Being born in April, one’s mind can’t help but turn, currently, to thoughts of cake.
Actually, my mind turns to thoughts of cake most days of the year. For those of you who aren’t April babies, there’s still a general sweet-tooth mood in the air with the presence of Easter eggs — which have inevitably been advertised since the minute Christmas was out of the way (not that I can really blame anyone for wanting to raise awareness of the importance of chocolate).
Whatever the occasion, mood or month, a reliable, useful chocolate cake is an advantage, and this happens to be my choice. It’s an amalgamation of many other recipes I’ve tried, and the particular dark mix of coffee and plenty of cocoa makes for a rich, moist cake full of definite, absolute chocolate flavour.
The vanilla paste in the ganache gives a heady hit of lush fragrance, and there’s no reason why you can’t use it instead of extract in the cake batter itself. So long as you use decent cocoa and chocolate, this cake will be excellent. Also, according Dolly, our wonderful photographer, coconut flour (with an adjustment in liquid) and coconut sugar can be substituted in very successfully.
Simple chocolate cake with vanilla milk chocolate ganache
- 2 cups flour
- ½ cup good-quality cocoa powder
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 1 cup sugar
- 125g butter, melted
- 3 tbsp golden syrup
- 2 eggs
- 1 cup milk
- 2 tsp baking soda
- ½ cup strong black coffee, cooled
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- 150g milk chocolate
- 20g butter
- 1 tsp vanilla paste
- Set your oven to 180˚C, and grease and line a 20cm or 21cm springform cake tin with baking paper.
- In a large bowl, mix together the flour, cocoa, baking powder and sugar.
- Tip in the butter, the golden syrup and the eggs, and give it a quick stir.
- Mix the milk and the baking soda together in a small bowl, then add this to the cake mixture along with the coffee and vanilla.
- Mix the batter briskly for a few minutes with a wooden spoon or sturdy whisk until everything is smooth and thoroughly incorporated.
- Using a spatula, pour the mixture into the cake tin, then bake for around 50 minutes. Depending on your oven, it may be ready sooner or need longer.
- Once the cake has thoroughly cooled, gently melt the milk chocolate and butter together, and stir in the vanilla paste.
- Spread this chocolatey mixture evenly over the cake using the flat edge of a knife.
Serves 4–8 (depending on the size of your slices).