Ultimate Chocolate Cake
This my favourite chocolate cake. It is so rich and indulgent, but it still has a nice texture. For me, it's the perfect combination between a chocolate brownie and a cake: moist, but it still has a crumb. The recipe is very easy and you only need some mixing bowls and a whisk!
The cake in this recipe I have adapted from Sally's Baking Addiction's "Triple Chocolate Cake". However, I chose to use a ganache for layering and topping the cake, because I prefer a shiny chocolate ganache over buttercream. I made this cake as a birthday cake for my boyfriend, so I used some white chocolate with red food colouring to decorate the cake. I piped "Happy Bday" on top and I made some Paint Brush Stroke decorations. This is super easy to do - you can find some great tutorials online!
Chocolate Cake Ingredients
220 grams plain flour
65 grams unsweetened natural cocoa powder*
350 grams granulated sugar
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons instant coffee
120ml vegetable oil
2 large eggs, at room temperature
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
120 ml buttermilk
180 grams sour cream (full-fat)
120 ml freshly brewed strong hot coffee*
Chocolate Ganache Ingredients
300 grams dark chocolate (70% cocoa), finely chopped
300 ml double cream
1.5 tbsp golden syrup
Preheat the oven to 180 degrees Celsius and grease three 20cm (8 inch) cake tins. You want to use a tin with a loose bottom for easy removal.
Make the cake. Combine all the dry ingredients (flour, baking powder, baking soda, instant coffee, salt, sugar, cocoa powder) in a large bowl and whisk. Mix the oil, eggs, vanilla, buttermilk, and sour cream together. Combine the dry and the wet and mix. Then add the hot coffee and mix again. The batter should be quite thin.
Divide the batter evenly over your three cake tins and bake them for 25 - 27 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean. When the cakes are baked, leave them to cool for 5 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
Make the chocolate ganache. Very finely chop up 300 grams of 70% cocoa dark chocolate and place in a bowl. Heat up 300 ml of double cream in a small saucepan, together with 1.5 table spoons of golden syrup. When it starts to simmer, immediately turn off the heat and pour the hot cream and golden syrup mixture over the chocolate. Stir until all the chocolate is melted.
Let the ganache cool at room temperature for at least 2 hours, until it reaches a spreadable consistency*. This also gives your cakes time to stabilise before layering them*.
Layer your cakes. This is where the fun begins. Make your cakes absolutely level with a serrated knife, if they are not already. Place the first one on your serving plate or cake stand. Cover evenly with ganache. Then place the second cake on top, cover with ganache again, then top with the third and final cake. Cover the top with more ganache, and also cover the side using a palette knife (see video).
Decorate any way you want!
* Your cake will not taste of coffee - rather, it creates depth in the chocolate flavour. Feel free to use decaf coffee if you want.
* You can make your cakes a day in advance and put them in the fridge. This will make the cakes more sturdy so it is easier to layer your cake - they will be less fragile.
* You can also use the ganache when it's still very liquid, to pour it over the cake.