Wednesday, 5 March 2014

Everything A Chocolate Cake Should Be

Today I wanted to share with you my favourite simple chocolate cake recipe. This recipe actually comes from the domestic goddess Nigella Lawson and it is everything a chocolate cake should be -Simple, easy, chocolaty and moist with a decedent chocolate icing to match. 


This is really a very simple cake, no frills, just one of those cakes that everyone should have in their arsenal to whip up when needed. 

Today I had a few student cancelations so I was just around the house attempting to do some admin whilst being completely mesmerised by the sunflowers next door ... Let's just say that a chocolate cake may also have been a slight distraction to todays productivity! 


Pre-heat your oven to 180 degrees celsius and prepare your cake tin with a light greasing. 
I like to use canola spray for greasing cake tins. It is a simple easy way to ensure your cakes doesn't stick to the pan without any added flavour. 

There are 2 ways to do this cake. 
1 - you can just throw all your ingredients into a food processor and mix until smooth (as suggested by Nigella) or 
2 - you can go slightly more old school and separate your wet from dry. 

I did the latter...

To start with cream together 175g of softened unsalted butter and 200g of caster sugar. 
Once light and fluffy beat in 2 eggs before adding in 2 teaspoons of vanilla extract and 150ml of sour cream. 

In a separate bowl sift together 200g plain flour, 1 teaspoon baking powder, 1/2 teaspoon of bicarbonate of soda and 40g of your best cocoa powder. 

Add your dry ingredients to your wet and mix until well combined. 

Poor batter into your prepared cake tin and cook for roughly 40mins or until your cake skewer comes out clean. Leave to cool on a cake rack. 


This cake is fine just as is if you are after a simple tea cake, but lets face it - everyone likes a good chocolate icing! 


Whilst your cake is cooling, melt 75g of unsalted butter and 175g of good quality dark chocolate (I use Lindt's 70%) The safest way to do this is in a double boiler over your stove (place a glass bowl over a saucepan of simmering water, careful not to let the glass touch the water. Place your chocolate and butter in the bowl and mix slowly until melted) or you can use the microwave in small doses. 

Leave the chocolate mixture to cool slightly before adding in a tablespoon of golden syrup, a teaspoon of vanilla and 125ml of sour cream. 

Whisk in roughly 300g of icing sugar until thick. The amount may vary depending on the temperature of your room and your preferences of icing. If you need the icing to be a little runnier to spread easily add a little boiling water to your mix. If icing is too runny add more icing sugar. 


Once your cake is completely cooled apply a generous amount of icing and decorate as you please! 
If you feel like being really fancy this cake works well to split the batter into two cake tins. Cook the cakes for slightly less time. Once the cakes have cooled apply a layer of icing onto one and layer on the second cake before icing the top generously. 

Serve with a generous dollop of fresh cream, ice-cream or your favourite berries! 
It will always be a crowd pleaser though, no matter what you do :) 

Thanks again to Nigella Lawson for sharing this cake with the world. 


Ingredient List:

For the cake:
200g plain flour
200g caster sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
40g good quality cocoa powder
175 unsalted butter (room temperature)
2 large eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
150ml sour cream

For the icing:
75g unsalted butter
175 good quality dark chocolate (try for 70% cocoa or higher)
300g icing sugar
1 tablespoon golden syrup
125ml sour cream
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

 
All photos taken by Alix Hamilton

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