I think it’s quite fitting that for a chocoholic’s blog, this is the third chocolate-based recipe in a row! This recipe really is quite wonderful though and extremely versatile. I’ve used it for several things so far, mostly birthday cakes and some cupcakes to take in to my new work and a couple of these are documented in pictures below. The search for this cake originally began after my lactose-intolerant friend asked me to make her wedding cake. I was so excited! Then I began to worry… What if I couldn’t do it? What if it was too difficult? Luckily Sarah is very easy-going and not very fussed about what the cake looks like, she’s more worried about what it tastes like! So to start off with, I knew that she would probably want lemon but that was easy enough, another recipe from my Bluebell Cakery book! It was the chocolate cake that I was worried about. I knew her fiancé would want chocolate and once I’d confirmed this, I was then worrying about how to make the perfect chocolate cake. It needed to be moist and chocolatey, but not too heavy and also stable enough to make up two layers of the wedding cake.
I found this cake simply by Googling “recipe for a stable chocolate wedding cake” and reading some food forums. Even though I agreed with what some people were saying on the forums that it’s about supporting the cake and not needing a “stable recipe”, I also thought it needed to be a recipe where I could move the cake and cut it up without everything falling apart. As soon as I trialled this cake for a friend’s birthday, I knew it was perfect. It really is the perfect chocolate cake. It’s got a dense, chocolatey flavour, intensified by the coffee, but it’s not too heavy and it can easily be cut and moved without falling apart. I will be doing a separate post on the actual wedding cake, but for now I will let the amazing-ness of the cake speak for itself in the pictures below… Happy baking!
My Favourite Chocolate Cake
This recipe can be halved as well for a smaller cake, this cake in the photo above was the full recipe made in two 20cm cake tins (for my dad’s birthday) and it was huge, so for a regular sized cake half of the recipe would definitely suffice.
90g (3oz) dark chocolate bits
1 1/2 cups hot brewed coffee
3 cups sugar
2 1/2 cups flour
1 1/2 cups dark cocoa powder (not Dutch-process)
2 tspn baking soda
3/4 tspn baking powder
1 1/4 tspn salt
3/4 cup vegetable oil
1 1/2 cups buttermilk, shaken
3/4 tspn vanilla essence
- Preheat the oven to 150°C (300°F) and grease and line two 20cm (8 inch) cake tins with baking paper.
- Put the chocolate in a bowl, add instant coffee powder or granules and pour 1 ½ cups boiling water over the chocolate. Mix together until smooth.
- Sift the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt together in a large bowl. In the bowl of a stand mixer (or a large bowl with a hand mixer) beat the eggs until thickened and lemon coloured (around 5 minutes).
- Slowly add the oil, buttermilk and vanilla, beating after each addition. Then add the sugar, before mixing in the chocolate and coffee mixture. Sift the cocoa powder over the bowl and mix until combined.
- Pour half of the flour mixture over the wet mixture and mix until the flour is combined enough to not fly up in your face (very technical there) and then add the other half and beat it all together until well-combined.
- Divide the batter between the tins and bake in the middle of the oven, rotating after 30 minutes, until a skewer inserted into the middle comes out clean or with a few moist crumbs attached, around 1 hour – 1 hour 10 minutes.
- Leave to cool completely in the tins and then turn out onto a wire rack to set.
These cakes can usually stand overnight (when making them in the afternoon, as I usually do) without needing to be kept in a container, as it sets them properly and allows them to be moved more easily. Put them into an airtight container the next morning until ready to decorate.