This rich, indulgent and scrumptious chocolate cake is the perfect dessert. Intense chocolate taste with very moist sponge, combined with a rich citrus cream. Perfect as an afternoon tea break.
It’s not a secret that in my house I have a person who depends on chocolate. If I bake something without chocolate he gets really upset! Because the last a couple of bakes didn’t have this “food of the Gods”, it was inevitable I had to create a recipe with it, and pronto.
This time, the recipe is inspired by Olive magazine, but I adapted it with a couple of tweaks. This is a very moist, super rich and very chocolaty dessert – and if you eat more than one piece of this cake, your heart will get a “chocolate-attack”. However, this richness is exactly what makes it so special. To make this bake more interesting, I add a layer of orange cream. This zingy and sharp cream balances perfectly the sweetness of the sponge.
To finish, I used chocolate pudding to cover the cake instead of traditional buttercream. Again, I did this to balance the sweetness and in order to add some different dimensions of chocolate. Nobody wants to eat a monotonous cake full of the same flavour and texture. This way, you can also reduce the level of sugar because traditional buttercream requires at least 300g of sugar, while in this recipe you just need 100g.
It might seem like this recipe requests a lot of effort, but please don’t get scared by the 12 steps! Actually, it’s quite easy and really straightforward. You can make it even easier by using shop-bought buttermilk instead of making it yourself (in which case you won’t need milk and lemon). Also if you want, you can buy the orange curd from a supermarket (but I am a big believer that if you decide not to skip this part, your cake will be so SO much better). Additionally, you can bake the sponges the night before you actually want to assemble the cake.
By the way, did you know that cocoa was once used as currency? The Aztecs loved it and valued it so much that they actually used it as currency during the height of their civilization. This just shows how valuable and wonderful this product is. So, treat it with some love and care for the best possible result. It really makes a difference.
As a side note, don’t get scared that your cake will end a little bit dense, or won’t look very fluffy and airy. This sponge is so rich and chocolaty that this is completely normal. It’s for this reason that you don’t need to add extra moisture in-between the layers when you assemble the cake. Otherwise, it would get too soggy.
Let me know if you try this cake and what you think. I really hope you’ll like it and enjoy it as much as we did. And by the way, do the calories still count if we are in lockdown? Do you know if this issue was solved from the previous lockdown!?
200ml black coffee
50g cocoa powder
100g dark chocolate
1 teaspoon baking powder
200g brown sugar
Pinch of salt
1 tablespoon of corn starch
2 tablespoon of cacao powder
Pinch of salt
- Preheat the oven to 180 degrees. Butter two cake tins (I used 20cm) and line them with baking paper.
- Prepare the buttermilk: squeeze the juice of the half of one lemon into a jug with the milk and leave it aside for 10 minutes.
- Add the cocoa powder into a bowl with hot and strong coffee (I used 2 tablespoons of instant coffee), whisk everything together to prevent lumps.
- Melt the butter and chocolate together.
- In a large bowl, sift in the flour, baking powder, pinch of salt and brown sugar. Add the buttermilk, cocoa mixture, butter with chocolate and mix everything together. Add two eggs and whisk to form a smooth batter.
- Divide the batter evenly into prepared cake tins and bake the cake for 25-30 minutes or until a skewer inserted in the middle of the sponge comes out clean.
- Allow the sponges to cool down in the tins for 10 minutes and then transfer them onto a rack to cool completely.
- Prepare the orange cream: squeeze the juice from the oranges and lemon into a saucepan. Add the sugar and butter and heat the mixture until the butter melts. Lightly beat the eggs into a large bowl. Take the juice mixture off the heat and very slowly, always whisking, pour this mixture into the eggs (this way you’ll avoid scrambled eggs). Pour the cream back into a saucepan and heat it for 10 minutes always mixing it until it starts firming. If the cream is too runny, add one tablespoon of corn starch.
- Prepare the chocolate pudding: add the butter into a saucepan and let it melt. Add the flour, sugar and cocoa powder – mix everything together. Pour in the milk and let it simmer until it gets creamy and firm. Add a pinch of salt to get a deeper chocolate flavour.
- Assemble the cake: cut the chocolate sponges in half. Add the first layer of the sponge onto a cake stand. Around the edges add chocolate pudding (form a nice ring by using a piping bag) and, in the middle, add a third of the orange cream. Repeat this process until you add the last layer of the sponge.
- Put the cake in the fridge for 30 minutes to chill.
- Use the leftover chocolate pudding to finish the cake by adding it on top and on the sides. I like a more rustic look, and because of this I don’t worry about making it too even.
- Sprinkle some shaved chocolate on a top. Keep it in the fridge for at least an hour before you serve it.