I do love chocolate cake and I have made several different versions of the last few years. This particular cake though is, perhaps, my favourite. It has such a rich and satisfying flavour that a very first mouthful will have you coming back for more.
That rich flavour comes from the cocoa in the cake layers as well as the immensely deep flavour from the ganache.
The cake uses a lot of eggs, which are beaten into a thick, airy consistency to give a good rise to the cake batter as it bakes in the oven. The eggs beaten like that means that there is no need to use any other raising agents in the batter. Although I use medium eggs, and stipulate large eggs for USA readers, it is important to note that egg sizes vary across the world. Europe and Britain use the same sizes but it is worth checking the sizes for your country, chicken egg sizes.
The recipe is actually very easy, even though it takes time to make. There are a number of different steps but all are very simple. Although the whole thing could be done by hand I would recommend using a stand mixer, or at least a hand mixer since there is a lot of whisking involved.
In fact the very first thing to do is to start whisking the whole eggs and yolks on a bain marie(double boiler) until they are hot. Then the whisking continues off the heat until the mixture reaches such a consistency that, when the whisk is lifted, trails or ribbons are formed on the top of the mixture which slowly sink back in. That means that there is enough air in the mixture to give a good rise in the oven. It is important to whisk all the while as the egg heat up, to avoid any scrambling.
After that there is very little mixing to do before baking the cake.
The cake is then cut into two layers and is filled with a rich chocolate ganache, with more being used to entirely cover the cake.
The ganache is a very simple equal parts of dark chocolate and double, or heavy, cream. It is then allowed to set to a consistency that can be spread as a layer in the middle of the cake. The remainder can be reheated to a pouring consistency and used to cover the tops and sides of the cake. If desired any excess can be cooled again and then piped onto the top. For those who might prefer to use milk chocolate I think that should work too, but with a little less cream in the mixture.
This cake is so deliciously rich that a small slice will satisfy most appetites. It is also perfect served as a dessert, maybe with a little whipped cream.
Feedback from those who have tasted it, or tried to make it, is very positive. In fact everybody loved it.
For an even easier cake try this Chocolate Sandwich Cake
Rich Chocolate Cake
75g(1/2 cup, based on scooping packed flour into a 250ml cup) plain flour
37g(5 tbsp) cocoa powder
150g(3/4 cpu) caster sugar (granulated is ok too)
75g(5 tbsp+1tsp) unsalted butter, melted
a good pinch of slat
3 whole medium eggs(large in USA)(out of shell mine weighed 152g)
6 medium egg yolks(large in USA)(mine weighed 96g)
454g(16 oz/2 cups) dark chocolate(I used semi sweet)
480ml(2 cups) double cream
- Place the eggs, yolks. and sugar into a large heatproof bowl.
- Place the bowl onto a pan of simmering water and immediately begin to whisk everything together.
- Continue to whisk until the mixture becomes hot to the touch and begins to thicken.
- Preheat the oven to 180C/160C Fan/350F and grease and flour an 8 inch/20cm springform pan, placing a circle of parchment paper on the bottom.
- Remove the bowl from the heat and continue whisking(I used my stand mixer) until the eggs thicken and become pale in colour. They should reach a ribbon like texture if some is lifted and swirled on the top).
- Sift the flour, salt and cocoa powder together to ensure there are no lumps and everything is mixed together.
- Add the melted butter into the eggs.
- Add the sifted flour mixture in as well and gently fold everything together until it is fully combined, taking care not to knock all the air out of the eggs.
- Pour the cake batter into the cake tin and shake gently to spread evenly over the base.
- Bake in the oven for 30 to 35 minutes, until the cake rises and feels firm but springy to the touch. A skewer poked into the centre should come out clean.
- Place the cake, in the pan, on a rack to cool for 10 minutes. then turn it out onto the rack, leaving it to cool upside down.
- Melt the chocolate in a large bowl(I did this in a microwave, in 40 second bursts, stirring each time, until fully melted).
- Heat the cream until it just about begins to boil.
- Pour the cream onto the chocolate and whisk, from the centre, until everything turns into a dark, silky smooth ganache.
- Chill about 1/3 of the ganache until it sets firm enough to spread.
- Carefully cut the cake into two layers of equal thickness.
- Spread the chilled ganache onto the top of one layer of the cake.
- Place the second layer of cake onto the spread ganache, leaving a smooth, level, top to the cake.
- Heat the remaining ganache to a pouring consistency.
- Ensure the cake is on a rack over a tray and then pour the ganache over the top allowing it to cover the surface and to run down to coat the sides too.
- Allow the ganache to set up on the cake.
- If desired take the excess ganache and any that dripped into the tray and allow to chill. Then pipe it onto the top of the cake.