I personally think anything can be solved by a damn fine slice of Chocolate cake! You’re feeling blue - hmmm, slab of fudge cake? You want to celebrate, would madam like some Black Forest Gateau? and of course for the ultimate in cheating husbands can you beat a gooey Chocolate fondant?
Seriously though, a good vanilla sponge and a chocolate cake are the basis of any good bakers repertoire and I have tried a LOT of recipes, so as you lot are all lovely, I thought I would share my recipe with you, that I have refined and used for years and I think is a damn fine slice of Chocolate heaven!
I am going to list ingredients slightly differently, in that I am putting them down in a list as I use them, I hate having to always scan through the list of ingredients to find what I need - it might not be the correct way to do it, but I think it works!
200gm good quality chocolate (I use callebaut, which is a great Belgian chocolate, but any decent chocolate over 50% cocoa will do)
200gm butter chopped into cubes
125ml cold water with 1 tbsp of coffee dissolved into it
200gm soft brown sugar
200gm Golden Caster Sugar
85gm Plain flour
85gm Self Raising flour
30gm cocoa powder
1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
Measure the chocolate, butter and cold coffee into a microwaveable container and heat for 1 minute. Remove from microwave and give a good beat with a whisk. you want all the chocolate and butter to melt and form a thick silky liquid. It might need a little onager in the microwave, but remember to give it a little time for the heat to work through before doing this and only put it back in for 20 secs at a time. Once its melted, pop it to one side.
At this point, because you don’t want the chocolate mixture to be too hot when added to the other ingredients, I switch my oven on to 160C and grease and line an 8” round cake tin so the chocolate mixture has some time to cool down.
Place both the sugars, flours, cocoa powder and bicarbonate of soda into a bowl and give a good rub with your fingers. Get all the ingredients combined and any lumps from the brown sugar out.
Mix the buttermilk and eggs together in a jug and give them a good whisk.
Pour both of the liquid mixtures into the dry ingredients and give a really good beat. I do this with a whisk at first, finishing with a spatula to make sure it is really well incorporated and forms a lovely silky mix.
Pour the batter into your cake tin and pop it into your oven for an hour and a half.
When taking out the cake, just give a quick test with a skewer, making sure it comes out relatively clean. This is a moist cake, so it will not be completely clean, but there shouldn’t be any lumps of uncooled batter.
Remove the cake from the oven and leave it to cool completely in the tin.
Once cool, remove from the tin and serve! I make a fluffy ganache filling by whisking a chocolate ganache with just a little icing sugar and sandwiching it between 2 layers of the cake, but you could use buttercream, whisked cream, salted caramel - whatever takes your fancy!
Talking of salted caramel - might do my salted caramel sponge cake recipe for next week?