Ultimate chocolate cake

Ultimate chocolate cake

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(993 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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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.
13th Aug, 2011
Ok, so I have made this cake a thousand times and everytime its been perfect even when i've forgotten some of the ingredients. I've made it for work, friends, birthdays and my first wedding a few months ago, everyone loves it (even if you make a mistake they cant tell!!). I dont like coffee so i have never added this to the recipe and i dont think it makes a difference. This is an amazing cake. It is thick and heavy and sticky so if you want something fluffy go else where. I will never go back to ordinary chocolate recipes. I always buy too much double cream and then drizzle this over a slice - wow! My next adventure is to attempt to use this recipe to make ultimate muffins but i'm not sure how long they will take in the oven, any ideas???? 5 stars doesnt do this cake justice
13th Aug, 2011
Delicious, really easy to make too. The ganache between the layers gave this cake a really moist texture. My husband said this was the best chocolate cake he'd ever had! Just keep an eye on the cooking times as I pulled the cake out early, if I'd kept to the times stated it would have been overdone.
12th Aug, 2011
Amazing, I have cooked this many times and it is always a winner!
11th Aug, 2011
I have to say this is the best chocolate cake ever. You dont need much as its for a serious chocoholic. It is served great as it is with cream or ice cream but also fab warmed up and served with ice cream and the ganache melts over the ice cream mmmm mmmm mmmm. I have made this cake about 10 times and alway comes out great all the time.
10th Aug, 2011
Made it exactly as recipe says, except for baking in a slightly wider tin and just cutting into 2 layers. It was gorgeous, the best cake I've ever made, as I'm no experienced cook, but this was so easy. I tried making my own chocolate curls to put on top.. that was far harder than making the cake itself :P
9th Aug, 2011
I just wondered whether this recipe was suitable to use as the base layer of a three tier cake??? Anyone tried it...sorry if this has been asked b4!
9th Aug, 2011
This cake went down very well at my husbands birthday party. It was very moist and heavy. Very nice but a bit too rich for my taste. I did not sandwich the cake with the ganache, rather I put it on the top and sides instead. Easy to make, but I probably won't make it again because it's too intensely chocolaty for me.


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