I’ve been promising our younger son that I would bake a classic chocolate cake one of these days…
My version was closely adapted from the original Family Chocolate Cake recipe from the BAKE & decorate cookbook by Fiona Cairns.
Ingredients (All ingredients are organic, unless otherwise noted):
For the cake…
- 3½ oz 50-60% cacao semisweet chocolate, finely chopped (I used Ghirardelli’s Semisweet Chocolate Chips)
- 2 cups boiling water
- 1⅓ cups all-purpose flour
- 1 tsp. baking powder
- 1 tsp. baking soda
- 1 cup almond flour
- ¾ cup unsalted butter, softened
- 1⅓ cups packed brown sugar
- 1 tsp. vanilla extract
- 3 large eggs, lightly beaten
- ½ cup buttermilk (I substituted the buttermilk with Winterhill’s Award-Winning Shakespeare Acres COOC Certified Olive Oil)
For the fudge icing…
- 3 oz semisweet 50-60% cacao chocolate (can use up to 72% cacao if you prefer), chopped (I used Ghirardelli’s Semisweet Chocolate Chips)
- 3 tbsp. unsalted butter
- 1 tbsp. golden syrup (Lyle’s Golden Syrup is what we would use in the States)
- 2 tbsp. packed brown sugar
- ½ cup heavy cream
- Preheat the oven to 350°F. Butter two 9-inch round cake pans, and line the bottoms with parchment paper. (I used an organic olive oil cooking spray to grease the pans)
- Place the chocolate in a bowl and pour in 6 tablespoons boiling water. Stir until melted; set aside to cool.
- In a bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, and baking soda; stir in the almond flour. In the bowl of an electric mixer (or in a bowl with an electric hand mixer), cream together the butter and sugar until very light and fluffy (this will take a good 5 minutes). Add the vanilla extract to the eggs. With the whisk running, very slowly add the egg mixture to the butter and sugar, adding 1 tablespoon of the flour during the process to prevent curdling; add the melted chocolate and the buttermilk (or if you choose to, olive oil).
- Fold in the remaining flour very gently. Divide the mixture between the pans. (As pictured, use a toothpick to measure if each pan is even). Bake for up to 35 minutes (I live in a higher elevation so it only took approximately 18 minutes), or until firm to the touch. Let cakes rest for 1 or 2 minutes in the pans before turning out onto cooling racks. Remove the papers (if used), and leave until absolutely cold.
For the icing…
- Melt the chocolate and butter in a heat-proof bowl over gently simmering water. Make sure the bottom of the bowl does not touch the water.
- Remove the bowl from the heat; stir in the syrup and sugar. Gradually pour in the cream until all is well blended and smooth. Let cool completely; whisk until it thickens.
- Spread half on the base of one cake. Sandwich the two cakes, bases together; spread the remaining icing on top.
To decorate refer to the BAKE & decorate cookbook for these fabulous themed ideas! : page 96 for “Sweet Shop”; page 119 for “Party Cake with Streamers”, etc.
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