This chocolate cake will make you swoon.
“To your delight, I spent weeks testing different variations of chocolate cake. I knew what I wanted: something wonderfully moist, a little bitter, light, quick to make and beautiful,” says the chef and food writer Ravneet Gill.
“The perfect cake for lazy people. It had to be sparklingly beautiful that made it look like you’d spent forever on it, when in reality it involved very little effort. We make this cake for the people who are dear to us, but who don’t have much time for… Marginal friends, you might say.
Makes: 20cm cake
For the wet cake mix:
- 175 ml olive oil, not too strong, plus extra for cans
- 2 eggs
- 175ml buttermilk
- 170ml boiling water
- 5g/1 tsp instant coffee
For the dry cake mix:
- 125g caster sugar
- 125g light brown sugar
- 80g cocoa powder
- 230g plain flour
- 5 g/1 tsp sea salt flakes
- 10g/2tsp baking soda
- 5g/1cc baking powder
For the chocolate malt ganache:
- 150 g 70% cocoa chocolate, chopped
- 50 g 55% cocoa chocolate, chopped
- Pinch of sea salt flakes
- 300 g fresh cream
- 1 tablespoon malt extract (alternatively use blackstrap molasses, maple syrup or honey)
- I want to go through this recipe as fast as you do, so here we go! Preheat the oven to 160°C convection/180°C/thermostat 4. Grease two 20cm cake tins with oil, then line them with parchment paper.
- Weigh all the ingredients for the dry cake mix in a large bowl and stir with a whisk to combine well. (If the sugar is lumpy, you will need to sift it.)
- Weigh all wet cake mix ingredients, except water and coffee, into a large bowl and whisk together. Prepare the coffee in a cup with the measured boiling water and the instant coffee, pour it into the bowl of wet ingredients and stir well.
- Add the dry mix to the wet mix and mix well with a whisk to combine. Divide the mixture evenly between the prepared pans (if you want to be precise, you can weigh the total batter and then divide it exactly in half). Bake for 35 minutes or until a knife inserted comes out clean.
- Remove from the oven and let cool in the pan for 20 minutes before inverting onto a wire rack (let cool completely before adding the ganache you are about to make).
- To make the ganache, place the chocolates and salt in a large heatproof bowl.
- In a saucepan, heat the cream with the malt extract until boiling but not steaming.
- Pour the hot cream over the chocolate and let stand for a minute. Use a whisk to stir the ganache from the middle outward—so you don’t whip in any air—until it’s silky smooth and beautiful. Leave the ganache to rest for 10 minutes.
- Take a large plate with a rim. Place a cooled cake on the plate and spoon enough ganache to cover the top. Don’t worry if it spills over the edges, we kind of want it. Place the next cake on top. Pour the rest of the ganache all over the top, without a care in the world. Use a spoon to guide it, making sure plenty of ganache falls down the sides. Put the cake in the fridge for 20-30 minutes.
- Remove the cake from the fridge and, using a small offset palette knife, scoop up the ganache caught around the edges of the plate and spread it around the sides to create a smooth finish. It really is that simple and effortless. Your friends will think you really care…
- This cake keeps best in an airtight container at room temperature for three days. If you keep it in the refrigerator, let it come to room temperature before eating – it will be much more pleasant! I recommend reheating a slice in the microwave for 20 seconds and pouring cold cream over it.
Sucre, je t’aime: breathtaking recipes to celebrate the sweetest things in life by Ravneet Gill is published by Pavilion Books. Photography Ellis Parrinder. Available now.