I think I bake more chocolate cakes, biscuits and slices than anything else. I think this is because I can't eat chocolate, and I fulfill my cravings by baking chocolate things for all my friends. I read an article about Yotam Ottolenghi's new Sweet book and it asked if this chocolate cake was the best ever. I wanted to know if it was the best ever too, and so dear reader, I baked this cake!!
The ingredients are very simple for the cake and ganache and I chose not to make the optional espresso cinnamon marscapone cream. I used 70% Nestle dark chocolate and fresh eggs from the three chickens over the road. The cake took a little longer to cook than the recipe said, so I turned the temperature down 20*C and baked it for a further 10 minutes. Our oven is fan-forced, so maybe this made a difference? The top of the cake cracked, the recipe said it would, and the ganache covered it up nicely.
Is this the best chocolate cake ever? I asked MrsDrWho and her dinner guests and they said it was a good cake, but not the best. The cake was fudgy and rich, but the ganache set quite hard, even at room temperature. It looks softer in the photo with the recipe, perhaps it is our colder weather? I can recommend this cake, it is easy to make (melt and mix) and cooks quickly. It is a great cake for dessert or just with a cup of tea or coffee.
Yotam Ottolenghi's World's Best Chocolate Cake serves 12
For the cake:
- 250g unsalted butter, at room temperature cut into 2cm cubes
- 200g 70% dark chocolate, broken into 2cm pieces
- 1 1/2 tspns instant coffee, dissolved in 350ml of boiling water
- 250g caster sugar
- 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
- 2 tspn vanilla extract
- 240g self raising flour
- 30g Dutch processed cocoa
- 1/4 tspn salt
For the ganache:
- 200g 70% dark chocolate, chopped roughly
- 200ml thickened cream
- 3 tspn golden syrup
- 3 tspn unsalted butter, at room temperature
Preheat the oven to 170*C and grease and line with baking paper a 23cm spring-form tin.
Put the butter, chocolate and coffee mixture into a bowl and mix well until everything is smooth and combined. Then add the sugar and whisk in to dissolve. I added the sugar with the other ingredients. I don't think this was a terrible error.
Add the eggs and vanilla extract and whisk again until smooth and combined. There is a lot of whisking in this recipe, but it is not onerous.
Sift, then mix the dry ingredients together in a separate bowl.
Finally add the dry to the wet ingredients and whisk together. It is a very liquid batter, but this is the way it is supposed to be.
Pour into the lined tin and bake for an hour. It is baked when a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean: no crumbs or wet batter. My cake was still very jiggly after an hour so I turned the temperature down to 150*C and baked it for a further 10 minutes and it was done. Leave the cake to cool in the tin for 20 minutes and then remove to a rack to cool completely.
Begin the ganache by putting the chocolate into a heatproof bowl. Heat the cream and golden syrup in the microwave until tiny bubbles form around the circumference and then pour over the chocolate. I put a plate over the bowl and let it sit for a minute or so, I believe it traps the heat and optimises the melting. Stir until almost melted and add the butter. Stir some more until the butter is melted and the ganache is shiny. You can also make this in a food processor, the recipe has both methods.
Pour the ganache over the cake, or let it sit for a couple of hours at room temperature and then spread it over the cake. On reflection, if you like a softer ganache it would be a good idea to make it just prior to serving. You can see the fudgy texture of the cake and the generous chocolate topping. All in all, this is a very good cake, but probably not The World's Best. What do you think?