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Chocolate Lovers’ Chocolate Cake

I don’t often make chocolate cake, and I’m not really sure why. Because really, a chocolate cake is a wonderful thing – a rich, moist, chocolatey cake that can go from morning tea through lunch and on to afternoon tea, and end up as a dessert at dinner time!

A former work colleague gave me this recipe a while back – thank you Pauline – and I’ve been waiting for a suitable time to make it.

Well that time came today. A friend was having a birthday and I wanted to bake a cake for her. We’re in lockdown in Sydney, and sometimes we need a bit of cheering up. So I made this cake for Margaret.

And just to see what the cake was like, I made a little sample cake just for me!

It’s so easy! Another one bowl, all in one mix. The cake is rich, dark and moist. Smother the cake with lots of beautiful chocolate buttercream, and voila! A lovely looking and tasting cake!

Ingredients

Cake

200g self raising flour

1/2 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda

65g cocoa

3 free-range eggs

250g sugar

125g very soft butter

1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract

250 ml milk

Chocolate Buttercream

100g very soft butter

200g icing sugar

25g cocoa

1 tablespoon boiling water

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Method

Preheat the oven to 180 degrees C. Butter a 20cm 9 inch round cake tin or a 20cm 9 inch square tin. Line the base of the tin with baking paper.

Put all the cake ingredients into the bowl of an electric mixer. On low speed, beat all the ingredients until combined.

Spoon the mixture into the prepared tin, smoothing the mixture into the tin.

Bake in the preheated oven for 50-60 minutes. To check for doneness, insert a skewer into the cake and if it comes out clean, the cake is cooked.

Cool in the tin for 15 minutes and then turn out onto a wire rack to cool completely.

To make the chocolate buttercream, cream the soft butter, icing sugar, cocoa and boiling water until the buttercream is soft and easy to spread on the cake. You can do this by hand or you can use an electric mixer.

Once cool, generously spread the chocolate buttercream over the top and sides of the cake.

You can decorate with anything you like – I used silver almonds, rose petal sweets and fresh flowers.

Serve on its own or with a dollop of cream as a dessert!

Chocolate Honeycomb Cake

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I made a cake for a colleague’s birthday this week. She likes chocolate, and I like honeycomb, so I created a cake combining the flavours. Chocolate layers, with a meringue and honeycomb buttercream, and lots of chocolate, chocolate Maltesers and honeycomb shards to decorate.

The cake is really easy – a one bowl cake, which I made in the food processor to make it even simpler. The meringue buttercream takes a little time, but is worth the effort. And honeycomb is so quick to make, there’s no excuse to buy it!

Chocolate Cake Ingredients
2 cups sugar
3 cups self raising flour
2 tsps sifted bi-carbonate soda
3/4 cup Dutch cocoa
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
200g softened butter
1 cup natural yoghurt
3 free range  eggs
1 cup hot coffee (instant or brewed)

Method

Preheat the oven to 160 degrees C.  Grease two 20cm round cake tins with butter and line the bases with baking paper. Put all the ingredients in a food processor and blitz until just combined and the mix is smooth. Be careful not to overmix as this will toughen the cake.

Pour the batter into the prepared cake tins and smooth the tops. Bake for 1 hour or until a skewer inserted into the centre of the cakes comes out clean. Keep both cakes in their tins until they are cool. Carefully turn out on to a wire rack.

Meringue Buttercream Ingredients

4 egg whites
2 cups white sugar
2 cups unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 tablespoon vanilla extract

 

Method

Mix on medium or medium-high speed while pinching off small pieces of butter and throwing them in. Mix in vanilla. Continue beating for about 5 minutes until the meringue and butter mixture is completely amalgamated and thick.

Honeycomb Ingredients

80g caster sugar
12.5g honey
31g  glucose
1 tsp bi-carbonate soda

Method
Combine sugar, honey, glucose and 30 mls water in a saucepan.  Cook till pale blonde  – 150 degrees C, using a cooking thermometer.
Remove from the heat, add bi-carbonate soda and beat vigorously for a few seconds.
Pour onto a tray lined with baking paper. When the honeycomb has hardened, break some into chunks and pulverize the rest.

Toppings: honeycomb, 50g dark chocolate and 50g white chocolate, a dozen or so Maltesers.

To assemble: When the cakes are quite cold, ice the bottom layer with half the meringue buttercream. Sprinkle some crushed honeycomb over the buttercream, as little or as much as you please. Place the second cake on top. Ice the top of the cake with the remaining buttercream. Decorate the cake with crushed honeycomb, dark and white chocolate shavings, crushed Maltesers and honeycomb shards.

 

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