If you are a budding baker it’s time to dust off your oven gloves and bake up a storm for this year’s National Baking Week (14-20 October) – running alongside Chocolate Week, it is a double coup for those wanting to get involved. National Baking Week is held to raise funds for Great Ormond Street Hospital and you can host your own cake sale – to get involved visit www.gosh.org/bakeitbetter. In London, all the capital’s top chocolatiers take part in Chocolate Week by hosting tastings and demonstrations to promote chocolate but the highlight has to be the famous chocolate couture fashion show with stunning outfits made of chocolate.
Indulge yourself this week by combining both baking and chocolate with this decadent, delicious and seriously grown-up chocolate cake recipe. Its moist and dense texture with luscious ganache frosting makes it a real showstopper! This size will serve 10 people and at 49p per serving it certainly pays (literally) to make your own. For best results, use good-quality dark chocolate, rich in cocoa solids. And don’t worry about the guilt bombs when eating it – scientists have revealed that eating chocolate – in reasonable amounts – makes you feel emotionally better by improving the smooth running of your body’s endorphins (so now you know)!
Chocolate Cake Recipe
For the Sponge:
- 175g (6oz) dark chocolate
- 112g (4oz) softened butter
- 2 large eggs
- 200g (7oz) caster sugar
- 200g (7oz) self-raising flour
- ¾ tsp baking powder
- 1 x 23cm (9”) round loose-bottomed or spring-form tin, greased and base lined.
Preheat the oven to 160˚C/Gas 3. Break the chocolate into pieces and add to the butter in a pan. Add 150ml (5floz) water and heat gently over a low heat, stirring until melted and smooth. Leave to cool slightly.
Break the eggs into a mixing bowl and beat with a fork. Add the caster sugar and beat again until smooth. Gradually pour in the melted chocolate mixture and whisk by hand until smooth. Sift the flour and baking powder into the chocolate mix until combined.
Pour the mixture into the cake tin and bake for 1-1 ¼ hours or until a skewer comes away clean. After 10 minutes turn onto a wire rack, remove the paper and leave to cool completely.
For the Truffle Filling:
- 112g (4oz) dark chocolate, broken into pieces
- 75ml (2 ½ fl oz) double cream
- 75g (2 ½ oz) butter softened
- 250g (9 oz) icing sugar, sifted
Place a bowl over a pan of simmering water and add the chocolate and the cream and melt gently, stirring until smooth. Remove from the heat and add the butter to the hot chocolate and cream then stir until combined.
Sift in half the icing sugar, mix, then add the remaining and mix until smooth. Set aside to cool until thick.
For the Ganache Icing:
- 65ml (2fl oz) double cream
- 112g (4 oz) dark chocolate, broken into pieces
Gently heat the cream in a pan and then add the broken chocolate to the hot cream and stir until melted.
To assemble the cake – slice the cake in half horizontally and sit one piece on a plate. Spread with the truffle filling and then place the other piece on top. Alternatively cut into three thinner layers and split the buttercream in two, to sandwich the layers.
Pour the ganache icing over the top of the cake and let it run down the sides, using a palette knife to spread it evenly and to give a smooth and shiny glaze.
Leave to set and enjoy by itself or with cream and/or ice-cream. Delicious!
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