I have never been the biggest cake fan – don’t know why really. The better half is not the biggest fan either (unless its got lemon in it – see Lemon Poppy loaf recipe here and Lemon Drizzle cake here) However, I LOVE baking. A couple of weeks ago, me and P had gone out to Pizza Express for lunch and I had a discount code that entitled us to 3-course lunch for 12.95 – brilliant! So we had our lunch and both us of ordered the chocolate cake for dessert. I was full up and decided to give my dessert to one of the boys back in the office – but not before I took a little taste (just to see what it was like) It was lovely – and I mean, really really good. The chocolate inside was moist and fudgey, and, paired with the vanilla ice-cream on the side – they definitely were on to a winner. I felt almost bad to give it away, but if i ate anymore, i fear i would have spontaneously combusted.
So, that brings me to today. I decided I was going to try and replicate the Pizza Express cake and my taste tester once again, his-holiness of taste-buds, the better half. Full recipe adapted from here, although I lessened the sugar (best keep the diabetes away eh?!) 🙂
- 200g good quality dark chocolate , about 70% cocoa solids
- 200g butter
- 1 tbsp instant coffee granules
- 85g self-raising flour
- 85g plain flour
- 1⁄4 tsp bicarbonate of soda
- 200g light muscovado sugar
- 100g golden caster sugar
- 30g 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
Butter a 20cm round cake tin (7.5cm deep) and line the base. Preheat the oven to fan 140C/conventional 160C/ gas 3.
Break 200g good quality dark chocolate in pieces into a medium, heavy-based pan.
Cut 200g butter into pieces
Tip in with the chocolate. Stir mixture till butter and chocolate are melted – be careful not to overheat and cook the chocolate!
Mix 1 tbsp instant coffee granules into 125ml cold water and pour into the pan.
Warm through over a low heat just until everything is melted – don’t overheat. Or melt in the microwave on Medium for about 5 minutes, stirring half way through.
While the chocolate is melting, mix 85g self-raising flour, 85g plain flour, ¼ bicarbonate of soda, 200g light muscovado sugar, 200g golden caster sugar and 30g cocoa powder in a big bowl
Mix with your hands to get rid of any lumps.
Beat 3 medium eggs in a bowl
Stir in 75ml (5 tbsp) buttermilk. The Tesco near us did not sell buttermilk, BUT fret not my lovelies, the better half is a magician that knows how to actually MAKE buttermilk! Its actually easier than you think, so, if like me you could not find butter milk, please follow below steps:
- Buy a tub of double milk (300ml gets you about 150ml of butter milk)
- SHAKE double cream for ages in its container till you can hear it ‘separate’ into buttermilk and buttercream (buttercream is the harder substance, yellow solid)
- Open up container and press buttercream with back of spoon like below picture
Voila – the white liquid you see is buttermilk!
I will do a post about how you can then use the remaining buttercream and make your very own homemade butter soon – right, back to the Moist Chocolate Cake recipe!
Now pour the melted chocolate mixture and the egg mixture into the flour mixture, stirring just until everything is well blended and you have a smooth, quite runny consistency.
Pour this into the tin and bake for 1 hour 25- 1 hour 30 minutes – if you push a skewer in the center it should come out clean and the top should feel firm (don’t worry if it cracks a bit – or in my case, looks like it had its own earthquake!!)
Leave to cool in the tin (don’t worry if it dips slightly), then turn out onto a wire rack to cool completely.
When the cake is cold, cut it horizontally into two.
Make the ganache
chop 200g good quality dark chocolate (I mixed milk chocolate as well) into small pieces and tip into a bowl.
Pour a 284ml carton of double cream into a pan, add 2 tbsp golden caster sugar, and heat until it is about to boil.
Take off the heat and pour it over the chocolate. Stir until the chocolate has melted and the mixture is smooth.
Sandwich the layers together with just a little of the ganache.
Pour the rest over the cake letting it fall down the sides and smoothing to cover with a palette knife.
Use knife to shave some chocolate from chocolate pieces – be careful not to shave your fingers!
Decorate with grated chocolate or a pile of chocolate curls. The cake keeps moist and gooey for 3-4 days.
Happy baking lovelies!