Chocolate cake

Chocolate cake illustration for how to bake a chocolate cakeI 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.

Chocolate cake photo for Sneak Like a Ninja pirate chocolate cake recipeEverything 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 cake

6 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.

Dark chocolate illustration for chocolate cake recipe75g 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.

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