What better way to welcome you on my new venture than with cake?
The last few years I have lost myself in the world of work and academia and my baking passion has sadly been neglected. A series of events over the past 12 months has made me realise that there is more to life than work and that you really have to ensure you look after your own wellbeing…
So, I have recently reignited my passion for baking with a vengeance! Turfing out, expanding and reorganising my baking cupboard and pinning all of the recipes which I have wanted to bake and re-bake for such a long time. And so I thought I would kick things off with a slice or 2 of a special chocolate fudge cake.
What’s not to love about a chocolate fudge cake? A family favourite within our household, it always adds a little luxury to any occasion. And to top it off? It’s simple and quick to make, and is the ultimate chocolate cake.
I love this recipe as it can be adapted to suit your taste as the cake itself is not overly sweet. Create extra indulgence by doubling up the chocolate ganache, or tame it down with a filling of freshly whipped double cream…equally delicious but a little lighter. You can also add that extra bit of zing by spreading one of your favourite jams in the centre. It truly is versatile.
Here I went for a chocolate ganache, freshly whipped double cream and apricot jam filling with added chocolate ganache on top. After all, it is a welcome cake!
For the cake:
- 50g sifted cocoa powder
- 6 tablespoons boiling water
- 100g softened butter
- 275g caster sugar
- 175g sifted self-raising flour
- 1 rounded teaspoon of baking powder
- 3 large eggs
- 50ml milk
For the filling and topping:
- Chocolate Ganache
- 150g dark chocolate (I like to use a minimum of 50% cocoa solids)
- 150ml double cream
- Cream filling
- 150ml double cream
- 1 heaped tablespoon of icing sugar
- 2-3 heaped tablespoons apricot jam
- Set the oven to 180ºC/Fan 160ºC/Gas Mark 4 and prepare two deep sandwich tins. Those which I use are 20cm rounds.
- In your bowl, blend the cocoa powder with the boiling water so that you make a smooth paste.
- Add in the butter and beat until well mixed.
- Add the rest of the cake ingredients and beat the mixture until it becomes a smooth, slightly thick, batter. Then divide the mixture equally between the two cake tins.
- Bake in your pre-heated oven for 25-30 minutes or until well risen and springy to the touch. Leave to cool slightly and then turn out onto a wire rack.
- For the chocolate ganache – break up the chocolate and slowly heat with the double cream over a pan of gently simmering water, stirring occasionally, until all the chocolate has melted. Be sure not to overheat. Remove the bowl from the heat and leave to cool at room temperature until it reaches a spreadable consistency.
- Whilst the chocolate is cooling, place the jam in a bowl and gently warm, either in the microwave or in a small pan – be wary not to overheat! We just want to make it spreadable. Evenly spread the jam across the base of each cake.
- For the cream filling (optional) – whisk the double cream and icing sugar together until thick.
- Once the chocolate ganache has cooled enough to use, spread over the jam on both layers of cake.
- Spread the cream on top of the chocolate on your bottom layer and then place the top layer on, sandwiching the cake together.
- Use a small pallet knife to spread the remaining ganache over the top of the cake.
Top tip – to ensure your chocolate ganache is nice and shiny, be careful not to overheat it or ‘boil’ it, and don’t put it in the fridge to cool down quicker. If filling your cake with fresh cream, store in the fridge, otherwise a cool, dark place is fine until needed.
I hope you enjoy this cake as much as we did…it lasted less than 48 hours in our house! A personal favourite touch of mine is to use raspberry jam instead of apricot. But if jam isn’t your thing then just leave it out! That’s what makes this chocolate cake so great, you can adapt it in so many ways.
Thanks for reading and happy baking!