Ultimate chocolate cake

Ultimate chocolate cake

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(979 ratings)

Prep: 30 mins - 40 mins Cook: 1 hr - 1 hr, 30 mins Plus baking and cooling time

Easy

Cuts into 14 slices

Indulge yourself with Angela Nilsen's heavenly moist and fudgy chocolate cake - perfect for celebrations - birthdays, weddings, christenings - any excuse!

Nutrition and extra info

  • Without icing

Nutrition:

  • kcal541
  • fat35g
  • saturates20g
  • carbs55g
  • sugars40g
  • fibre2g
  • protein6g
  • salt0.51g
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Ingredients

  • 200g good quality dark chocolate, about 60% cocoa solids
  • 200g butter
    Butter

    Butter

    butt-err

    Butter is made when lactic-acid producing bacteria are added to cream and churned to make an…

  • 1 tbsp instant coffee granules
  • 85g self-raising flour
  • 85g plain flour
  • ¼ tsp bicarbonate of soda
    Bicarbonate of soda

    Bicarbonate of soda

    Bicarbonate of soda, or baking soda, is an alkali which is used to raise soda breads and full-…

  • 200g light muscovado sugar
  • 200g golden caster sugar
  • 25g cocoa powder
  • 3 medium egg
  • 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

Method

  1. 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 and tip in with the chocolate, then 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.

  2. 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 25g cocoa powder in a big bowl, mixing with your hands to get rid of any lumps. Beat 3 medium eggs in a bowl and stir in 75ml (5 tbsp) buttermilk.

  3. 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 centre it should come out clean and the top should feel firm (don’t worry if it cracks a bit). Leave to cool in the tin (don’t worry if it dips slightly), then turn out onto a wire rack to cool completely.

  4. When the cake is cold, cut it horizontally into three. Make the ganache: chop 200g good quality dark chocolate 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.

  5. 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. Decorate with grated chocolate or a pile of chocolate curls. The cake keeps moist and gooey for 3-4 days.

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Comments, questions and tips

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DropWallet
6th Dec, 2016
Amazing recipe, will make again! Family loved it.
Susselady
26th Nov, 2016
0.05
Don't understand the high ratings. Had to cook it for about 50'mins longer than recipe states as it was still raw. Once cooled cake tastes really claggy and surprisingly not very chocolatey.
IrinaP
25th Nov, 2016
5.05
It is the best cake recipe! Made it twice now; second time I added a little bit of orange extract into the ganache and it lifted it even more. Easy and simply devine.
Emmafinney7125
20th Nov, 2016
5.05
This recipe is perfect. I cook mine in a tray bake tin at 140C for 40/45 minutes and it comes out perfectly moist. Do leave it to cool completely. I also add grated orange Zest to the Ganache for a delicious chocolate orange twist.
TripleK
12th Nov, 2016
3.8
Left out the butter and buttermilk and replaced with rapeseed oil and soya milk to make it dairy-free. Turned out fine without the ganache but cake did require extra 15 mins in the oven. Also used half the amount of sugar to get the balance between bitterness and sweetness - perfect for an adults only cake, would have been way to sweet otherwise.
francescaplows
9th Nov, 2016
Made this and it definitely didn't look as pretty but it was very tasty! Not sure I'd do it one tin as when I cut it in half (as it wouldn't have been able to be cut in 3!) it collapsed. Not sure what I did wrong really... Still recommend for the taste and I will try again due to all the good reviews!
Frantic Flapjack
1st Nov, 2016
5.05
I made this for a Great British Bakeoff final party. I would say it's probably the best chocolate cake recipe I have tried. Highly recommended.
go4itdoug
8th Oct, 2016
5.05
I make this cake for my son's birthday each year, I make 1.5 times the recpie quantities so there is plenty to go around but you must keep an eye on the cooking time. Best results i've had were using a round, deep cake tray with a centre hole that makes the cake doughnut shaped and helps it to cook the large batter quantity evenly. I always make a fresh raspberry sauce to go in between the layers as it adds a nice sharp, acid contrast to the thick gooey chocolate taste. I lik to decorate the outside bottom with candies jeely fruits and the top with white chocolate stars. Stunning cake and absolutely delicious.............
Icooksometimes
5th Oct, 2016
Dense, chocolately and sweet! I followed the recipe, apart from cooking it in two tins for just under 40 minutes on fan bake at 140. My oven tends to run quite hot so I watched the time carefully. I also didn't sweeten the ganache, and did a 1:1 ratio with the cream, so 200g chocolate and 200g cream. I decorated it with white chocolate ganache (1:3 cream:chocolate, leave to cool, beat to achieve white colour) and then had dark chocolate ganache on top and dripping down the sides, with a few truffles on top and some sprinkles. I made the ganache while the cake was in the oven so that it could have plenty of time in the fridge to set, and allowed the cakes to fully cool before icing them.
chapelapple
30th Sep, 2016
5.05
Great cake! Although mine looking nothing like this! It tasted good. Mine turned out quite flat, I took some recommendations from here which I'm glad about, mix of dark and milk chocolate, left the ganache in the fridge for an hour before applying and half the quantity of sugar. However, I made some mistakes, I used one baking tin which meant the cake collapsed when I cut it in half. If I made it again I would only use milk chocolate maybe, large eggs, equal amounts of cream to chocolate. I would definitely make this again, hope it rises a bit more next time, it was delicious.

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miminh
15th Nov, 2016
I just took my cake out of the oven and it had barely risen. I followed the recipe exactly and was hoping for a lovely fudgy cake, i then left it to cool and it shrunk even more. Could you help me?
goodfoodteam's picture
goodfoodteam
17th Nov, 2016
Hi there,Sorry to hear your cake didn't work out as you'd hoped. If the texture was good but it was flat you may have used a tin that was too big. Otherwise, it would be down to the ingredients, it might be worth double checking all the ingredients were exactly as stated and included - the bicarb and self raising flour both contribute to the rise and the eggs hold the structure. The other issue may be that the oven wasn't hot enough. We hope one of these suggestions helps you get to the bottom of the problem. You can also take a look at our cake troubleshooting feature and Mary Berry's baking tips for more ideas.
licilou6
20th Oct, 2016
PLEASE REPLY ASAP!!! if i use milk chocolate instead of dark but still the same amount for the cake and ganache would it make a difference?
goodfoodteam's picture
goodfoodteam
31st Oct, 2016
Thanks for your question, you could use milk chocolate but we would suggest sticking to the dark even if you don't usually like dark chocolate. Once it's been mixed with the other ingredients, the flavour becomes more subtle and works better in this instance.
tywyn100
7th Oct, 2016
How much do I need for 26cm round tin and 22cm tin.... do I 2.5x the mix
goodfoodteam's picture
goodfoodteam
31st Oct, 2016
Thanks for your question. We have not tested this cake in larger tins but would agree 2 1/2 times the recipe would be sufficient. You may have a bit left over. Make sure you don't overfill the tins and you'll need to adjust the cooking times to ensure the cakes are properly cooked through. We cannot give you exact timings without testing it for ourselves. You'll need to keep an eye on them from 1 hr 30 mins onwards. You can do the cake test as mentioned above to check when they're done. Let us know how you get on.
Kernowbaker
28th Sep, 2016
Hi, I have made this cake twice before and both times it tasted delicious. But each time Iade it the sponge didn't rise very much and so the cake looked quite flat. The second time I made it I adjusted the flour so that I used more self-raising flour to plain but this didn't seem to make much difference. Would it help to just use self-raising flour and add baking powder also? Thanks!
slee1956
25th Sep, 2016
Has anyone used Stork instead of butter please?
licilou6
20th Oct, 2016
yes it doesn't make a difference
slee1956
18th Sep, 2016
Has anyone made this using Stork instead of butter? Hoping to make it for a friends big birthday but I don't have time to practice! Thanks

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Chocolatepig
8th Oct, 2016
I made this as per recipe but put it in an 8.5" cake tin, which was only slightly larger than recommended. I checked it after 55 mins on 150 c in a conventional oven. Despite being on the lower shelf it was already beginning to over cook. Please check your cake at about the hour mark. If I make it again I'll cover with grease proof paper at 45 mins. I rescued it by scraping the top very slightly and dousing with a generous helping of golden rum. Ganache as per recipe. Gorgeous 'Jamacian' chocolate cake. Recommended.
mathscafe.net
15th Jun, 2016
5.05
I never have buttermilk and use a 1/2 greek yogurt and 1/2 milk mix. This cake is incredible!
Gill2015
27th Sep, 2015
5.05
I made this for my niece's engagement party and it went down a storm with many requests for the recipe! Comfortably serves 20 as it's very rich.
gilllegge
26th Mar, 2015
5.05
Warm a slice in the microwave for a few seconds - lush!
Michelle172
1st Dec, 2014
How To Make Chocolate Cake – Pointers To Consider Once you have mastered the art of baking and know how to make chocolate cake, there are few things you need to take into account. For example some people are vegetarians and do not eat eggs, so you will need to prepare Eggless cakes for them. Many people even don’t like having sour cream or butter. So what you can do is have some substitutes in place of the eggs like rice flour. However if you use rice floor, be prepared for the cake batter to remain thin. The other thing is to make sure that the cake recipe is followed properly and the teaspoonful or tablespoonfuls of the ingredients are taken in the right amount. So now that you have some idea of how to make chocolate cake, wow your friends with your baking prowess! info taken from: http://www.howtomakechocolatecake.org/make-chocolate-cake-cool-tips/
thiternik
19th Oct, 2014
5.05
I baked this for my brother's birthday the other day. Everyone was thrilled by it! I should say I changed couple of things. - Good I had my eye on and took it out of the oven after 1 hour, otherwise it would have been a burned mess, even after just 1hr I noticed dry edge, but that was ok and fixable. - I used 6 tbsp of milk instead of buttermilk. - I don't know how it is possible to cut to 3 layers, I just made 2 layers. It was a bit flaky to be cut to 3 layers. - For the filling I used 200gr whipped cream mixed with part of dark melted chocolate. sprinkled with chopped walnut and hazelnut inside and out. - Unfortunately there was no brown sugar, so I used regular. For my taste it was a bit too much, next tie will use half or 3/4 portion. - I used 70% dark chocolate which somehow gave a feeling of alcohol in it, but there was none. way to go recipe, everyone loved-loved it! it tastes even better the next day, well if any piece is left. for us tehre was just a tiny piece for the morning
Marvahlee
2nd Oct, 2014
be patient with this if your in a hurry and need it in hour or so then dont bother try to do it the night before or as i did in the morning as didnt need till evening but it is worth the wait
3Lllama
27th Jun, 2014
The result was very light and fragile. If you're going to use a filling, I'd suggest the sandwich method rather than cutting it horizontally. I replaced part of the chocolate with After Eights to give a mint flavour. Worked well. Gave a big chocolaty hit and nice moistness.
hboyle
11th May, 2014
For an extra special & fun topping try covering the top with the contents of your favourite box of chocolates or chocolate treats. Use a little ganache to help them stay in place :)
missburns
17th Apr, 2014
5.05
This cake works just as well using cadbury's chocolate. I've also used this recipe and made it into muffins. Don't fill the cases more than 3/4 full as they will overflow. I baked them at 140c for 50 mins. Don't check before 40 mins otherwise they will sink. These turned out delicious! The texture is like a really soft brownie (not gooey, just right!) and the top is lovely and chewy. No need for a ganache topping as it's perfect as it is! I think this is the best chocolate cake I've ever come across. If you want a more spongey texture then put 200g of self-raising flour and 200g of plain flour in instead of 85g of each. Only tried this in a cake tin but it turned out to be a real winner.

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