Monday, December 31, 2012

Decadent Chocolate Cake

I always feel a slight sense of relief when Christmas and New Year are over.  It means I can do what I want to do, in my own time, no deadlines.  Just relax.  That is what I intend to do.

I promised you chocolate cake, so here it is.  This has been my birthday chocolate cake for as long as I have been in New Zealand.  Until this year, I haven’t made it for about three years as I have been elsewhere on the day.  It’s dark, it’s moist, it’s rich – a real celebration of a cake. Oh and it's easy too.

Thank you for being with me this year and may the year ahead be what you would wish for.

Decadent chocolate cake 

1 tablespoon instant coffee powder
1 cup hot water
250g butter, chopped into large chunks
200g good quality dark chocolate, chopped (I used Whittaker’s 72% Cocoa Dark Ghana)
2 cups caster sugar
1½ cups self-raising flour
¼ cup cocoa
2 eggs, lightly beaten
2 teaspoons vanilla essence

Ganache Topping

¾ cup cream
175g good quality dark chocolate, chopped

Preheat the oven to 150ºC.  Lightly grease a 25cm springform cake pan and line the base and sides with baking paper. 

Place coffee and water in a saucepan and add the butter.  Stir over a low heat until the butter has melted. Add the chocolate and stir until melted. 

Add the caster sugar and stir until smooth and the sugar is incorporated.   Remove the mix from the saucepan and transfer into a cake-mixing bowl. 

Sift the flour and cocoa together and beat with an electric beater into the mixture until just incorporated.  Beat in the eggs and then the vanilla.

Pour the mixture into the cake tin and bake at 150ºC for 1½ hours or until a skewer inserted in the centre comes out clean.  Stand for 5 minutes before removing to a cake rack.  I normally invert the cake as invariably the bottom is smoother and will therefore ice better. 

When completely cold, place a tray or plate under the cake rack to collect the excess ganache.  Use this to patch any bare bits on the side (or chill and eat later!). 

The cake can be frozen by wrapping, once cold, in a layer of cling film and then a layer of tin foil.  While frozen it is easier to trim off any rough bits or flatten the top.

Ganache Topping

Heat the cream until almost boiling.  Stir in the chocolate until melted and the mixture is smooth.  Cool slightly. 

Pour over the cake allowing the ganache to dribble down the sides of the cake evenly.  Cool and set. 

Do not touch the topping as it will leave a fingermark.


  1. It looks wonderful, moist and chocolatey and delicious. Hope you had a good birthday and Happy New Year.

  2. A perfect birthday cake - belated many happy returns. Hope that you enjoy your r&r.

  3. Great minds think alike, your choc cake certainly looks yum. There is something really good about choc cakes when you add hot water. Happy New Year Lesley.

  4. Delectable & delicious Lesley! Happy New Year & hope to see you soon.

    1. Yes, I can attest to the fact that it is delicious! Thanks Mairi.

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