I suspect that a man baking chocolate cake for his girlfriend is the equivalent of a woman dressing up in stockings for her boyfriend. And I’ll just leave that thought with you.
This is a variation on a classic 6:6:6 cake – 6 oz each of Butter, Sugar and Flour and 3 eggs. Translated into cups the proportions change slightly – if you have scales, I’d use them rather than cups.
Everything needs to be at room temperature before you start.
It’s not the plumpest of cakes – you could consider mixing up another 4:4:4 2 eggs batter and making three layers if height is what is required.
It can be baked in a regular cake tin, or in brownie tins to make a square cake – worth remembering if you need to do any sort of cut out cake – initials, numbers, etc
For the chocolate cake6 oz all purpose flour or 1 cup 6 oz sugar or 2/3 cup 6 oz butter or 12 tbsp which is 1 and ½ sticks 3 tbsp good dark coco 1 tsp baking powder 1 tsp vanilla (or espresso coffee) 3 eggs
- Pre heat the oven to 325
- Throw everything into a food processor and process until smooth
- Or cream the butter and sugar until fluffy
- Add the eggs one at a time until incorporated
- Add the rest of the ingredients a bit at a time, mixing until the batter is smooth
- Scrape into two 8″ cake tins and bake for 25 – 35 minutes – I swap the tins around at half time to try to get a more even bake. A skewer should come out clean when poked in the centre.
- Cool on a rack
For the chocolate sour cream frosting
This recipe is adapted from a classic Nigella Lawson cake in her beautiful book How to be a Domestic Goddess. I first made it for my sister’s 21st birthday and have been wheeling it out for adult birthdays ever since. It has an almost fudgy quality – very deep and rich. In her recipe she uses vanilla. I prefer to use espresso, which makes the chocolate somehow taste more chocolate-y.75g or 5 tbsp butter 175g good quality chocolate (1 and a ¼ packs) 300g confectioner’s (icing) sugar sifted (it has to be sifted or there will be lumps in the icing – putting it in the processor and blitzing it for a few seconds has the same effect.) 1 tbsp syrup 125 ml sour cream (1/2 a cup) 1 tsp espresso (cold)
- Melt the butter and chocolate in a bowl over a pan of boiling water (or in the microwave)
- Let cool for a few minutes
- Add the icing sugar, the syrup, the espresso and the sour cream and mix well to combine
- Use 1/3 of the mixture to sandwich the cakes together and the rest to cover the cake top and sides
- To keep the plate neat, poke 4 strips of foil or parchment under the cake so that icing drips can be whipped away at the end
- Decorate as the mood takes you
This recipe originally appeared along with a musing on the nature of romance and how it is often thwarted by New York.