Perfect Chocolate Cake

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Making a truly satisfying chocolate cake which has a moist crumb, light texture and an intensely chocolaty flavour is no mean feat. Indeed, a chocolate cake needs more than a great recipe to be great, it needs careful preparation of the ingredients, a loving hand to mix them, and a watchful eye as it bakes.

With that in mind, get all the weighing, sifting, melting and warming done first. That way the mixing, which is the most important stage, can be done without distraction or delay.

The next step is getting the ingredients to the right temperature. The butter must be soft enough to allow the whisk to beat in the sugar with no resistance. This enables you to beat in air, resulting in a pale and fluffy base. The eggs and milk must be at room temperature, as adding anything cold will cause the batter to seize, effecting the texture of the cake.

Now sift the dry ingredients. This is very important as it aerates the flour and cocoa, ensuring a light crumb with no lumps. When you fold the dry ingredients into the batter do it gently, with a large spoon, keeping as much air in it as possible. It’s these air bubbles that, with some help from the raising agent, will rise up and give an open airy texture.

Don’t undercook the cake as it will collapse. Use a timer and test that it’s cooked by inserting a skewer into the centre; it should come out clean. After a few minutes remove the cake from the tin and place on a wire rack. This is essential as it allows the cake to cool quickly and evenly.

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Perfect Chocolate Cake

100g dark chocolate – melted
250g soft unsalted butter
125g light soft brown sugar
125g golden caster sugar
Pinch salt
100g cocoa powder
250g plain flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
3 large eggs – room temperature
250ml milk – room temperate

Frosting
150g soft unsalted butter
100g cocoa powder
100g dark chocolate – melted
225g icing sugar
Pinch salt
2 tablespoons milk

Mini eggs & White chocolate shavings to decorate

  • Pre-heat the oven to 180C.
  • Sift the cocoa powder, flour & baking powder into a large bowl.
  • Cream together the butter, salt & sugar until pale & fluffy.
  • Beat in the eggs one at a time.
  • Fold in half the sifted dry ingredients.
  • Gently stir in the melted chocolate.
  • Fold in the remaining dry ingredients.
  • Gently stir in the milk.
  • Pour into 2 X 20cm cake tins, greased and lined with baking paper.
  • Bake for 25 – 30 minutes, until a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean.
  • Turn out of the tins & cool thoroughly on a wire rack
  • To make the frosting whisk the butter until fluffy, then whisk in the salt, cocoa & icing sugar. Finally whisk in the melted chocolate & then the milk.
  • Place one of the cakes on a plate, cover with frosting & put the other cake on top. Cover the top & sides with frosting and then decorate with mini eggs & white chocolate shavings.
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