Sunday, July 31, 2005

Deep dark chocolate cake

I've tried out quite a few chocolate cake recipes in the last 2-3 years, but this is the one that I like best and make the most often. It's not a complicated recipe (the most important criterion for me as I'm not a naturally gifted baker), so there's no need to faff about with separating eggs and beating the whites separately, or melting chocolate pieces over a double boiler, and other fiddly procedures like that. It's a straightforward, easily followed recipe.

And the end result is superb... dark and very chocolatey without being cloying, with a lovely moist interior that doesnt even require cream or icecream. Not that you CANT serve up a slice with clotted cream or icecream... it's just that it would be rather like gilding a lily!

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What's probably the most difficult thing to believe - I dont eat much of it myself! I cant - my sweet tooth is not particularly pronounced, so this cake in particular is always made with Pete as the end-user, so to speak. He's only too pleased that I only ever cut the thinnest slice for myself... it leaves him all that much more!

It's also the cake with which I've been trying to entice some dear friends from India into visiting me... perhaps this post will finally persuade them. You reading this, girls?

Recipe for:
Deep dark chocolate cake

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2 cups plain flour
1-1/4 cups sugar
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup butter
3/4 cup cocoa powder
2 tsp vanilla extract
2 eggs
1 cup hot water

For the frosting:

1/3 cup butter
1/2 cup cocoa powder
1/3 cup milk
2-1/2 cups icing sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract


1. Generously grease two 7-inch round cake pans. Pre-heat the oven to 180C (350F).

2. In a small bowl, whisk together the hot water and cocoa until smooth. Let cool.

3. Sift the flour, salt, baking powder and baking soda together and set aside.

4. Beat the butter and sugar in a large bowl until fluffy and light. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in the vanilla extract.

5. Add the flour and the cocoa alternately to the butter-and-egg mix, mixing well after each addition. Start and end with the flour.

6. Divide the batter even between the two cake pans and cook for 30 minutes or until a toothpick or cake tester inserted in the centre comes out dry.

7. Turn off the oven and let the cakes rest in the pans for 5 minutes. Carefully remove the cakes from the pans and let cool completely on wire racks before frosting them.


1. Beat the butter and cocoa powder till well mixed. Add the vanilla essence as well.

2. Add 1/2 cup of the icing sugar and mix carefully, then add a tbsp of the milk to the icing mix and beat again.

3. Continue adding the icing sugar and milk alternately until it's all used up.

4. Beat the frosting until it is thick enough to spread.

5. When the cakes are cold, first sandwich them together with a third of the frosting, then spread the rest of it over the top and sides.

This cake tastes even better on the second day - if there's anything left of it, that is.


Ravi said...

Wwwwwwoooooooooooowwwwwwwwwwwwwww! Looks so good and yummy, Shyam. Thanks for at least making me drool over the Sunday is made! :)

shyam said...

I'm only sorry you couldnt try a piece, Ravi... thanks for the nice words, though!

Mika said...

Shammi- what a lovely cake. Looks so yummy and chocolatey. A post after a while from you. But my wait has been worth it!

shammi said...

Thanks Mika :) Been busy with work but shall try to be more consistent with posting recipes

kaleidoscope said...

Looks so delicious and yummy. Me drooling.

shammi said...

Thanks, Kal! :)

Ravi said...

Shammi, your starting words "...the most important criterion for me as I'm not a naturally gifted baker" were very encouraging and the recipe did seem straight forward and simple. Can't wait to try this myself. Thanks again for *yet another* nice recipe. Btw, Shammi, why is that this would'nt go well with icecream and does this taste a bit bitter?

shammi said...

Ravi, it isnt bitter at all... and I didnt mean to imply that the cake wouldnt go well with icecream! I just meant that it tastes so rich and is so moist, icecream is... well, an added extra rather than a requirement. Eat it with icecream by all means, if that's your wish! :) It'll make your sweet tooth happy!

Brinda said...

now i see what i've been missing!! but Shyam, the bldy doc's got me housebound. otherwise, i'd be at the nearest airport trying to finagle my way to the UK (stowaway alert!) and that chocolate cake. (keep the carrot one on standby as well -- this will hardly do for MY sweet tooth. teeth, actually)

shyam said...

Okie, Brin, I'll make my famous carrot cake and put up photos of that as well :) Hope the doc lets you off house arrest soon.

perspective said...

This looks so damn good i cant begin to tell you!

I am not a sweet lover but a good choclate homemade cake i cant resist... my dear dear friend Indu and her mom are great at baking cakes... i learnt how simple cake baking could be thanks to them...

But now i dont even have an oven :(

Rachel said...

That's a beautiful cake, Shammi. It looks so delicate and fluffy--something I can never achieve in my own cakes.

By the way, I was a bit muddled at first but now I've figured out that you're also Shyam. My god, woman, you've got like four or five different blogs. They're all great, by the way. Love the writing in Inspired to Blog.

Anonymous said...

yummmmmmmmmmmyyy! I am going to try this! Alwyas wanted to get a simple chocolate recipe.

Anonymous said...

Hi Shammi,

Thanks for this really yummy recipe. I tried it recently - made it exactly as your recipe, only used whole grain pastry flour (instead of all purpose) - came out absolutely delicious, moist and so very chocolatey. Am trying your devil's food cake today!

pooh said...

hi shyam, i am a noob in baking so this might just sound too silly a question, but when u say u use sugar, do u use castor sugar or the regular?thanks in advance

shyam said...

Hi Pooh

Regular sugar will do for the cake. Good luck baking! :)

Anonymous said...

hey there, I love your blog! I've made this three times, and everytime I make it, it is a little dry. the first two times I think I let it cook too long. the last time, I cooked it 10 minutes less and it was cooked fully, but it just was slightly dry and dense. Still suuuper yummy and people loved it. But I was just wondering if you had any ideas of ways to tweak it to make it less dry? I'm not sure what I could have done wrong...