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Wednesday, 5 June 2013

Perfect Chocolate Fudge Cake

I have bravely titled this post 'perfect' because its one of a number of chocolate cakes I have tried that everyone seems to love, even those that do not like cake seem to like this one.  The recipe is from Nigella, her 'Bites' book, and she got it from Tish Boyle's 'Dinner Desserts'.   Serves 10 or one broken heart (as Nigella states).

My Grandma has always been known for her chocolate cake recipe.  Its a very old recipe spanning back to just after the war.  Be-Ro is the famous brand that invented her classic recipe that involves, amongst others, ingredients like condensed milk.  It is known throughout my family as 'Grandma's Chocolate Cake', the cake we always get at Christmas and other special occasions.  Until, however, my chocolate cake took its crown.  Now it may seem very mean to brag how good this cake is and that it blows my Grandma's famous cake out the water IF NOT that my Grandma herself said it to me only last week.  She has happily handed over the responsibility of making chocolate cakes for family celebrations and I am very happy to accept.  My Grandma is wonderful and is happy to have held the glory all these years only to pass it on to her grandson - thank you Grandma.

This recipe is very quick and easy.  Once you have weighed out the dry ingredients, whisked the eggs in a jug and put the oil/water in the mixer you are ready to go.  It may seem strange that this recipe calls for corn oil and sour cream but these two ingredients work and help to create this dense chocolate creation.  I have tweaked the chocolate fudge icing to make it less grown up.  Nigella calls for 175g of dark chocolate, I found this far too rich and instead I use 100g good milk chocolate and 100g good dark chocolate - yes I know thats 200g but really it does not make any difference, plus it saves you wasting (or eating) the two blocks left over.  What you are left with is a sweet, yet rich, smooth chocolate frosting.

I would highly recommend this chocolate cake - just seeing it standing tall on its platform is enough to send any dieter over the edge ;-)

Perfect Chocolate Fudge Cake
Inspired by Nigella, who was inspired by Tish.

Serves 10

For the cake
400g plain flour
250g caster sugar
100g light muscovado sugar
50g best quality cocoa powder
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp bicarb of soda
1/2 tsp salt
3 eggs
142ml sour cream (small tub)
1 tbsp vanilla extract
175g butter, melted
125ml corn oil
300ml cold water

For the fudge icing
200g melted chocolate (consisting of 100g milk 40% and 100g plain 70%)
250g soft butter (whole block - wow)
275g icing sugar, sifted
1 tbsp vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 180C (160C fan) or gas 4.

Butter and line two 20cm sandwich tins, I use lose bottom ones for ease.  Its best not to melt butter for this, instead use soft butter (Martha Stewart says so, so I don't argue)  

In a large bowl, mix together the flour, sugars, cocoa, baking powder, bicarb and salt.


In a jug, mix together the eggs, sour cream and vanilla.

In the bowl of a free-standing mixer (or large bowl if by hand) pour in the cold water and while slowly mixing pour in the melted butter.  Then pour in the oil.


With the mixer running add in all the flour mix, beat for 30 seconds.

Then pour in the milky egg mixture.  Beat until smooth and combined.



Divide this runny mixture between the cake tins and bake in the middle of the oven for 50 mins.  Remove from oven, leave for 5 mins in the tin then invert onto a rack and allow to cool completely before icing.


Melt the chocolate, I put it in the microwave on medium for 2 mins, then leave to cool.

To make the icing I put the sifted icing sugar in the bowl of a food processor (only because my mixer bowl now needs washing) and add the butter and vanilla.  Process for 10 seconds.  Remove the processor feed shoot and with it running pour in the cooled chocolate.  Keep mixing until perfectly smooth, but don't over do it, your not whipping the chocolate with air, just mixing it together.


Sandwich the cakes together with the mix, then use the remainder around the sides of the cake.  To keep it clean I recommend placing strips of greaseproof paper under your bottom layer of cake while you apply the icing, then simply remove for a clean finish.