This cake is always a massive hit. Whenever I make it people think it is store bought, but the flavour is oh so much richer than many commercial cakes.
I first tasted this (without the buttercream) a few years back when it was made for me by someone I knew. I later reaslised it was a recipe from the women’s weekly. I decided to try it and have been making this whenever I want to impress with minimal effort.
I have tweaked the recipe to suit me over time, and have found it is even better the next day, so perfect for preparing in advance.
Some of the charm of a chocolate cake is in its rustic appeal, so it is ideally suited to those (like me) who arent that great with cake decorating (yet).
So if you want a cake to impress, put aside that box of Betty Crocker, and try one from scractch.. you will be glad you did.
For the cake:
1.5 cups water
2 cups caster sugar
1 tablespoons vanilla sugar
1 tablespoons insant coffee
1 cup dark chocolate buttons
1 cup plain flour
1.5 cups selfraising flour
1/4 cup coco powder
1 cup oil or 250 gms unsalted butter
2 large eggs
For the buttercream filling:
1 teaspoon instant coffee dissolved in 2 tablespoons milk
125 gms unsalted butter
125 gms coffa (vegetable shortening)
2 cups icing sugar
For the ganache:
1 cup thickened cream
1 cup dark chocolate buttons
In a saucepan, melt chocolate, water and sugar. Stir until dissolved. If using butter, add as well.
Allow to cool FULLY before proceeding to the next step or else you will end up with scrambled eggs.
Sift the coco powder, flours and vanilla sugar and mix well. This will ensure an even colouring.
Add lightly beaten eggs and cooled water/choc/sugar/butter liquid.
Mix well with a spatula, but do not over mix as this will make your cake tough.
Grease and line a deep round or square cake tin. I found my 7 cm high, 20 cm diam tin too small for this, so use the size up.
Bake in a medium heat (I had to lower my oven to 120 because the cake was rising too quickly). Start off at 150 and alter the temp to suit.
This cake takes about 1 hour 30- 50 mins to cook. It is done when a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean. check around the 1 hr ten minutes mark, if it is still wobbly and wet looking dont even bother with the skewer, wait and check later.
Do not over bake as this will result in a dry cake.
I bake my cake at night and make my fillings and ganache the next day. The cake must be cooled entirely before decorating.
…..Now for the filling!
Beat the butter, copha until well combined. Add sugar and and beat again until fluffy. Add milk/coffee mix until fluffy again. Set aside at room temp.
……..and the ganache
On medium heat, allow cream and milk to melt together. Mix well and remove from the heat. Allow to cool.
To fill the cake. Slice the cake into two or three equak portions. Slice off the top iff the cake is uneven. I use a long bread or any long flat knife with a jaggered edge.
Dont cut in one directional motion, rather go around while turning the cake and go deeper with each rotation. I will post a link to this.
Fill with as much butter cream as you want. You can retain some for decorating.
You have 2 choices with the ganache, either pour over when cool but still runny, which gives a glossy finish, but is more difficult to deal with, or allow to cool further and spread over which gives a more matted look.
Experiment with both techniques as they both look good, and ultimately both taste great!
Note: If you wondering what the golden dust is on the cake, that was some salted butterscotch crumble I made, but that is really not necessary.