream with the icing sugar until it is about to boil. Take off the heat and pour over chocolate. Stir until chocolate has melted and the mixture is smooth.
- Add some ganache on one of the cakes, then put the other cake on top. Then pour the rest of the ganache over the cake tower, letting it fall down the sides and smoothing to cover with palette knife. If you have some extras still, wait until the ganache dry a little bit and then pour the remaining on top of the cake and do the same process again.
- If I had some bar chocolate, I would have decorated it with some chocolate shavings, alas I have none – so no décor per say! (But honestly it didn’t affect the taste).
- Let sit at least a couple of hours to make sure the ganache is set (over night is better). And then…. Bon Appetit!
***If you only have one round cake tin, see instructions below:
- At step 6, pour the mixture into the pre-prepared tin and bake for 90 minutes at 140C or 160C.
- After step 7: When the cake is cold, cut horizontally into two and separate the halves. Then follow with Step 8 onwards.