Ultimate chocolate cake

Ultimate chocolate cake

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(988 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 eggs
  • 75ml buttermilk (5 tbsp)
  • grated chocolate or curls, to decorate
    Chocolate

    Chocolate

    chok-let

    Chocolate as we know it in pressed

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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MoreVeg
26th Mar, 2017
5.05
This went down storm. I did it in two sandwich tins (didn't bother splitting the cakes further), 50/50 milk and dark and didn't sweeten the ganache. Finally, I didn't have any butter cream so used four tbsp yoghurt and one milk and used 300g golden caster sugar with 100g demerera. Cooked for around an hour in the two tins. It was rich and moist and yummy. It is crumbly so treat with care but pouring the ganache over it hides any untidy edges and nobody cares anyway because it looks so decadent and chocolaty! Will be making it again.
madegan
11th Mar, 2017
3.8
Super cake made it in my Thermomix 5 used honey in ganache instead of sugar Shall make again
VVB
2nd Mar, 2017
5.05
This is the first chocolate birthday cake I've ever made & it was delicious!! Followed advice in comments and used 50/50 milk and dark chocolate for the cake and ganache. Also looked up how to make chocolate curls on the back of a frozen baking tray online which finished the cake off perfectly - not easy to get the curls exactly like the pic here but sure that will come with more practice! Birthday boy definitely impressed - this cake is really easy to make & delivers the wow factor!
arualcook's picture
arualcook
19th Feb, 2017
5.05
Just made this cake, and wow, its amazing. I bake for a living, and I have struggled with chocolate cakes, trying to find one that's moist, chocolatey and decadent, but this is it. Followed the recipe to the letter, it rose to the perfect height to cut into three layers, I made my own chocolate ganache filling but this is going to be my chocolate cake recipe from now on, and its so easy!!!
debdebs
14th Feb, 2017
2.55
I've made this cake a few times, and it stays moist for days and tastes great. However, I do 50/50 milk and dark chocolate, and I really struggle to even cut the cake in HALF let alone 3 times horizontally. I will try it again today in 2 tins.
abikinsey
9th Mar, 2017
how did you get on baking in 2 tins? I had the same problem cutting it - was too moist - time in oven? temp? Thanks! ;-)
GeorgieRose104's picture
GeorgieRose104
29th Jan, 2017
1.3
Its chewy from all of the sugar and 2 of 3 ive made collapsed after i took them out of the oven and left to cool. They all stuck to the tins despite me greasing and lining. I followed this recipe to a T, and as a chef i understand what im doing. I would suggest reducing the amounts of sugar and using 2 smaller tins... possibly even add in an extra egg! The structure is fudgy inside... but theres no solid structure unless overbaked.
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.

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Ilovebakingcake...
19th Mar, 2017
Can you tell me what I did wrong please? I followed recipe exactly & have a good oven so know its not that..... when I went to take cake out of oven it had all sunk in middle very collapsed. Let it cool & when removing from tin kind of fell apart the centre all gooey and moist. What do you think I did wrong?
goodfoodteam's picture
goodfoodteam
27th Mar, 2017
Sorry to hear your cake didn't work out. The cake definitely sounds like it was undercooked. There are a few reasons why this might have happened. Firstly, check that you are using the correct size tin and that the oven is fully up to temperature before putting the cake in. Avoid opening the oven door during cooking time as this lets the heat out of the oven and can cause the cake to collapse and not cook in the stated time. Make sure you test the cake with a skewer at 1 hr 25 mins, it should come out clean. If not, return the cake to the oven for 5 mins or if it's really gooey, then longer still. Hope that helps next time.
Jocatt
5th Mar, 2017
Hi, I'm wanting to use the recipe but in 6" sandwhich tins. How many layers do you think this mixture would make. If it's 3 layers in a 8" do you think it would make 4? Thanks
goodfoodteam's picture
goodfoodteam
10th Mar, 2017
Thanks for your question. We haven't tested the recipe in 6 inch tins so can't give exact advice, however it should be enough to create 4 layers. You will need to reduce the cooking time too to account for the smaller size cakes.
miminh
15th Nov, 2016
5.05
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.

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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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