Luxurious Chocolate Cake

I made this chocolate cake for my boyfriend’s birthday last week and it didn’t stand a chance! Gone in less than 12 hours. It is a moist sponge, almost brownie like, and I got the recipe from the Community Table Recipes site and tweeked it a little.

  • 2 cups white sugar
  • 1 and 3/4 cups of flour
  • 3/4 cup of cocoa powder
  • 2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup buttermilk (or 250ml normal milk with 1 and 1/2 tbsp of lemon juice stirred in)
  • 1 cup of hot water with 1 tsp coffee mixed in
  • 1/2 cup veg oil
  • 2 tsp vanilla essence or 1tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tin caramel
  • 250g butter
  • 3 cups icing sugar
  • 1/2 cup cocoa
  • 2 tsp vanilla essence
  • 4 tbsp milk
  1. Heat oven to 180C and grease two identical cake tins
  2. Whisk dry ingredients together. Add eggs, buttermilk, coffee, oil and vanilla and beat on medium speed for about 2 minutes. Do not be alarmed, the batter is meant to be very thin and watery.
    The sugar shards add wonderful texture and colour to the cake as well as mirroring the gorgeous bronze caramel in the middle. Yum!
  3. Pour equal amounts of batter into each tin and bake for 35-40 mins or until a knife comes out the cakes clean.
  4. Cool the cakes in their tins for 10 minutes before turning out onto wire racks to cool completely.
  5. Once cool, poor some caramel straight from the tin onto the centre of the base cake and spread out with a spatula. You can make this layer of caramel as thick or thin as you like (I made it quite thick…obviously), then place the second cake on top. If you do not want to use caramel, you can sandwich with extra buttercream or even jam.
  6. Make the chocolate buttercream icing by whisking the butter on its own for about 3 minutes or until it starts to turn pale. Then add the cocoa and icing sugar. Add the vanilla and then the milk, tablespoon at a time to make sure you get the correct consistency. I made mine quite thick. Ice the top and the sides of the cake and decorate as you like. I used chocolate coated biscuits and sugar shards.
  7. To make sugar shards, pour 1-2 cups of castor sugar into a saucepan and heat until the sugar starts to melt and bubble. As soon as it starts to bubble, wait 30 seconds or so then remove from the heat and stir to melt the remaining sugar. Dunk the base of the saucepan in cool water and quickly, with a fork or spoon, whip the sugar every which way over a greased baking sheet or greased bit of baking paper. (PS: I know it looks like you will never get the crystallised sugar out the saucepan but do not fear – running it under a powerful stream of hot tap water with a bit of detergent will slowly begin to dissolve the sugar away!)
  8. After you have finished cleaning the saucepan, your shards will have hardened and are ready to crack. Use a spoon or rolling pin to break up the shards and then scatter artistically or place meticulously on your cake!

This is one of the only cakes I have ever made which has made me think, “Gee, I could eat this as is, without the icing!” because it is so moist and delicious and not too sweet! The sweetness comes from the caramel and buttercream. I hope you enjoy this recipe as much as my boyfriend and I did, and remember to play around with different ideas, both for the recipe and the decorating!


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