This cake is the first real chocolate cake I have made from scratch in a long time. I made a really nice flourless chocolate cake with Chrissy the other day though, which was similar to the ones I made with Mum from the Bourke Street Bakery Cookbook, and is actually my favourite type of chocolate cake, however Daniel specifically requested a cake with flour in it for his birthday. You can see why here , as he found my birthday cake (sunken but delicious flourless chocolate cake) hilarious.
So, I set about to make a real flour-full choclate cake with lots of real dark chocolate and some fresh delightful raspberries for a garnish. Beth gave me some real vanilla paste as a gift so I used that to whip the cream with - and that was the day I discovered I like cream! I never liked cream before....it must have been the vanilla-kissed flavour.
On with the cake recipe.
200g good-quality dark chocolate, chopped
200g butter, softened
1 cup dark brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla paste
3 eggs, at room temperature
1 1/2 cups self-raising flour
2 tablespoons cocoa powder
1/2 cup milk
150g good-quality dark chocolate, chopped
1/3 cup thickened cream
2/3 cup thickened cream, whipped (optional)
chocolate curls or shavings (optional), to serve (see note)
Preheat oven to 170°C. Grease and line base and side of a 6cm deep, 22cm (base) round cake pan.
Place chocolate in a metal or glass bowl or double boiler – place over a pan of simmering water and turn heat down. Melt chocolate – stirring constantly until smooth. Set aside for 10 minutes to cool.
Using an electric mixer, cream butter, sugar and vanilla until light and fluffy. Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating after each addition. Add melted chocolate. Beat until well combined. Sift flour and cocoa together. Fold half the flour mixture into butter mixture. Add half the milk. Stir gently to combine. Repeat with remaining flour mixture and milk. Spoon into prepared pan. Smooth surface. Bake for 50 to 60 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean.
Stand cake in pan for 15 minutes. Turn out onto a wire rack to cool completely. Spread ganache over top and side. Top with whipped cream and chocolate curls, if using. Serve.
To make chocolate ganache: combine chocolate and cream in a heatproof, microwave-safe bowl. Melt chopped chocolate the same way as above on stove, stirring every minute with a metal spoon, until just melted. Stir cream in until smooth. Set aside for 30 minutes or until thick enough to spread.
• To make chocolate curls, melt good quality chocolate and pour onto a sheet of bakign paper. When set at room temperature but not fully firm yet, run a clean potato peeler along it, allowing curls to form.