Hey Dea, do you have a chocolate cake recipe ?
Nope, never made one.
What… In my 5-6 years of baking I have never made a chocolate cake. Yes, I made chocolate mousse, chocolate cupcakes, chocolate cheesecake, chocolate cookies, chocolate brownies, chocolate this and that. But never a simple chocolate cake. I think it’s because you can find it everywhere and it is nothing special really, it just doesn’t excite me.
And then my boyfriends birthday came up, I mean, what better opportunity than that to make something deadly chocolate!
I said to myself, okay, great, let’s just make a simple chocolate cake with chocolate frosting. And caramel maybe, he would like that. And then I need some crunch, maybe incorporate some candy in the frosting. But then the cake is too sweet, I need something to balance it out, like cream cheese or fruit (but I didn’t want to have fruit in this cake). My mind just went on and on, fantasizing about the additions to this cake and what more can I do to make it amazing, there was nothing stopping me. Until I had to stop myself.
Helloooo, I said simple.. Can’t I just make a normal chocolate cake?? I guess not. It’s so hard to bring myself to do something so basic. I am just not a fan of making something that I already know how it will taste. I love to explore new flavors and combinations and textures and getting excited about how will this dessert I just thought about turn out. That’s the reason why every time I bake it’s probably something I have never made before.
Okay, back to the chocolate cake I have yet to make. Then I made a deal with myself that I can add a crunch element because I remember when we were little kids that I only loved the chocolate birthday cakes that had little chocolate drops or pieces in chocolate frosting, others I just liked :P.
Random fact: Growing up, every year since I first tried it I had a walnut-rafaello cake for my birthday. It was so good. Then one year they just stopped making it or it wasn’t the same anymore I don’t really remember but it was gone. So this is a note to myself: make a walnut-rafaello cake.
Back on track.
Then I remembered a blackout chocolate cake I have been eyeing for a while. I searched for it, went through the recipe and everything look good except the filling. Oh was I suspicious of a filling (it’s actually a pudding) that is made of water, cocoa powder, sugar, starch, glucose and butter. And that’s a LOT of cocoa powder if you ask me, I used 2 whole packets. I guess it was weird to me because I’ve never made anything similar but that also meant good news! Something new, something exciting! So I decided to give it a try and make another frosting in case that pudding turned out not so good (or maybe it was an excuse just to make something extra, who knows).
At that point I didn’t know what an adventure awaits for me. But the pudding. IT WAS SO GOOD.
I was blown away by how good it was (well, my expectations were below 0 so the surprise was even bigger). Rich, dark, and decadent were the words that came to mind. Best chocolate pudding I ever ate. The fact that I haven’t eaten many puddings in my life doesn’t matter! I will definitely use this pudding in many other recipes. ATTENTION: when making the pudding I was standing right there and whisking it the whole time but just in a moment the thing boiled and poured all over, I was looking around searching for something that I could hold and move the pan because it was hot hot hot. I couldn’t find anything so I quickly just grabbed the pan with both hands and move it over on the counter. This whole thing happened in one second. So guess what. The whole kitchen was a MESS. Chocolate everywhere. Who would’ve thought that could be a bad thing. So my little adventure was a half an hour of cleaning up this mess. Still worth it.
This post is already too long so I will stop it here. I ended up making a chocolate cake with chocolate pudding, chocolate cream cheese frosting, maltesers and mini daim chocolates.
I put crushed maltesers on the first layer of filling, crushed daim chocolates on the second one and nothing on the third one. But after trying the cake I found out that maltesers melt in the filling but daim pieces don’t so there wasn’t as much crunch as I would want it to be. I suggest you put daim pieces on top of all the layers of filling and use crushed maltesers on top of the cake for decoration.
You can of course any other chocolate candy instead of daim and maltesers but I’m not responsible for their disappearance in the filling :).
170 g butter at room temperature
350 g sugar
3 big eggs
2 tsp vanilla extract
280 g cake flour
80 g cocoa powder
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
240 ml buttermilk (can substitute for milk)
700 ml water
430 g sugar
1 tbsp glucose/corn syrup (can substitute for honey but it will affect the taste)
155 cocoa powder
85 g cornstarch
85 g butter
1 tsp vanilla extract
pinch of salt
Chocolate cheese frosting
200 g chocolate
150 g butter at room temperature
50 g powdered sugar
15 g cocoa powder
1 1/2 tbsp boiling water
100 g cream cheese at room temperature
+ crushed up maltesers and mini daim chocolates
300 ml of milk
1 tbsp of rum (optional)
100 g white chocolate
50 g whipping cream
additional daim and maltesers
Preheat the oven to 190°C. Butter and coat lightly with flour two 23 cm cake pans. Line the bottoms with parchment paper. Because I don’t own two cake pans I first baked half of the cake batter and then the second one. In a bowl mix together cake flour, cacao powder, baking soda and powder, salt and set aside.
Mix butter and sugar until creamy and fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time then add vanilla extract.
At low speed add the dry ingredients and buttermilk in 3 separate alternating batches starting and ending with flour. Just to be clear. Add a third of dry ingredients, quick mix, half of buttermilk, quick mix and so on just until the mixture is fully incorporated.
Divide the batter in half. In my case I put half of the batter in a cake tin and baked it, then repeated with the other half. Bake in the center of the oven for 30 min or until a toothpick/clean knife is inserted to the center of the cake and comes out clean with few moist crumbs attached.
In a large saucepan combine sugar, 600 ml of water, cocoa powder and glucose. Bring to a boil whisking constantly!! In a bowl mix the remaining water and cornstarch, mix until smooth then add to the cocoa mixture. Cook on medium heat, whisking constantly, for about 3 min or until the mixture is very thick. Put off the heat and whisk in the butter, vanilla extract and salt. Scrape the filling into a bowl and press a sheet of plastic wrap directly onto the surface of the filling. Let cool, then refrigerate until firm, 45 min.
Chocolate cheese frosting
Melt the chocolate over a bain-marie and set aside to cool. Mix together water and cocoa powder.
In another bowl beat the powdered sugar and butter until light and fluffy. Mix in the chocolate, cocoa mixture and cream cheese until fluffy.
Warm up the milk with a tbsp of rum. Crush up the maltesers and daim into small pieces (not too small). Cut the tops of the cake to make them even. You can eat the top of the cakes or make them into crumbs and decorate the cake with them. Then cut both cakes in half horizontally. Place the first layer of the cake on a cake plate and soak it with 5 tbsp of milk. Spread with half of the pudding and sprinkle with daim chocolates. Cover with the second sponge layer, soak with 5 tbsp of milk and spread with half of the chocolate cheese frosting. Again sprinkle with daim chocolates and continue with third sponge layer. Soak with 5 tbsp milk and spread with the remaining pudding (leave some pudding for the decoration of the cake) and daim chocolates. Layer the final sponge layer, soak with 5 tbsp milk and frost the whole cake with the remaining chocolate cheese frosting. Put in the fridge to set for a few hours or over night. For the white chocolate ganache: break the white chocolate to pieces in a heat proof bowl, in a pan heat up the cream until boil and pour over chocolate. Wait a minute then mix together. Wait until it cools a little bit and then use for decorating.
I decorated the cake with white chocolate ganache, chocolate pudding, maltesers and and chocolate sprinkles.