Hubby has been nagging me to satisfy his lockdown chocolate cake craving. I finally relented this past Sunday and went on the hunt for a recipe. There are TONS of chocolate cake recipes out there! So where to find THE super easy indulgent chocolate cake recipe? Why Mom Moolenschot of course. As some of you who have seen some of our earlier Sinful Sunday recipes might know, her cakes and desserts are insane so I knew I’d get something fab from her. She sent me a bunch of recipes to choose from. I settled on this one because I had the dry ingredients in my pantry and, it’s actually pretty damn simple.
A word of warning – this is a rich, indulgent chocolate cake treat that will satisfy ANY chocolate craving and then some!
All you’ll need for this cake recipe are 2 x 20cm diameter sandwich cake tins. I actually only have 1 so ended up splitting the batter and baking each half separately. Where there’s a will there’s a way!
For the chocolate cake
225g unsalted butter, softened
4 organic eggs
225g castor sugar
225g self-raising flour
85g cocoa powder
2 teaspoons baking powder
For the cream cheese buttercream filling
250g unsalted butter, softened
150g full-fat cream cheese softened (Philadelphia)
100g icing sugar
1 teaspoon Vanilla bean paste (I use Vanilla Man vanilla paste)
For the chocolate ganache
300ml double cream
200g dark chocolate, chopped (I used 70% LINDT chocolate)
Self-raising flour substitute
If you don’t happen to have self-raising flour in your lockdown pantry, you can make your own. All you need to do is sift together 1 cup of all-purpose flour with 2 teaspoons of baking powder into a glass bowl.
Vanilla bean paste substitute
You can substitute vanilla bean paste with one of the following:
-Use equal amounts of vanilla extract or vanilla powder; or –
-Use one whole vanilla bean (steeped in cooking liquid) to replace 1 tablespoon of vanilla bean paste.
Takes about an hour and a half including cooling time (and some ganache issues). This also assumes you have 2 cake tins unlike me.
Preheat your oven to 180ºCelsius if baking without a fan, or lower to 160ºCelsius if baking with a fan. Butter your cake tins.
To make the chocolate cake
Cut your butter into thumb-sized blocks and place in a large glass bowl to soften. Make sure the butter is really soft before you start adding the rest of your cake ingredients. This is a really thick cake batter so I found it easiest to cream the butter and eggs together with an electric whisk and then to add the dry ingredients ½ a cup at a time until everything was well combined into a thick, smooth cake batter.
Divide the mixture between your two buttered cake tins. Bake for 20-25 minutes in your preheated oven until the cake is still springy when you touch it in the center of the cake.
Cool on wire racks for 5 minutes and then turn out the cakes onto the racks and allow to cool completely.
To make the cream cheese buttercream filling
In a large bowl, beat together the softened butter and cream cheese until fluffy. Use a hand mixer or stand mixer for ease and best results. Beat in the icing sugar until well combined. Finally add the vanilla paste and beat again until combined.
Cook’s note: The original recipe only called for 100g cream cheese – but I love the tang that cream cheese gives a filling like this so added another 50g.
To make the ganache
Break the chocolate into small bits and place in a glass bowl. Gently heat the cream to just below boiling point – make sure not to bring it to the boil. Pour the heated cream over the chocolate and whisk until the chocolate is all melted and you have a velvety consistency.
Let it sit uncovered at room temperature for about 10-15 minutes before pouring it over your cake. It should coat a spoon nicely when ready for cake coverage – set your timer to make pouring your ganache over the cake easier. The longer it sits, the more it thickens and becomes more like icing.
What if my ganache splits?
I was a tad distracted, I think it’s all the G&T’s hubby was feeding me while baking his cake, and had the misfortune of my ganache going super lumpy and splitting. I also didn’t have any back-up cream and chocolate so needed to rescue my very sad, and quite dreadful looking mixture.
Fortunately, it was quite simple to remedy. All I did was heat up some milk (only had low fat), which I then whisked into the split ganache with an electric whisk at high speed. I didn’t have to use much either – I just poured in a splash a t a time until the ganache started combining again. Hey presto, my ganache was rescued and I still got a fab glossy finish. (Evidence in the image below.)
Cook’s note: Only make your ganache once your cake is cooled, and ready to be assembled and finished off with the ganache.
To assemble the layered chocolate cake
Once your chocolate cakes have completely cooled, slice cake one carefully in half horizontally so you have round layers of cake. Place your first layer on a tray, spread over a third of the buttercream filling. Then place a 2nd cake layer on top and spread with another 1/3 of the filling. Place a third cake layer on top and spread with the last 1/3 of the filling. Finish with your final layer of cake.
Cook’s note: You’ll see from my images that I cheated. I decided to take a short cut and didn’t do all the layers but kept the 2 chocolate cakes whole. The cake was still super delicious but less impressive looking and I think would have totally benefited from the 2 extra layers of the cream-cheese buttercream filling. So my advice, unless you’re super pressed for time, do it the right way with 4 cake layers. It’s supposed to look like the image on the left.
Now, pour your ganache evenly over the top of the chocolate cake spreading it with a palette knife. Make sure that the sides are covered as well, redistributing the excess ganache that falls down the sides and collects in the bottom of the tray. Once done, transfer to a pretty cake serving plate. Sprinkle with an edible adornment of your choice and serve. This super easy indulgent chocolate cake will make you like like a kitchen goddess. Who needs coffee shop treats!
(Find more of our fabulously sinful recipes here.)