This is the most delicious chocolate cake. I'm struggling to find one I prefer. It's dark, fudgy and not too sweet. It's also the easiest chocolate cake recipe ~ it doesn't even involve an electric whisk! I love to mix a handful of raspberries into the batter, or even swirl through some nutella or hazelnut praline paste before I pop it in the oven.
This recipe is perfect for a tall, 6" cake made of with three sponges. When I made it for this tutorial, I used half the quantities and made 12 cupcakes instead, weighing 55g each. Yes, I do weigh out my cupcake batter...I find it's the best way to make them perfectly even and I'm not ashamed of it!
So follow this recipe for a 6" cake and halve the quantities for 12 cupcakes!
200g dark chocolate
1 tbsp coffee granules (instant is fine)
250g caster sugar
250g self raising flour
40g cocoa powder
1 tsp vanilla extract (never essence)
150ml sour cream
Preheat the oven to 170°c fan/ 190°c/gas mark 5. Prepare 2 x 6” cake tins by buttering and lining the bottom and sides. Do the sides with a single piece of grease proof paper and wrap it around the inside of the tin, which will stick to the butter.
To make three sponges, pour two thirds of the mixture into your two prepared tins. When they're baked, turn them onto a wire rack and re-line one of the tins. Pour the remaining mixture in and bake again.
Put the butter, chocolate, coffee, milk, sugar and vanilla in a medium size saucepan.
Melt over a medium heat until all the ingredients are combined.
Give it a stir with a spatula half way through.
Once gorgeous and glossy, remove from the heat and put to one side. (The smell of buttery, chocolatey, coffee mixture is devine at this point).
Meanwhile, in a medium size bowl, add flour and cocoa and mix with a spoon to combine.
Crack the eggs into a mug or pot and whisk with a fork. Weigh out the sour cream too.
Pour the chocolate mixture over the flour and cocoa powder and mix with a spatula until just combined.
Add the sour cream to cool the mixture down even more (you don't want scrambled eggs!) Then add the eggs and mix again. I forgot to whisk mine first here but it turned out OK!
You might find the mixture is a little bit lumpy. Don't worry about this, just try to make sure there aren't any huge pockets of flour.
For a cake
Pour a third of the mixture into each of your two prepared tins.
Bake for 25 mins and check them with a skewer. They are ready when the skewer comes out clean and they still have a bit of bounce, but not wobble, when you touch the tops. They will be a little cracked but don’t worry, you won’t see this when they are stacked.
When the cakes have cooled slightly, turn them out onto a wire rack. Return the lining to one of the pans by wiping a little more butter around the tin so it sticks. Pour the remaining batter into the pan and cook for another 25 mins, check and remove.
Allow all three cakes to cool completely.
Fill and stack the sponges for a tall, impressive cake. I'll put another post up on how to do this soon!
Pour the batter into a jug. It's quite runny, so this will help you not get it all over the cupcake cases!
Choose some gorgeous cases and line a 12 hole cupcake pan. I went for pink and gold.
Put the pan on your weighing scales and pour in 55g of batter into each case, setting the tare to zero between each one.
Pop them in the oven and set the timer for 10 mins.
After 10 mins, turn the pan around to ensure an even bake. I know you're not supposed to open the oven, but I find with cupcakes that the ones at the back rise and cook much quicker than the front and can even burn. This might just be my oven and all ovens are different, but either way, I promise it won't affect them rising.
Bake them for another 6 mins and check them with a skewer. If it comes out clean, take them out. If they need a few more minutes, set the timer and check again. Don't be afraid of them being slightly squishy, it will add to their browny-like texture.
Take them out of the pan and onto a wire rack to cool ASAP. You don't want the residual heat from the pan to continue baking them and dry them out.
When they're completely cool, fill them with compote and frost them with your favourite buttercream.
I finished mine with raspberry compote, raspberry buttercream and white chocolate shavings. Topped with a few fresh raspberries for good measure.
The possiblilites are endless! How about chocolate buttercream and chocolate shavings? Or vanilla buttercream with salted caramel?
Whatever you decide, this recipe is worth adding to your repertoire.