Prep 30 mins
Cook 1 hr 15 mins
Calling all chocoholics! Here's the recipe for what is probably the best chocolate cake in the world (well, it’s the best chocolate cake I've ever made)! It is moist, fudgy and of course very very chocolaty. You can make the cake in advance of when you need it and freeze it for up to a month. I made this to serve as a dessert for a dinner party I gave for my Mum's birthday; it was an all round hit. The recipe is from the April 2005 Sainsbury's magazine (Sainsbury's is an English supermarket), where it featured in their Easter Sunday lunch menu. I made a few tweaks and this is how I made it. The original recipe says this serves 8, but it is so rich that I think 10 -12 is more like it, and you still get good sized portions. Enjoy!
- 3 ounces plain flour (all purpose)
- 5 ounces self raising flour
- 3 1⁄2 ounces cocoa powder (I used Green & Blacks)
- 6 ounces unsalted butter, softened
- 12 ounces golden caster sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 3 large eggs, at room temperature
- 75 ml sour cream, at room temperature
- 175 ml milk, at room temperature
- 5 ounces dark chocolate, broken into squares (I used Lindt, with 70 per cent cocoa solids)
- 2 1⁄2 ounces unsalted butter, cubed
- 3 tablespoons double cream (heavy)
- 2 ounces whole unblanched almonds
- 2 ounces dark chocolate (use the same type of chocolate as for the icing)
- 2 ounces white chocolate
- Preheat the oven to 350°F/180°C/ gas mark 4 and prepare the cake tin: using a tin measuring 8 inches (20cm)in diameter, 3 inches (7.5cm) deep, lightly oil the cake tin, line the base and sides with baking parchment and oil again, dust the sides with 1 tablespoon each of flour and sugar (this additional flour/sugar is extra to the quantities listed above).
- In a large bowl, beat the butter, sugar and vanilla extract together with an electric whisk for at least 5 minutes - so that it is light and creamy; add the eggs, beating the mix well as you add each egg; beat in the soured cream and milk - it may look curdled, but don't worry this is fine!
- Sieve flours and cocoa together in a separate bowl then sprinkle half over the cake mix; fold in with a metal spoon; sprinkle and fold in the second half.
- Gently spoon the cake mix into the cake tin and make a shallow hollow in the middle with the back of the spoon: bake on the middle shelf for 50 minutes then cover with a double layer of wet baking parchment (to stop the top of the cake overbrowning) and continue cooking for another 10-15 minutes - the cake is baked when it's risen and a fine skewer put in the middle comes out clean: remove from the oven and leave the cake to cool in its tin for 10 minutes before turning out onto a wire rack, best/flattest side up.
- To make the truffle icing, put the chocolate and butter in a small heatproof bowl and set it over a pan of just simmering water - the bowl must not touch the water: melt the chocolate/butter mix over the water for about 5 minutes then remove the bowl from the pan and leave to cool to 15 minutes: stir in the cream and leave the chocolate mix to cool for about 20-30 minutes so that the icing will be thick enough to coat the cake without the icing running off: pour truffle icing over the cake and spread it over the top and sides.
- To make the almond decoration, first lightly toast the almonds on a baking sheet in the oven at 350°F/180°C/ gas mark 4 for 5 minutes, turning them over half way through; remove and leave to cool: while they are cooling melt the dark chocolate in a bowl over a pan of simmering water until melted, dip the almonds into the chocolate and lay out to dry on baking parchment - about 30 minutes: when dry repeat the process with the white chocolate, but this time arrange the almonds on top of the cake after dipping, the heat of the white chocolate will start to melt the first coat of chocolate on the almonds and you'll get a marbled finish, drizzle any left over melted chocolate over the almonds.
- Leave decoration to cool before serving, then watch the cake 'vanish' before your very eyes!
This makes a dense, dark and delicious cake. It took me longer than 30 minutes to make, but part of that was the measurement conversions. I used superfine sugar, and also used a tube pan, which made a beautiful cake. The only difficulty I had was with the chocolate coated almonds not hardening (probably due to humidity here), so I put them in the freezer for just a couple minutes. This cake is decadent, but not overly sweet; perfect for special occasions, or when dh has a major chocolate craving! Thanks Caroline!