Everybody loves a treat from time to time and chocolate cake is certainly a winner. Making this cake for sharing at birthday parties and celebrations will not only stop you from enjoying it all at home yourself, it will mean that others will get to sample your baking skills too. You can mix up the layer on the top of the cake and melt white chocolate for a pop of color and contrast, or include dark chocolate for extra flavor and added antioxidant content.
I personally prefer milk chocolate for the top of the cake because it is a classic recipe and often pleases a very wide range of tastes. Even if you do not know your way around the kitchen then the quantities in this recipe should be easy to remember and work with. This is because the butter, flour and sugar ratios are all the same. So let us get started on this simple four step recipe and see if you can get creative with this really tasty recipe today.
- 150g self raising flour, sifted
- 150g butter, softened
- 150g caster sugar
- 3 large eggs
- 50g cocoa powder, sifted
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
For the Filling
- 200g butter or margarine
- 100g icing sugar
- 50g cocoa powder, sifted
Preheat the oven to 180C/Gas Mark 4
Grease two round cake tins with butter or margarine, or if you have baking parchment then draw around the upside down tins and cut two wider circles out and then place these inside the tins. You could also do both techniques if you want to make sure your cakes really do not stick to the sides!
In a large mixing bowl, add the butter, caster sugar and vanilla extract together. Combine them thoroughly and then add in the eggs a little bit at a time. Using a hand held whisk or electric whisk will not only make doing this easier for you physically, it will also be quicker to combine all those ingredients too which is helpful if you are in a hurry.
Next you can sift in the flour and baking powder gradually. Raise the sieve high up to give the flour a good airing, this will help to ensure that the cake has a nice rise to it as you want all that air to fold into the mixture. Then using a wooden spoon, gently fold the flour into the mixture in a circular motion around the bowl. Repeat this process until all the flour and baking powder are added and incorporated into the batter.
Amazon Price: $16.99 Buy Now
(price as of Jul 28, 2015)
Now the baking can begin, so carefully spoon your mixture evenly into the two greased baking tins that were prepared earlier. Try to ensure that roughly half is in each tin for a nice and even end result. Bake in the oven at 180C or Gas Mark 4 for approximately 35 minutes until they turn a darker golden color on top. Of course because it is already dark in color it can sometimes be difficult to tell if the chocolate cake is fully cooked. A way to check for this is to insert a clean knife into the middle and if it comes out clean then this means that the inner part of the cake has cooked and that it is ready to take out of the oven. In addition, the top should feel light and springy to the touch.
Allow the cakes to completely cool on a wire rack before attempting to remove them from their baking tins. Run a knife around the edges of the tins to help ease out the fluffy baked cake halves from their bases. Gently tap them out onto the wire rack.
Amazon Price: $20.00 $10.52 Buy Now
(price as of Jul 28, 2015)
This is the final and most creative step in the cake making process, making the cake filling and the decorating! To make the filling, combine the icing sugar and cocoa powder in a medium sized bowl with the butter until you are happy with the consistency. Once you are pleased with the taste, spread it evenly over one half of your cake. Gently lift the other cake up which will form the lid of the cake and very carefully place it on top.
As was mentioned previously, you could use any icing or topping that you prefer but using a bain-marie is a great, quick and easy way to melt the chocolate without any mess. A bain-marie is essentially a bowl placed over hot water in a sauce pan. Break the chocolate into small pieces to help it melt quickly and stir the chocolate at regular intervals with a wooden spoon. Once you are happy that it has all thoroughly melted then remove it from the heat and allow it to fully cool down.
Once the chocolate has fully cooled it will be easier to work with. Spoon it onto the top using a large spoon. Use a knife afterwards to help give you an even surface and to help sculpt the chocolate more smoothly around the edges. I personally like to mix this cake up a bit and add the surprise of orange flavored chocolate for a twist. Alternatively, you could try mint chocolate or chocolate with popping candy in it for a really tasty surprise at a children’s party.
You could now add other toppings if you such as bright sweets which can add a lovely colorful contrast which is especially nice for parties. On the other hand you may wish to keep it classic and simple with no extra work required. This cake is best enjoyed shared with others so give pieces to your family, friends and even neighbors to enjoy.
Below is a video from You Tube baker Stephanie Jaworski from her channel ‘Joy of Baking’ where she takes one through making a simple chocolate cake recipe which includes dark chocolate for added taste and flavor.