The perfect lazy chocolate cake recipe

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For your eating pleasure, 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 chef and food writer Ravneet Gill.

“The perfect cake for lazy people. It must have been a sparkling beauty that made you feel like you had spent an eternity in it, when in reality it involved very little effort. We make this cake for people who are dear to us, but for whom we don’t have much time. Marginal friends, you might say.

LPC (Sloth Cake)

Makes: a 20cm cake

Ingredients:

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/2 tsp baking soda

5g/1 tsp baking powder

For the chocolate malt ganache:

150 g 70% cocoa chocolate, chopped

50 g chocolate 55% cocoa, chopped

Pinch of sea salt flakes

300 g fresh cream

1 tablespoon malt extract (alternatively use blackstrap molasses, maple syrup or honey)

Method:

1. 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.

2. 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).

3. 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.

4. Add the dry mixture to the wet mixture 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.

5. 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).

6. To make the ganache, place the chocolates and salt in a large heatproof bowl.

7. In a saucepan, heat the cream with the malt extract until boiling, but not steaming.

8. Pour the hot cream over the chocolate and leave to 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.

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9. 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.

10. 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.

Recipe taken from ‘Sugar, I Love You: Knockout Recipes To Celebrate The Sweeter Things In Life’ by Ravneet Gill (published by Pavilion Books, £20; photography by Ellis Parrinder), available now.


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