Last week I was invited to a friend's birthday party and of course that meant I couldn't go without a cake in hand! This is the ultimate, indulgent celebration cake- (admittedly not the easiest thing to transport up to Edinburgh on the train) but perfect for all birthdays, summer garden parties and picnics!
This is the best chocolate cake recipe I've found, and I've tried a fair few! I tend to find that a lot of chocolate cakes are very dry but this is really moist, squidgy and more of a chocolate fudge cake. To break up the richness, I've sandwiched the two layers with a layer of whipped cream and fresh strawberries. Delish!
For the cake:
200g good quality dark chocolate
1tbsp instant coffee granules
85g self-raising flour
85g plain flour
1/4 tsp baking powder
200g light brown muscovado sugar
200g caster sugar
25g cocoa powder
3 medium free-range eggs
75ml buttermilk or 75ml milk and 1tsp lemon juice
200g good quality milk chocolate
284ml carton double cream
2tbsp caster sugar
Preheat the oven to 140 degrees C (fan).
Add the dark chocolate and butter to a heavy-bottomed non-stick saucepan. Add in the coffee granules and 125ml cold water and then set the pan over a medium heat. Stir gently until everything is melted and mixed. Remove from the heat and allow to cool slightly.
Meanwhile in a large mixing bowl, mix together the flours, baking powder, both sugars and the cocoa powder. Stir well with a wooden spoon.
In a measuring jug, measure out the buttermilk (or milk, then add in the lemon juice and leave to stand for a few minutes.) Then whisk in the eggs.
Now pour the chocolate and egg mixtures into the dry ingredients in the mixing bowl and stir well until everything is blended and you have a smooth and fairly runny consistency.
Then pour the mixture into two, normal-sized sandwich cake tins that have been greased and lined with baking paper.
Bake in the preheated oven for 35-40 minutes. Check it after 30 minutes to check its not burning. The cake should be done when it is springy to the touch and when a sharp knife, poked in the middle, comes out clean.
Leave to cool and then turn out of the tins on a wire cooling rack.
To make the ganache: add the cream and sugar to a small saucepan. Heat over a medium heat until the cream begins to boil. Break the chocolate up into a small glass bowl and then pour over the hot cream. Stir quickly until you have a smooth and glossy mixture. Once it has cooled slightly, put the bowl in the fridge for about an hour until the mixture is spreadable.
To assemble the cake, sandwich the two layers of chocolate cake with a layer of whipped double cream and fresh chopped-up strawberries. Then top with the other cake half. Using a palette knife, spread a thin layer of the ganache over the top and sides of the cake and then put the whole cake in the fridge. Once the first layer of ganache has set, remove the cake from the fridge and spread over a thick even layer of ganache. Swirl the top with a knife and then return to the fridge in an airtight container until ready to serve.
The cake will keep 2-3 days, stored in an airtight container in the fridge.
Since seeing the idea on Pinterest, I've always wanted to have a go at making this cute and colourful cake bunting! It's a great, slightly unusual and special way of decorating a birthday cake!
To make it, I used two wooden skewers and then cut out small triangles of coloured card. I used pritt stick to glue the coloured triangles to a piece of string and then tied them across the skewers. Once the ganache on the cake has set, carefully stick in your cake bunting at a slight angle.
Adapted from: http://www.bbcgoodfood.com/recipes/3092/ultimate-chocolate-cake