Everybody loves cake and everybody loves chocolate, so what better way is there to celebrate the birthday of a loved one than with a luxurious chocolate cake?
Before you begin, butter or line a cake tin and pre-heat the oven to 160°C (or 140°C for fan-assisted ovens).
Now you can start to make your cake:
- Firstly, break 200g of dark chocolate into pieces (which type you use is up to you – the darker, the richer!) and place them in a pan, along with 200g of butter, cut into little pieces.
- In a separate bowl, mix 1 tablespoon of instant coffee into 125ml of cold water before adding it to the chocolate mixture in the pan.
- Heat the mixture in the pan and keep the heat low until the chocolate melts.
- Stir it every now and again.
While the chocolate is melting, get a large mixing bowl and add…
- 90g of self-raising flour
- 90g of plain flour
- a teaspoon of bicarbonate of soda
- 400g of caster sugar and
- 30g of cocoa powder.
Now it’s time to get your hands dirty.
- Ensure there are no lumps in the mixture by running it through your fingers or, for the less hands-on baker, sieve the mixture into another bowl.
- Finally, break three eggs into the mixture, along with 5 tablespoons of buttermilk, and mix well.
And now to bring it all together…
- Pour the chocolate mixture into the mixing bowl.
- An electric whisk could come in handy here, but if you don’t have one at hand, just ensure that the cake mixture is well-blended, without any lumps.
- Now pour the smooth mixture into your cake tin and pop it in the pre-heated oven.
- After about a half an hour, check on your cake by sticking a fork in it – if it comes out clean, it’s done!
- If not, leave it for another few minutes before checking again.
While your cake is in the oven…
- You can turn your hand to making the perfect icing.
- Beat together about 170g of butter and 170g of icing sugar until light and fluffy.
- Add cocoa powder to taste – some people find that the addition of cocoa powder makes for an overly rich butter-cream icing while, for others, the cocoa powder is the icing on the cake, if you’ll excuse the pun, so it’s up to you.
- When satisfied with your mixture, spread the icing evenly on the cake, covering both the top and sides.
To personalise your masterpiece, why not add Smarties or Maltesers?
This blog was written by Deirdre Smith, birthday cake maker.