Baking · Cake

The Ultimate Chocolate Cake

This is what happens in our house when one of us goes ‘I really feel like some chocolate cake.’ I never go by half measure when chocolate is involved and this is no exception.

chocolate cake 1

The basis is a chocolate chunk sponge, filled and covered with a  dark chocolate ganache. This is then decorated with a selection of chocolates – in this case matchmakers, minstrels, malteasers and mixed chocolate balls. You can’t go wrong.

chocolate cake 2

The Ultimate Chocolate Cake


Chocolate Cake:

  • 8oz butter
  • 8oz caster sugar
  • 80z self raising flour
  • 4 eggs
  • 2oz cocoa powder
  • 200g dark chocolate, cut into chunks
  • 1 tsp coffee essence

Chocolate Ganache:

  • 300g dark chocolate, broken into pieces.
  • 300g double cream
  • chocolate decorations, as preferred.


Preheat the oven to Gas mark 5, and line an 8in round cake tin.

Beat together the butter and sugar, before beating in each egg, one at a time. Add the flour, cocoa powder and coffee essence and mix thoroughly. Add the chocolate chunks, and stir through the mixture. Pour the mixture into the cake tin and bake for 1 hour, until an inserted cocktail stick comes out clean. Remove from the tin and leave to cool.

Whilst the cake is cooling, heat the cream in a pan until almost boiling. Pour over the chocolate chunks and stir until melted. Leave to cool, which will also allow the mixture to thicken.

Using a large serrated knife, cut the cake in half horizontally, and sandwich with  the chocolate ganache. Spread the rest of the ganache on the top and sides of the cake, and decorate with the chocolates and sweets of your choice. Chill in the fridge for 30 minutes and serve with cream or ice cream.

Baking · Cake · Europe · Nation Cake Challenge

Macedonia: Katerina Cake

This is a strange cake. It is a kids dream cake, and fittingly is often used for birthdays, but I cannot help feeling that the combination may not appeal to those over the age of 10*. However, I think it is such an interesting concept that I’m still posting the recipe (though I may continue looking for the finalised Macedonian cake).
*I stand corrected – Max really likes it and has eaten lots – it does have wider appeal! (Though he does agree that it is a child’s birthday cake in disguise!)
The cake itself is a chocolate cake, split into two or three layers and filled with possibly the most random mixture known to man: raisins soaked in rum, cookies, chopped walnuts and jelly beans. This is mixed into a buttercream filling and used to sandwich the layers together. This is then topped with chocolate (though other frostings of your choice are also acceptable) I adapted this recipe slightly, specifically taking out the raisins. I cut the cake into small petit-four size cakes, which is all you would want to eat – I couldn’t eat a full slice!
The amounts given below make either one large cake or a lot of small ones (it depends on the size of your cakes – sorry I can’t be more specific!
Katerina Cake
  • 10 eggs
  • 10 tablespoons sugar
  • 6 tablespoons flour
  • 10 tablespoons chopped walnuts
  • 1 tablespoon cocoa powder
  • 1/2 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1 tsp vanilla essence
  • 200g finely chopped wallnuts
  • 200g chopped jelly beans
  • 300g crushed biscuits (I used chocolate chip cookies but you could substitute another biscuit of your choice)
  • 250g unsalted butter
  • 250g icing sugar
  • 100g dark chocolate
Preheat the oven to Gas Mark 5/190°C/375°F and grease a rectangular tin.
Whisk the eggs and sugar together until it reached the ribbon stage (where you can lift the whisk out of the bowl and the mixture leaves a ribbon-like trail on the surface of the remaining mixture) Add the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, walnuts and vanilla essence and mix to form a smooth batter. Pour into the pre-prepared tin and bake for 30-40 minutes, until the skewer comes out clean. Remove and leave to cool completely on a cooling rack
Make the buttercream filling by mixing the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy, adding a little milk if necessary. Chop the walnuts, cookies and jelly beans into small pieces and stir into the mixture. Cut the cooled cake into three layers and sandwich the cakes together with the buttercream filling.
To finish the cake, melt the chocolate and spread on the top of the cakes. Decorate with walnut halves or jelly beans.