As we bring the 2018 Christmas celebrations on this channel to a close, we leave you with a perfect dessert to ring in the new year. Our rich chocolate cake is constructed in two tiers. The sponge is moist and delicate, and melts in your mouth. Sandwiched between the sponges and smothered around them is a silky, decadent dark-chocolate ganache. This is a cake for birthdays and special occasions. But let’s be real, you (and we) would eat this any day of the week.
The tender crumb structure of the sponges comes largely from emulsifying the fat in the other liquids. Also unusual is this recipe’s use of boiling hot water, which apart from reducing gluten (which tends to make cakes chewy) also helps with the emulsion. Here, we’d be remiss if we didn’t credit ChefSteps’ chocolate cake recipe. Can’t thank them enough for turning us on to the hot-water technique. We’ve made several chocolate cakes in our day, and this was by far the best we’ve had.
FOR THE SPONGE
- 225 g all-purpose flour (maida)
- 75 g cocoa powder (we’re using dutch-processed; you can use any)
- 10 g baking powder
- 20 g instant coffee
- 10 g baking soda
- 3 g salt
- 300 g sugar
- 3 eggs
- 10 g vanilla extract
- 180 g melted butter (salted; if using unsalted, increase sat to 7 g)
- 50 g yoghurt (skip if using regular cocoa powder; replace with milk)
- 150 g milk
- 150 g boiling hot water
FOR THE GANACHE
- 300 g dark chocolate (70% cocoa solids)
- 350 g heavy cream (at least 30% milk fat)
- ¼ tsp salt
- ¼ tsp vanilla
Making the cake
- Grease the cake tins with butter and line them with baking paper.
- Preheat your oven at 150 degree Celcius.
- Sift together all the dry ingredients—flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, instant coffee powder, salt and powdered sugar.
- Whisk 3 eggs in a separate bowl.
- Whisk as you pour the melted butter into the egg.
- Add the yoghurt and whisk until smooth.
- Add the milk and mix.
- Add the wet mixture into the dry mixture and roughly mix.
- Add the boiling water and quickly whisk into a smooth velvety batter.
- Divide the batter between the cake tins—roughly 650g of batter in each.
- Bake for 40 minutes until a probe inserted into the centre comes clean or an instant-read thermometer registers 95 degree Celcius.
- Cool the cakes completely in the tin.
Making the ganache
- Heat the heavy cream in a saucepan until hot. It should not simmer or boil.
- Chop good-quality eating chocolate into fine and even pieces and place in a bowl.
- Pour the hot cream over the chocolate shards. Allow this to sit for five minutes.
- Use a spatula to stir this into a silky ganache.
Decorating the chocolate cake
- On a rotating cake stand overturn one of the cakes. The flat bottom of the cake should be facing upwards.
- Pour some ganache and form a thin layer. Place the second cake, upside down on the top of the first cake.
- Pour the rest of the ganache on top and coat all over.