darkest, lightest chocolate cake

When thinking about which chocolate cake to serve with my Christmas vodka, I knew I needed something dark and not very sweet. this darkest chocolate cake is a very grown up cake, with its use of dark muscovado sugar and cocoa powder which create a slightly treacley, not too sweet, chocolate flavour. It is also wonderfully light and moist which makes it the perfect cake to serve as a dessert, when people might already be feeling a bit full.

I’ve made this cake three times in the past two weeks – twice to serve with the vodka as a pudding and once to share with colleagues at work (sadly no vodka for them). Each time I’ve been asked for the recipe, which is an indicator of its deliciousness and flexibility – it’s great, served with cream and vodka after a meal, or on its own (sprinkled with a bit of edible glitter to liven it up!) with a mid-morning cup of tea. Nice and easy to make too.

darkest chocolate cake* (makes two 8" round layers or one 8 x 13" rectangle)

25g chocolate, chopped (i’ve used dark and milk, either is fine)

75g cocoa powder

160ml hot black coffee or espresso

80ml milk

185g plain flour

1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda

½ a teaspoon salt

140g butter, at room temperature

175g dark muscovado sugar

100g white sugar

3 eggs

1 teaspoon of vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 170c. grease and flour the cake tin(s), line the bottoms with greaseproof paper and flour again.

Place the chopped chocolate and cocoa powder in a bowl. add the hot coffee and whisk to combine. Add the milk, whisk and set aside.

in a separate bowl, combine the flour, baking soda, and salt. set aside.

Cream the butter with both sugars until light and fluffy, about three minutes. Add the eggs one at a time, mixing thoroughly between each addition. add the vanilla extract. Add the dry and wet ingredients to the butter mixture in three stages, alternating dry with wet ingredients. combine thoroughly but do not over-mix.

Pour the batter into the prepared cake tin(s) and bake in the oven for 25-35 minutes until a skewer inserted into the centre of the cake comes out cleanly (my cakes cooked quite quickly so check regularly). Remove and let the cake cool on a wire rack.

Serving suggestions: I served this with double cream. alternatively, serve with vanilla ice cream, and, for an extra coffee kick, pour hot espresso over the ice cream and cake.

* I found the original recipe courtesy of desserts for breakfast.