Chocolate Cake



Occasionally I come across a recipe and think, “I’m making this NOW!” This was one of those recipes! It is from the incredibly gifted cook and baker, Diana Henry and was featured in The Sunday Telegraph. It didn’t last long in our house!


50g self-raising flour
1 tsp baking powder
30g good-quality cocoa powder
150g soft light-brown sugar
2 tsp instant espresso powder
175g butter, at room temperature
3 large eggs, lightly beaten
1 tsp vanilla extract
50g plain chocolate (70 per cent cocoa solids), melted and left to cool
2 tbsp milk (optional)

For the buttercream filling:
50g dark chocolate, broken into pieces
100g unsalted butter
160g icing sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla extract

For the chocolate glaze:
110g dark chocolate, broken into pieces
130ml double cream
10g icing sugar, sifted


Preheat the oven to 180C/170C fan/gas mark 4. Butter and line the bases of two 20cm cake tins. Put all the ingredients for the sponge, apart from the milk, into a mixer or a food processor with a pinch of salt and mix until combined, adding the milk if the mixture is too stiff.

Divide the batter between the cake tins and bake for 20 minutes, or until the cakes are just coming away from the sides of the tins. Leave to cool before removing the paper.

For the buttercream, melt the chocolate in a bowl set over a pan of simmering water, then leave to cool. Beat the butter until creamy, add the icing sugar, vanilla and chocolate and beat until combined.

For the chocolate glaze, put the chocolate into a bowl and heat the cream in a saucepan until very hot – not boiling – then pour this over the chocolate. Allow to melt, stirring a little. Add the icing sugar. Leave to cool a little, but not to set.

Spread the buttercream on one layer of cake, put the other layer on top, then spread the chocolate glaze on top of this layer (or drizzle it over) and encourage it down the sides of the cake. Leave to set a little before serving.

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