I had a Dream… of Chocolate Cake

One morning last week, I woke up after a dream of eating the most delicious chocolate cake.

I thought “Sod it! I’ll forsake my porridge this morning and just eat the cake!”

Then, with great (theatrical) sadness I realised that it was all a dream 🙁

After this happened two more times (I think that constitutes an obsession), coupled with my sister and her husband coming for a visit, I went on a recipe search for The Perfect Chocolate Cake (no small feat).

It needed to be very choclate-y, but not in that cloying, sweet way; moist, but not like a brownie; and it had to look good (yes, shallow, I know, but there you go)

My favourite recipe website at the moment is BBC Good Food. I sometimes just go on and salivate- there are many blogs and websites that are just delicious-to-look-at-in-the-extreme (for example, Cannelle et Vanille) but the BBC Good Food one has recipes with ingredients I can actually buy here (always a bonus) and they have a rating system for people who have tried the recipe.

So this is where I found The Recipe. In fairness, if a recipe gets 518 gold stars, then I believe it has to be good. I could almost taste it as I read (almost) all the reviews, and so without further ado, I began to make it. 

My inability to ever follow any recipe (pattern etc) exactly can be a problem, and also I was missing some essential ingredients, so, I’ll post the recipe exactly as I found it here, and list my changes at the end. 

The Perfect (Ultimate) Chocolate Cake

(Recipe by Angela Nilsen: My Hero)

200g good quality dark chocolate, about 60% cocoa solids

200g butter, cut in pieces

1 tbsp instant coffee granules

85g self-raising flour

85g plain flour

1⁄4 tsp bicarbonate of soda

200g light muscovado sugar

200g golden caster sugar

25g cocoa powder

3 medium eggs

75ml buttermilk (5 tbsp)

grated chocolate or curls, to decorate


200g good-quality dark chocolate, as above

284ml carton double cream (pouring type)

2 tbsp golden caster sugar

(Okay: for my changes: I used 46% cocoa solids chocolate because the kiddies aren’t mad on overly “dark” cakes; I didn’t have any self raising flour so just used 170g plain lour and a level teasp of baking powder; I used “darker” sugars, same quantity; had no buttermilk so used natural yogurt (Glenisk Organic: delicious) instead)

The How-To:

Butter a 20cm round cake tin (7.5cm deep) and line the base. Preheat the oven to fan 140C/conventional 160C/ gas 3. Break the chocolate in pieces into a medium, heavy-based saucepan. Tip in the butter, then mix the coffee granules into 125ml/4fl oz cold water and pour into the pan. Warm through over a low heat just until everything is melted – don’t overheat (This is quicker than you think)

While the chocolate is melting, mix the two flours, bicarbonate of soda, sugars and cocoa in a big bowl, mixing well to get rid of any lumps. Beat the eggs in a bowl and stir in the buttermilk.

Now pour the melted chocolate mixture and the egg mixture into the flour mixture, stirring just until everything is well blended and you have a smooth, quite runny consistency.

Pour this into the tin and bake for 1 hour 25- 1 hour 30 minutes – if you push a skewer in the centre it should come out clean and the top should feel firm (don’t worry if it cracks a bit). Leave to cool in the tin (don’t worry if it dips slightly), then turn out onto a wire rack to cool completely. When cold, cut horizontally in half (or three).

For the ganache: Heat the cream and sugar til almost boiling, then pour over the chopped up chocolate, stirring until the mixture is smooth. Sandwich the cake with just a little of the ganache, and pour the rest over the cake letting it run down the sides. Decorate with swirls of chocolate. 

Can you hear me salivating?

It was extraordinarily good. Really, possibly the BEST chocolate cake I have ever feasted on. I get another opportunity to make it this weekend as we are visiting my parents. And yes, I do need an excuse because otherwise it will be all that I eat (Seriously)

So, to encourage you to just go and make it!!; one last photo of heaven: