I’ve decided to be really generous and give you my secret recipe for the ultimate chocolate cake and quite possibly the greatest chocolate cake of all time.
A bit of a sweeping statement I know, especially with so many CC recipes making the same claim. But one bite of this deliciously rich, moist and utterly luscious cake will confirm you’re onto a winner and have you helplessly devouring the whole thing, powerless to resist its deep, dark, chocolately charms.
My chocoholic friends say it’s totally orgasmic…
And I have to agree. In fact, I’m thrilled to tell you, this glorious cake scores on all levels. Apart from having the most wonderfully intense chocolatey taste, it has a proper cake texture. By that I mean it’s moist yet ‘cakey’ with a bit of crumb.
It isn’t a damp squidgy cake that can’t decide whether it’s a cake or a brownie. Neither does it collapse in the middle – a la Nigella’s Chocolate Cloud Cake although according to her it’s meant to, which seems a bit weird if you ask me! I was always taught if a cake sinks there’s something wrong with the mix. Meeow!
To bring you the best ever chocolate cake, I’ve spent months testing recipes, including ones by Delia Smith, Rosemary Shrager, Nigella, Sophie Grigson and one from the River Café. And not one of them comes close to the cake I’m giving you here. Double Meeow! But it’s true.
Either the texture was wrong or they weren’t anywhere near chocolately enough. The wonderfully named Chocolate Nemisis from River Cafe came close in flavour, but the texture let it down. I’ve since been told it’s notoriously difficult to get right. If I’d known that in the first place I wouldn’t have attempted it!
But I digress.
The point is the chocolate cake you’re looking at here is pretty simple to make. It’s rich yet light because it doesn’t contain any flour. Yet unlike other flourless cakes, there’s no faffing around whipping up egg whites or careful folding in. You make it along the lines of a standard sponge. There’s nothing ‘A’ Level about it. It also slides effortlessly out the tin without collapsing in the process.
But what really grabs me most is the taste and texture. It is sensational with a capital S. I almost feel I should keep this recipe secret, it’s so good. But being the kind hearted soul that I am, feel I must share it with you, so you can experience it for yourself and hopefully drop me a line afterwards to tell me just how wonderful I am for giving it to you!
I feel a cake as good as this deserves a decent topping. In this case nothing less than a ganache will do. If you want to cover the sides of the cake as well, just make double the amount. The quantity I’m giving you here though, is enough for a decent sandwich filling and topping.
One final point, you can either make a large cake, or split the mixture equally between two sandwich tins as I have done here. I can vouch that both work equally well. If you’re making one large cake, cook it for 40-45 minutes otherwise cook for 30-35 minutes if using two sandwich tins.
AND SO TO THE RECIPE…
Serving size: 10 slices
Preparation & Cooking Time: I hour
Effort Level: easy
Shelf Life: 4 days if you have the willpower!
250g butter – room temperature
250g caster sugar
250g 80% (cocoa) dark chocolate
250g ground almonds
100g fresh white breadcrumbs
6 medium eggs – room temperature
For The Topping
100g 70% (cocoa) dark chocolate
1 dessert spoon Tate & Lyle syrup
100ml double cream
20cm spring form cake tin or 2 sandwich tins
Heat proof bowl to fit snugly over the saucepan
baking parchment or greaseproof paper
Here’s What You Do:
Preheat the oven to 190C/Gas 5, 170C if fan assisted
Grease and line a 20cm spring form cake tin or 2 sandwich tins with baking parchment.
Pour a small amount of hot water into a saucepan and place on a medium heat. Break the chocolate into small pieces and tip into a heatproof bowl then place the bowl over the pan of simmering water until melted (don’t let the bottom of the bowl touch the water).
Meanwhile, cut the softened butter into small pieces and tip into the mixing bowl with the caster sugar and start beating on the highest setting.
Next take the melted chocolate off the heat and place on the worktop to cool.
When the egg/sugar mixture is pale and creamy, start adding the eggs one at a time. Beat well between each addition (don’t worry if the mixture curdles it will return to normal when you add the chocolate and won’t affect the end result).
One all the eggs have been added slowly pour in the melted chocolate and mix well. Now fold in the ground almonds with the spatula, followed by the fresh breadcrumbs.
Pour the mixture into the prepared cake tin(s) and place on the middle oven shelf.
Leave to cook for 30-35 minutes if using the sandwich tins and 40-45 for a single cake tin. Pierce the centre with a knife and if it comes out clean the cake is cooked. Leave to cool in the tin(s) before carefully turning out on to the work top.
Meanwhile make the topping. Bring the cream just up to boiling point and take off the heat before it boils.
Break up the chocolate and blitz in the processor until fine. Stir into the hot cream, add the syrup and butter. Beat well until glossy. When cool spread over the cake.