“He showed the words ‘chocolate cake’ to a group of Americans and recorded their word associations. ‘Guilt’ was the top response. If that strikes you as unexceptional, consider the response of French eaters to the same prompt: ‘celebration’.”
~ Michael Pollan, In Defense of Food: An Eater’s Manifesto
A friend on the other side of the world asked me for a foolproof but yummy chocolate cake recipe with easily obtainable ingredients that she could bake for her sister’s informal impromptu wedding, which just happens to be tomorrow.
My friend is not a baker, but she wanted to make a from-scratch cake in honour of love. I totally support that, don’t you?
This cake recipe fits the bill – it’s simple to make, and virtually foolproof. Plus soooooo yummy. (PS – Congratulations to Susanne and Adesh. I hope your wedding celebration is magical, and we all send our love!)
The picture above of is a double recipe. This cake is a triumph – so easy, and it never fails to please.
Ingredients for cake:
250 grams unsalted butter (I’ve used salted and that’s fine if it’s all you’ve got), 200 grams good quality dark chocolate, 1 cup caster sugar, 1 cup soft brown sugar, 3/4 cup plain flour, 3/4 cup self raising flour, 1/4 cup cocoa, 1 teaspoon instant coffee, or one shot of espresso, 1 1/3 cups of water (a teensy bit less if you used espresso), 3 eggs
- Break the chocolate into pieces and dump into a large saucepan. Add in the chopped butter, sugar, water and coffee. Melt together until all ingredients are dissolved and then cool.
- Sift flours and cocoa into a large mixing bowl.
- Gently mix through the cooled chocolate liquid by hand with a large spoon.
- Finally, beat the eggs together to combine, then gently fold the eggs into the cake mix.
- Pour the batter into a double lined 20cm deep cake tin, and bake at 150 degrees celcius for 1 and 3/4 hours. **check cake towards the end so it doesn’t overcook.
- Allow to cool in tin before removing
Melt together 250grams of broken dark chocolate and 1/3 cup of cream in a heatproof bowl over a saucepan of simmering water. Remove from heat and allow to cool until it thickens, stirring occasionally and then pour/spread over cake. (Don’t leave ganache in fridge and forget about it or you’ll have to eat the lot!)
I also made some chocolate leaves by melting dark chocolate and using a clean paint brush to paint camelia leaves. Just peel the leaf away carefully when the chocolate sets. Ivy leaves also look brilliant but any non-toxic leaf will work. I used smarties (chocolate beanies) to make flower patterns, although it looks a bit like I channelled my inner 1950s housewife, don’t you think!
♥ Serve in small slices (be warned – this is rich!) with some vanilla ice-cream or a good double cream. It keeps well, but never seems to last. Enjoy! xx