05 September 2010

Possibly the Best Chocolate Cake Ever!

A big call I know!  It is even one I have made myself and I would not normally highly rate my baking skills.  I can't of course take all the credit as that would be purely down to the recipe.  So thanks goes to cooking class at the Plum Kitchen last week for the inspiration (and courage) to bake a cake!  Looking forward to the next cooking class in a couple of weeks time.
Hard to recall the last time I baked a cake, most definitely a decade or so ago and from memory a bit of a disaster, hence the baking of cakes being relegated to the cooking too hard basket.  
This cake definitely falls in to the decadent category so not for the faint hearted!  However, if you love chocolate you must try it!  The chocolate aroma that fills the house while this one is baking is almost intoxicating.  It does help when you use great chocolate, like the Plum Kitchen, my favourite is Whittaker's Dark Ghana.  At 72% cocoa it is for the serious chocolate lover.  It is also local Kiwi chocolate so for those of you not lucky enough to be in beautiful Aotearoa your favourite dark chocolate with a high cocoa content will work fine too.
I have just never had such a chocolaty chocolate cake.  It is moist, but not at all heavy and should be just cooked so that the centre remains a little gooey and fudgy.
At cooking class we had it with caramelised oranges and a citrus cream.  Tonight it will be with an even simpler citrus cream.  I will be whipping up some cream and adding a teaspoon of vanilla extract and a little lemon and lime zest.  You could also add orange zest if you have one on hand.  It you want to go thicker and creamier add some mascarpone a la Giada. And if you like it sweeter just add a little sugar.
This would also make a lovely dessert in Summer with some fresh raspberries and a vanilla mascarpone.  Mix some mascarpone with a tablespoon of sugar, the juice and zest of an orange and the seeds from a vanilla pod. Stir them all together really well and put a good dollop on top of the cake along with some fresh raspberries.
And here, courtesy of the Plum Kitchen, is the recipe, as it would be an offence against all chocolate lovers not to share it.

Rich Chocolate Cake

250 grams (9oz)dark chocolate, I used Whittaker's Dark Ghana.  Break in to chunks
250 grams (9oz)unsalted butter, cut in to chunks
4 medium eggs, separated
200 grams (7oz)caster sugar
50 grams (1.75oz)plain flour
70 grams (2.50z)ground almonds

Preheat oven to 170C (325F) and grease a 23cm spring form cake tin (or a whatever tin you have similar in size).  Line the base with baking paper.
Put the chocolate and butter in a heavy saucepan and melt over a very low heat. If you prefer you could do over a double boiler.  Stir to combine until the chocolate and butter have melted.
Meanwhile whisk the egg yolks and sugar together in a large bowl until combined, pale, light and fluffy.
Stir the melted chocolate ans butter in to the egg and sugar mixture.  Stir in the flour and ground almonds.
In a separate, very dry clean bowl, whisk the egg whites to stiff peaks.  Top tip from the Plum Kitchen to ensure stiff peaks - rub the inside of the bowl with half a lemon.
Fold the egg whites in to the chocolate mixture.
Pour the mixture in to the prepared cake tin.  Place in the oven and bake for 30 minutes or until just set.  My oven is old, no fan, and has a broken seal so I gave it about 40 minutes.  And it came out pretty perfectly.
I, of course had to taste test and certainly couldn't wait until dinner!  Truly the best chocolate cake I have ever tasted!  Thank you Plum Kitchen - for the recipe and reacquainting me with cake baking!
More than happy to put my theory, that this is indeed the best ever chocolate cake, to the test so if anyone has any of their own great chocolate cake recipes that they would like to share bring it on!


  1. Glad you enjoyed it:) Hooray for baking...and of course chocolate!

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