A must have in any recipe collection. Moist chocolate cake layered with delicious chocolate ganache. Be bold and flavour this with orange or coffee liqueur if you like and you will have a sinful, devilishly good, chocolate cake.
For the cake layers
- 1 cup boiling water
- 1 cup cocoa plus 2 Tbs extra
- 1 Tbs instant coffee granules
- ¾ cup sour cream
- 250 grams unsalted butter
- ½ cup sunflower or other mild flavoured oil
- 1 ¼ dark brown sugar
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 4 large eggs
- 2 cups all purpose flour
- ½ tsp bicarbonate of soda
- 1 tsp baking powder
- ½ tsp salt
For the ganache
- 500 grams dark chocolate (not 70% cocoa solids)
- 2 cups cream
- 60 grams unsalted butter
- 2 Tbs Cointreau or other orange flavoured liqueur (optional)
Preheat oven to 175 C, fan. For the cake pictured I used 3 x 20 cm round cake pans but you can also bake this cake in 2 x 23 cm pans. Grease the base and sides of pans, line bases with greaseproof paper and grease again. Sprinkle with the extra 2 tablespoons cocoa.
In a medium bowl mix cocoa, boiling water and coffee granules. Add the sour cream and mix again.
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the flat beater, beat the butter, oil, sugars and vanilla until fluffy and pale. Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition.
Sift flour together baking soda, baking powder and salt. Add about 1/3 of this mixture to the mixer bowl and beat to combine. Add the cocoa mixture to the mixer bowl and beat again. Add the remaining flour mixture and mix only until combined. Don’t overmix.
Divide cake batter equally into the prepared baking pans. Bake for 30 minutes (40 minutes if you are using 2 x 23 cm pans). Cool cakes in pans for 10 minutes. Run a small spatula around the sides of each pan. Invert cakes on wire racks to cool. Remove and discard the greaseproof paper from the bottom of each cake.
Re-invert the cakes and leave to cool completely. At this stage you can wrap them completely in plastic wrap and keep in the fridge for 24 hours before assembling the cake.
Make the ganache: Chop chocolate and put in a bowl. Heat cream until almost boiling. Pour hot cream over chocolate. Let it stand for a few minutes until chocolate has melted. Stir until smooth. Add butter and stir until butter is fully incorporated. Mix in the liqueur if using.
Cool ganache completely to room temperature. If it’s still too thin to use, refrigerate for a while until spreadable. At this stage you can keep the ganache covered in the fridge for up to two weeks. Bring to room temperature before using.
Assemble the cake: Place one of the cakes on a serving platter and spread over about 1 cup of the ganache. Continue layering with the second cake and another cup of the ganache. Top with the last cake and spread top and sides of cake with the remaining ganache. Refrigerate cake for 2-24. Leave cake to room temperature for 1 hour before slicing and serving.