Saturday, 4 May 2013

Ultimate Chocolate Cake

This was the chocolate cake I made for my boss who is now off to get married next weekend. I baked a chocolate cake (his absolute favourite) and a Lemon Curd filed Zila Cubes cakes. The Zila cakes were the perfect start of the morning (as it was conveniently sliced) before we dig in the oozing chocolate mountain. I took the recipe from the BBCgoodfood (Angela Nilsen) website as it had over 800 positive ratings, so I thought it must be good.........and ohh my God how good it was. I only changed the cream and made a 10% bigger cake so it would be a nice size in my rectangle tin (I found the rectangle shape better for he office cake sharing/it is easier to divide and share). Oh I made a poor attempt to replicate my boss and his fiancee to sit on top of the cake....sadly later during delivery his leg broke into pieces...........but I still sit them on top of the cake as I worked too hard not to put them on. I also made the mistake to cover the freshly covered cake with kitchen foil which later stuck to the cream and left some marks, but nobody complained about this:) 

Ultimate Chocolate Cake

For the sponge
220 g good quality dark chocolate, about 60% cocoa solids
220 g butter
1 tbsp instant coffee ganules
95 g self-raising flour
95 g plain flour
1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
220 g light muscovado sugar
200 g golden caster sugar
30 g cocoa powder
4 medium eggs
85 ml buttermilk (5tbsp)

For the cream
500g mascarpone
200 g good quality dark chocolate, about 60% cocoa solids
3-4 tbsp hazelnut liqueur

To decorate
50 g chocolate for chocolate curls 

Preheat the oven to 160C and line a 19X25 cm rectangle tin with baking paper.
Break the dark chocolate in pieces into a medium, heavy based pan. Cut the butter into pieces and tip in with the chocolate, then mix 1 tbsp instant coffee granules into 125 ml cold water and pour into the pan. Warm through over a low heat just until everything is melted - don't overheat.

While the chocolate is melting, mix the self raising flour, plain flour, bicarbonate of soda, light muscovado sugar, golden caster sugar and cocoa powder in a big bowl, mixing with your hands to get rid of any lumps. Beat the eggs in a bowl and stir in the buttermilk.

Now pour the melted chocolate mixture and egg mixture into the flour mixture, stirring just until everything is well blended and you have a smooth, quite runny consistency. Pour this into the tin and bake for 1 hour 25 -1 hour 30 minutes - if you push a skewer in the middle it should come out clean and the top should feel firm. 

Leave it to cool in the tin, then turn out onto a wire rack to cool completely.

When the cake is cold, cut it horizontally into three. Make the cream:mixing the mascarpone with the melted but slightly cooled chocolate and the hazelnut liqueur.

Sandwich the layers together with the mascarpone cream but leave enough cream to cover the outside of the cake with a palette knife.

Decorate with chocolate curls: melt 50 g of dark chocolate and spread it on a sooth chopping board. Pop it to the freezer for 10 minutes so the chocolate  hardens, then with a long bladed sharp knife start shaving curls of the surface. It doesn't have to be precise, the more shape and size you have is the better.

The cake keeps moist and gooey for 3-4 days......haha it took 30 minutes for the office staff to demolish the whole cake:)

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