Chocolate cakes – heaven on earth.
Photo © JE Nilsson and CM Cordeiro-Nilsson 2009
I love chocolate and with that, anything chocolate. In Singapore, it was a favourite past-time of mine to explore cafés, eateries and bakeries in search of very good chocolate cakes, chocolate desserts and that exceptionally rich, warm cup of hot chocolate to complement the events of the day.
I have specific chocolate cakes to fit specific moods and chocolate cakes to suit the weather or the time of day. And I went absolutely berserk when Marcel Desaulniers’ (2000) Death by Chocolate: an astonishing array of chocolate enchantments hit the bookstores in Singapore almost a decade ago.
In Sweden, I was crushed when I my first chocolate cake craving hit (which wasn’t too long into my stay in Sweden) and found that I had nowhere to go to, to buy that perfect chocolate cake.
I needed to bake one if I wanted one.
The chocolate cake cooling in a spring-form tin.
In my lastest chocolate craving, I pulled up a chocolate cake recipe from Angela Nilsen. It isn’t difficult to follow and what you’ll have is a pretty rich chocolate cake to satisfy most anyone’s dessert rushes.
From Angela Nilsen’s recipe:
200g good quality dark chocolate , about 60% cocoa solids
200g butter , cut in pieces
1 tbsp instant coffee granules
85g self-raising flour
85g plain flour
1⁄4 tsp bicarbonate of soda
200g light muscovado sugar
200g golden caster sugar
25g cocoa powder
3 medium eggs
75ml buttermilk (5 tbsp)
grated chocolate or curls, to decorate
For the ganache
200g good-quality dark chocolate , as above
284ml carton double cream (pouring type)
2 tbsp golden caster sugar
The method is written in detail at BBC Good Food and you can also read the reviews of this cake from others who have tried this recipe, on that page. Some have even had this cake as their wedding cake, which I think is gorgeously sinful!
In this post are my pictures from the various stages of making the cake, beginning with the cooling of the baked cake (above) and followed by the slicing the cake into three layers.
Slicing the cake into three layers.
The cake needs to preferably be completely cool before slicing it into three layers. And if the cake refuses to be cut into three, slicing it into two layers will do fine too since what it calls for is ganache in the middle of it to keep it moist and give it its fudgy consistency, even after a day or two of keeping it.
Chocoalte cake, in three layers.
Once the cake is in three layers, what I did was to go for raspberry jam in the middle of one of the layers as I didn’t want two layers filled with ganache, plus ganache on top.
Orange marmalade will also work well spread in between one of the layers. What I look for in taste is the contrast of sweet dark chocolate with the bittersweet zest of an orange or an ever slight twist of sour in the raspberry.
Raspberry jam in one of the layers.
Making the ganache is a pleasure. It’s wonderful to watch the broken chocolate bits melt into the sugar, to become a thick spreadable fudge.
Spreading chocolate ganache in one layer of the chocolate cake.
I’m already planning my next chocolate cake adventure and I think I’ll go with whipped cream and fresh raspberries in between the sponge layers, as this reminds me of when I was growing up in Singapore and had a version of chocolate sponge cake with whipped cream served during tea time at a bakery along Katong Road, East of Singapore.
Putting the layers back together.
To put the layers together again, gently slide the top layers over the bottom layers.
Fresh roses in blush pink for the plate.
To lighten this velvety rich chocolate cake, I did two things, the first was to layer one layer with raspebrry instead of the ganache and the second was to leave the cake just ganach covered on top, with no added chocolate swirls.
Covering the cake over with ganache.
I’ve found that this cake is good to keep in the refrigerator if unfinished. And it takes well to microwaving to get the ganache on top fudgy again.
A slice of this cake goes splendid with a bitter cup of coffee!