best chocolate cake (in the history of mankind)

What do you get when you have a dark chocolate cake made with double cream that has fresh white chocolate mouse poured over it while it comes out of the oven, and then top it with a milk chocolate ganache, along with grated chocolate? Heaven on earth. Humility out the door, my chocolate cake is a work of art.

The following recipe was again an experiment, tested on my lab mates as part of Eirini's birthday celebration last week. I was going to go for something more white and fruity. Thought about a sponge cake with a butter cream filling and raspberry compote, but opted for something far richer. So, it was chocolate. Anyone on a diet or orders by the doctor to cut down on their cholesterol should click away from the blog.

This cake is a happy medium between a sponge cake and a really compact chocolate tart. The secret to its moistness is the white chocolate mouse that you pour over the cake as it comes out of the oven.

200g dark chocolate , Fair Trade (~70% cocoa)
300g butter , cut into one-inch pieces
1.5 tbsp instant coffee granules (Nescafe) diluted in 100ml of warm water
200g self-raising flour (sifted)
1 tbsp baking powder
1⁄2 tsp bicarbonate of soda (may not be necessary if you don't have it)
300g dark brown sugar
300g caster sugar
4 large eggs (organic/free range is better)
100ml double cream
150g milk chocolate bar, cold (for decoration on top)

200 Belgian white chocolate, chopped into small pieces
3 large eggs, separated
2 tbsp caster sugar
200ml double cream, softly whipped

200g good quality milk chocolate
280ml double cream (basically one carton off your supermarket shelf)
2 tbsp caster sugar

Preheat your fan oven to 160 degrees C (each oven has its own personality, but for conventional oven I'd go 170). Butter a 20cm round cake tin (7.5cm deep) and dust some flour all over the base. Cut the dark chocolate in pieces (makes melting much easier)into a medium-size sauce pan. Add in the butter and coffee, and over low heat, allow the chocolate to melt as you slowly stir all three ingredients with a metal spoon. You are looking for a smooth, liquid consistency.

Mix the flour, the baking powder, and the bicarbonate of soda, along with the sugars in a very large bowl (if you don't have one, a big pot where you make pasta will work well). It's good to use a whisk to do this. In a separate bowl, beat the eggs using a fork and stir in the double cream.

Take the egg/cream and melted chocolate mixtures and add them into the flour mixture, and use a hand mixer (or whisk vigorously) just until everything is well blended. You're looking for a smooth consistency again. Pour the batter into the tin and bake for about 1 hour. DO NOT OPEN THE OVEN FOR THE FIRST 45 minutes of baking.

With cake in oven, prepare your white chocolate mouse. Melt your chocolate in a heatproof bowl (I use a big glass salad bowl) over a small pan of simmering water. It's important not to let the base of your bowl touch the water. When the chocolate has melted and has a nice smooth texture, set to the side, and ensure it doesn't harden (read this whole recipe through once before you begin). Beat your egg yolks and the caster sugar in a medium size bowl until they're mixed well and you get a thick texture. In a separate bowl, whisk the egg whites until nice and fluffy. Take a large metal spoon and fold the white chocolate into the egg yolk/sugar mixture. Then fold in the double cream (which you have whipped up with a hand held mixer). Last step is to very carefully fold in your egg whites, and mix the ingredients gently.

Take a toothpick, open the oven (~50 minutes), and place in the centre of the cake. If it comes out clean, the cake is done and take it out. Place on a wire rack, and after 2 minutes take a fork and lightly stab the top of the cake all over. You are looking to go about 1/4 inch deep into the cake with your fork. This is a critical step. Immediately pour the white chocolate mouse on top (which you have prepared while the cake is in the oven). Let the mouse set for about 5 minutes and then remove the ring. It may get a little messy as some mouse drips off. It's all good!

For the ganache, cut the milk chocolate into very small pieces with a sharp knife and add into a medium size bowl. Pour the double cream into a small pan, add the sugar, and heat over medium-high flame until it is almost boiling. Remove from heat and pour it over the chocolate. Keep stirring with a fork until all the chocolate has melted and you have achieved that smooth, rich, velvety consistency. Pour it over the cake as you did with the white chocolate mouse.

To finish off, you want to get that WOW factor. You must top off the cake with chocolate shavings. I like to use a vegetable peeler along the side of a chocolate bar that has come straight out of the fridge (or a pile of chocolate curls (which you can buy from your local cake decorating shop).



Priya said...

oh my god.
i so wish you could come to our wedding - our chocolate cake was the most important thing to me (more important than the dress). Our baker imports vanilla and butter (yes, imported butter!) from italy. it cost us 1200 dollars for 90 slices. dont' tell anyone. the tasting was the most beautiful experience i'd had. i will try to save a piece for you!

Adriana Williams said...

This sounds reaaaaalllllyyyy good. I must try it, but will DEFINITELY find a substitute for the Nescafé (Nestlé is evil).

Olga said...

Jonny it seems delicious. I will definitely try it!!!

Anonymous said...

This recipe is absolutely shocking. The measurements must be wrong, the cake has come out of the oven a complete disaster. Hard crust on the outside, mess on the inside, tastes absolutely revolting. What a waste of my time, money, food and now I have no pudding to serve.

Have you even tried this recipe?? Don't write recipes on the net unless they are good ones, please!


Yannis said...

Hello anonymous,

Well I'm sorry to hear you had a bad experience, but have indeed tested this recipe, and in fact served this cake to my own work group of 13 people who thought it was an incredible cake. Made it for a colleague's birthday.

Devis Wolowitz said...

A very good and informative article indeed. It helps me a lot to enhance my knowledge, I really like the way the writer presented his views.
pastry Glendale