THE ULTIMATE CHOCOLATE CAKE. Honestly, probably the only chocolate cake recipe you’ll ever need. Four layers of dense, fudgy, moist cake sandwiched together with a salted dark chocolate fudge icing. DE-LI-CIOUS.
- 200g Caster Sugar
- 250g Soft, Unsalted Butter
- 2 tsp Vanilla Extract
- 350ml Very Hot Coffee
- 150ml Buttermilk
- 225g Light Soft Brown Sugar
- 100g Cocoa Powder
- 1 tsp Salt
- 420g Plain Flour
- 1 1/2 tsp Baking Powder
- 1 tsp Bicarbonate of Soda
- 4 medium Eggs
Chocolate Fudge Icing:
- 350g Unsalted Butter
- 200ml Double Cream
- 450g Dark Chocolate (around 70% Cocoa Solids)
- 2 tsp Sea Salt Flakes
Preheat the oven to 180 degree C. Line four 20cm sandwich tins with baking paper and grease them. If you don’t have sandwich tins you can also use two 20cm spring form tins and then cut the cake layers in half. If you cannot fit all tins in the oven at the same time make sure to first make one half of the batter, bake it and then prepare the second half of the batter and bake it. Since bicarbonate of soda reacts with acid it will lose its ability to rise when the batter isn’t baked instantly.
Cream butter and sugar together in a large mixing bowl, using a stand (paddle or flexi beater) or hand mixer until they’re light in colour and fluffy in texture. Add the vanilla extract and mix in well. Add one egg at a time, mixing for about a minute before adding the next.
Dissolve light soft brown sugar, salt and cocoa powder in the hot coffee.
Combine plain flour, baking powder and bicarbonate of soda.
Add 1/3 of the dry ingredients to the creamed butter sugar mixture and combine it, before adding 1/3 of the coffee mixture and the buttermilk. Mix again until well combined, then repeat two more times with the rest of the dry and wet ingredients. Scrape the bowl down well before mixing for another few seconds until the batter is smooth and well combined.
Equally divide the batter between the four sandwich tins/two spring form tins. They will take about 20-25 minutes in the four sandwich tins and about 40-45 minutes if you’re using two spring form tins. Take the cakes out of the oven when a skewer comes out of the middle clean.
Let the cakes cool down completely.
For the frosting melt butter and cream in a medium saucepan and bring it to simmering point. Chop your dark chocolate finely and put it in a large heat proof mixing bowl. Pour the hot butter and cream mixture over the finely chopped chocolate and let it sit for a few minutes. If you mix it straight away the chocolate might seize up and the frosting will get lumpy. After 4-5 minutes add the sea salt flakes and stir the ingredients together until you have a smooth chocolate fudge icing. Let it cool down completely, stirring occasionally.
When the cake layers and frosting have cooled down its time to put the cake together. If the frosting got too hard to work with just stick it in the microwave for a few seconds and mix it well before using it.
Take the cake layers out of the tins and level the domed top with a cake leveler or a bread knife. If you have baked the cake in two spring form tins you can cut the two layers in half to make four equally sized cake layers.
Place a cake board or plate on a decorating turn table.
Add a little bit of frosting to the middle of the cake plate or board that you want to serve the cake on. Then place the first cake layer in the middle of the cake plate. Add a large dollop of frosting to the cake layer and spread it out using a cranked pallet knife. Make sure to spread it all the way to the edges and that the frosting is evenly spread out. Add the next cake layer and repeat the same process until you reach the last cake layer.
Holding your pallet knife at a 90 degree angle to the board clean up the outside edge of the cake whist turning the turntable. This will fill any space between the cake layers. Then add the rest of the frosting to the top of the cake and again using your pallet knife, spread it out on the final cake layer. Hold the pallet knife at a slight angle with the end pointing to the middle of the top cake layer. Turn the turntable and keep the pallet knife in place, this will create an even top of the fudge frosting and push any excess frosting down the side of the cake. Use the excess frosting to cover the sides with your pallet knife. Then repeat the process until the whole of the cake has a smooth layer of frosting. Finally holding the tip of your pallet knife in one place at the bottom of the cake about a millimeter deep into the frosting, turn the turntable and only move your pallet knife upwards. This will create a slightly scalloped effect. Repeat the same on the top of the cake, where you start on the outer edge and only move the pallet knife inwards whilst turning the turntable. If this makes no sense to you please watch the video, it’s a hundred times more straight forward than it sounds.
No need to chill the cake, just have it now!