discovering a simpiler life

discovering a simpiler life

Thursday, 31 October 2013

can I have another piece of chocolate cake

I've been wanting to make this chocolate cake recipe for awhile now and yesterday was the day! Looking at the pictures of it on Mariana's blog makes me lick my lips and want to boil the kettle and snuggle up with a thick slice.  I'm just hoping I can do it justice.
The following is kindly reprinted with permission from Mariana, these are her words and mine in the brackets:

Chocolate Cake              
200g caster sugar
90g salt reduced butter (I used salted as it was what I had)
185ml hot water
2 tbsp rich chocolate cocoa powder (I used raw cacao powder, I also was cheeky and added 60g of 70% cocoa dark cooking chocolate but added it in with the butter and sugar in the saucepan)
1/2 tsp bicarb soda
1 tspn vanilla extract
2 fresh eggs (free range of course)
150g SR flour

 Sift cocoa powder in a small bowl; whisk in hot water till there's no lumps.  Pour into medium sized saucepan along with sugar & chopped butter.  Melt over low heat till sugar dissolves & mixture begins to bubble; add bicarb; stir till it froths up nicely; take off heat; pour into a large bowl; set aside to cool.  Sometimes I make this step the night before and then complete the cake in the morning.  

I filled the bottom bowl with iced water to speed up the cooling process
& stirred it to also help speed it up, next time I will do it the night before!
Allow to cool; I mean cool - not still warm cos I've done it and the texture changes.  You may notice a skin has formed upon cooling; don't worry; it's perfectly normal.  When cool, hand whisk in the vanilla essence, followed by the beaten eggs till nice and glossy.  Sift in flour; whisk briskly for only a minute.  
Mixture is quite runny.  Pour into greased, bottom baking paper lined 20cm round tin (I used a springform tin); place into preheated 160-170 degree fan forced oven for 35-40 mins or till baked.  Sit for 1 minute; slide a knife all around the sides.  Upturn onto metal rack; remove the paper; allow to cool.

Put 125g icing sugar, 1 tbsp cocoa powder, 2 tspn butter & 1 tbsp milk (you may need to add a little more) into a ceramic bowl. (I used a stainless steel one)  Place over saucepan with hot simmering water.  Mix continuously till the mixture comes together and the icing is nice, thick and pourable.  If it's slightly runny, thats fine, just allow to thicken up a little longer (by letting it cool)before pouring over the cake.

Place cake onto serving plate. You'll need to move faily quickly with the icing as it sets pretty fast. (super fast!!) Pour directly onto the middle of the cake; use a long knife to swirl over top or to simply push the icing to the edges and allow to set in a rustic fashion.  Practise makes perfect.  

Thanks Mariana for the recipe it will be a firm favouite!  I desperately wanted to add some chopped walnuts to the top but alas it is going to school today as a lunch box dazzler and they are party poopers these days where nuts are concerned.

I was talking a friend through a recipe over the phone the other day, and it made me realise not everything I say is easy for someone not so kitchen savvy, so with this in mind I thought I'd take the time to show you how to perfectly cover a round cake tin.  Tear yourself off around 30cm's of baking paper and fold four times until you get a smaller square. Then, keep folding in half until you have an arrow shape.

Hold the pointy end to the center of your cake tin and keep your thumb to where the edge of the tin is then with scissors cut the excess off.

You should now have a somewhat perfect circle
This technique is also used to make a cover for stews, soups and poaching in a saucepan to stop the liquid reducing too much and a skin forming, so perfect when poaching fruit like whole pears, although you cut the tip of the point out to create a little hole in the center.  Its cheffy name is a cartouche.

My word, everyone and I mean everyone, needs this chocolate cake in there repertoire...the icing is just so, not too thick and the cake oh so moist. Do yourself, your family and friends a favour and get on it!

Ciao, Jan


  1. I'm very impressed Jan!! Thank you for trying the recipe and I'm thrilled to bits with your results.

    I noticed an unidentified object in your saucepan before the melting stage; then I read you added some 'real chocolate'. Must admit I have myself wondered how that would taste - I'm guessing it adds a richer chocolate edge. Well done for being adventurous and putting your own stamp on it. I like an adventurous gal.

    The batter isn't quite as 'runny' as mine so I'm guessing the 'real' chocolate has made a difference there. Looks really luscious and I'm sure the choc flavour shines through more with your version.

    I haven't changed it up much; but I do recall adding coffee to both the batter and the icing. Now that was really, really yummy. The icing was gorgeous.

    A long time ago I made the cake a few times using olive oil instead of butter; the moisture content was fine and it kept well; had a nice rise; everything was as good except for the flavour. It seemed lost. I only use butter now because I feel it brings out the flavour so much more and also enhances the chocolate. Having said that, olive oil works if you don't want to use butter.

    Thanks Jan again for giving my dinky di cake a go - I can say that - took me years of experimenting to find the perfect chocolate cake that my family love. Don't you just love that no beaters are needed? Ten out of ten Jan. Teacher is happy. x

    1. What a find this recipe is Mariana! I will definately try the coffee addition next time, I wonder if you added it in with the cocoa and hot water? I love that no beaters are needed, yes!! I think that is why I love the whole orange cake and the banana bread recipes I've got on the blog, I love making things simple but still having the delicious taste!
      Student is happy too, thanks Teacher :)

    2. Yes that's right Jan - don't change anything - simply add a tablespoon of a good instant coffee (or more if you like) with the hot water; mix to dissolve, follow recipe.

  2. omg Janice that tip for the baking paper is GENIUS! The cake looks yum-o too. x


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