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


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


  • kcal541
  • fat35g
  • saturates20g
  • carbs55g
  • sugars40g
  • fibre2g
  • protein6g
  • salt0.51g
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  • 200g good quality dark chocolate, about 60% cocoa solids
  • 200g butter



    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 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


  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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27th Aug, 2011
I used this recipe to make the top tier of my son and his fiances wedding cake together with 144 muffin sized cupcakes and a 10 fruit cake for the traditionalists! I made two bec cakes, cut each in half & sandwiched them together with dark choc ganache. Covered the top & sides with white choc ganache & put white choc cigarellos around and grated white choc and lustre dust on the top. I also added a circle of wired organza ribbon around the middle as the Reception was in a conservatory and I wasn't confident enough that it wouldn't melt in the heat. I am not a great cake baker/decorator but if I can do it anyone can. We saved well in excess of £250 by diy. I would have attached a photo but I am unable to on this blog....unless someone could tell me how?
23rd Aug, 2011
I used half of fat and sugar and it was AWESOME!
21st Aug, 2011
I had 6 attempts at this cake using a fan assisted oven at 140C for 1.5hrs. Found it tended to burn a bit before completely cooking, and sunk in the middle. Tried cooking it at 150C in a fan assisted oven in a bain-marie (basically sat the cake tin in a larger cake tin half filled with water) covered with foil and cooked for approx. 3 hours. Perfect cake - no burnt parts at all. Did not sink like previously, very moist and cooked through. I used the cake tin size suggested in this recipe was able to cut into 3 slices. I used a "Layer Cake Slicer" a nifty little device from Daltonware. Fantastic and makes easy cutting of any cake perfectly! No knives and less crumbs. Just a nylon thread that slices neatly through with a guide device.
19th Aug, 2011
this was sooooooo good!!! nice to the eye and even better to taste!!
18th Aug, 2011
Expensive with all that dark chocolate, but really lovely for a special treat. I have served this without the ganache and with icecream for a pud. Gorgeous.
17th Aug, 2011
LOVE this recipe. If only I had the patience to wait for the cake to cool before attempting to divide it though... Just too irresitable :)
17th Aug, 2011
Made this for boyfriend's 30th, was great and very tasty. Had trouble cutting the cake into 2, so next time wil put into seperate tins. you only need a small piece as it is quite stodgy but not in a bad way.
14th Aug, 2011
The Best chocolate cake ever. But i had to substitute dark choc to plain chocolate coz my kids family and friends does not like very strong chocolate taste, and i reduced the total of sugar content to 300g instead of 400g. Its heavenly.
14th Aug, 2011
This is a fantastic cake! After reading previous comments I checked my cake after about an hour and it was nearly done so I just gave it a little longer but not the full amount of time stated in the recipe. I found it a little tricky to cut so my advice would be leave yourself plently of time for it to go completely cold before cutting into 3 layers. Also make the ganache ahead and leave that a while to cool and set a little otherwise it runs everywhere!
14th Aug, 2011
I was a little disappointed with this cake, especially after all the fantastic reviews it has received. I followed the recipe to the letter and yet my cake burned on the outside before the inside was cooked! Once it had cooled it was very dry on the outside and stodgy on the inside. I only just managed to resuscitate it by sousing it with liqueur and making a 'tiramisu style' cake using the coffee and marscapone creme from the Chocochinno cake found elsewhere on this site. It tasted ok, though I also found it to be a little bitter. Not sure if I will bother to make again.


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