Today, I pay homage to a simple pleasure; a sinful, delicious simple pleasure. Chocolate fudge cake. I know it’s been done to death, it really has. It’s on every food website, each with their own tweak, all self proclaiming their recipe as the single best chocolate fudge cake in the kingdom. Now, I’d like to think that I’m not an arrogant person, I’m just a person who loves to cook in my spare time. I haven’t been to culinary school, I have just cooked and baked enough to understand my own personal tastes and how to satisfy different cravings.
So, there shall be no “Ultimate Chocolate Cake”, no “Chocolate So Good You’d Kill Your Grandmother For It”, no “World’s Best Chocolate Cake” nor anything else of that variety here. You are just welcome to read about it, and see if it’s something you think you’d enjoy.
Light Cocoa Sponge
Makes a double layered cake.
85g Plain Flour
95g Self Raising Flour
2 Tblsp Cocoa Powder
1.5 tsp Bicarbonate of soda
150g Caster Sugar
150ml Sunflower Oil
2 Tblsp Golden Syrup
– Preheat the oven to 180C/160C (fan)/Gas mark 4 and grease and line two sandwich tins. A little side note here, the sponge is quite light and delicate, it really, really needs to be lined. Just trust me, please, don’t skip this.
– Sieve the flour, cocoa and bicarbonate of soda into a bowl. Add the sugar and mix well.
– Make a little well in the middle and add the syrup, eggs, oil and milk. Beat with a whisk quickly to get the lumps out, pour into the sandwich tins and get them in the oven pronto.
– Bake for 25-30 minutes (Maybe a little bit longer in a fan oven). Keep an eye on it, don’t let it burn too much, most good quality cocoa powders are more of a russet-brown rather than a dark brown colour. If you can’t tell if it’s burning at the edges, check to see if it’s starting to go dark muddy brown rather than the velvety-russet it should be turning!
– Leave it to cool completely then ice it with your buttercream. Do not ice it when it’s still warm! Buttercream is 1/3 butter, it is going to melt. Trust me. Leave it to go cold, make it the day before if you like, it’ll keep well for a good 4/5 days in an airtight tin.
Covers a double layered cakes or roughly 24 cupcakes.
200g Icing Sugar
100g High Percentage Dark Chocolate (about 80%)
100g Milk Chocolate (not too sweet if you can help it!)
– Melt the chocolate over a double boiler and set aside to cool.
– Beat the butter until it’s workable, sieve in the icing sugar into it and mix in batches, it makes it a little easier to work it in.
– Pour the cooled chocolate in and mix into the butter and sugar mixture together until everything is well incorporated.
– If you’re using this for the fudge cake, you can spatula it on right away and get smoothing. If it’s for cupcakes, however, leave for a few minutes to cool down a little, it’ll keep it’s shape better when you’re piping it.
To assemble this cake you will need the above recipes, the chocolate ganache recipe (which you can find in the ‘Basic Baking Techniques’ section), a spatula, and some chocolate buttons to decorate.
Reduce the chocolate ganache recipe to 50ml of cream and 50g chocolate. Sandwich the two layers of chocolate sponge together with half of the ganache, and leave it to set for 15 minutes or so, it’s difficult to ice a cake properly when it’s sliding around on top of ganache so it’s best to let it set a bit first.
I’ll just give you the tips that I’ve found useful when baking, I am an amateur, so don’t take it as gospel or the quickest way to do things. When starting to ice the cake, I find it’s easier to fill in the gaps first. You will have gaps in this cake, because they rise to a lovely dome, and instead of cutting the top off the bottom layer and losing all the loveliness, just fill it with the icing and nobody shall know. Then ice the outside, take big blobs of icing and smooth it with the side of your spatula, it doesn’t matter if there’s loads, you’ll scrape quite a bit off when you come to smoothing it. Hold your spatula vertically and slowly drag it round the outside of the cake, taking off a layer as you go (put it back in the bowl, don’t waste it!). Just keep doing that until you get it nice and smooth. Then do the same to the top of the cake, except holding your spatula horizontally.
Once that is done, slowly spoon the rest of the chocolate ganache on top of the cake and smooth it with the back of a spoon. Leave it to set a little and decorate however you like with chocolate buttons. Get a few forks and go to town, go all Bruce Bogtrotter on this cake.