• Karen Naylor - i CAN cook

Chocolate Dessert Cake


Chocolate Cake
Chocolate Dessert Cake

This is not a sponge cake that's light and fluffy, this is a rich decadent dessert cake that is dense with a creamy texture and extra chocolatey. Give this recipe a go – you won't fail. There are no fancy machines needed and not many dishes to do. You can make this cake gluten and dairy free and the ingredient substitutes for these are in the notes section towards the end of this. For a vegan chocolate dessert cake I have a fantastic recipe on another blog coming up so keep an eye out for that. You need 2 hours, but this includes prepping, making, baking and cleaning up. You will need a 24cm (9") spring form cake pan which will set you back about 7 bucks from large supermarkets here in Aus. This won't be a once off use though as we will use this size for a lot of my cake recipes. Springform pans are great as they prevent your cake getting stuck in the pan because they have a slide lever that separates the side of the pan from the base. However If you do happen to have a cake pan that isn't a springform and around about the size required, use it - we will make sure your cake doesn't get stuck.


If you don't need these detailed instructions and are ready to cook

then scroll down to the bottom of the page for just the recipe.



1) Ok – 1st things 1st - ingredients reconnaissance. Just eyeball in your fridge and pantry to see if you have these ingredients and enough of it. Don't get them out yet - we are in the planning phase.


So do you have

· 2 1/2 cups (400g) dark chocolate melts - for the best quality chocolate make sure that cocoa butter is listed in the ingredients on the back of the pack.


.125g of butter - usually butter comes as a rectangular block wrapped in foil. This usually weighs 200g or 250g

· 1/2 cup (70g) plain flour

. 1 cup (175g) of brown sugar

· 1 cup (120g) ground almonds (almond meal)

· 4 dessert spoons milk

. 5 large eggs


For your condiments, you will need

. small amount of cocoa powder for dusting the cake

. raspberries or strawberries

. double thick cream or dollop cream



If you don't have all of these ingredients or a cake pan – write it down on your list for your next shop and make the cake next weekend. There is no point racing to the supermarket with your messy hair, your trackie daks and ugg boots on over your jarmies just to get some flour – it’s too stressful – why bother.



2) Next - Clear the decks and feed the cat – you can’t begin until you have your house in order. What I mean by that is I have found I always make mistakes when I get distracted or work in a mess. Ok so maybe this easy recipe won’t be a game changer but as you start to build on your cooking skills, getting your house in order is so important to successful and happy baking.

· feed the pets

· make a cuppa

· empty the dishwasher (or load it if you couldn’t be bothered the night before)

· if you have little ones, change their nappy and feed them

· check your mobile and emails if you need to

· make room on your kitchen bench – I learnt the hard way by losing a cake over the edge :( all because I refused to move the fruit bowl

· wipe down the kitchen bench

· place current dishcloth and tea towel in laundry and grab a fresh set

· wash your hands


3) Now - Grab all your ingredients and place them on the kitchen bench –


· chocolate melts

. butter

· brown sugar

. plain flour

. ground almonds

· 5 eggs

· some milk




and to decorate your cake

· double thick or dollop cream (leave in fridge until needed)

· raspberries or strawberries

· dusting of cocoa powder - just get the box out








4) Next - grab all your equipment out

. a microwave safe medium mixing bowl

· a set of measuring cups or 3 cups that are all the same size – tea cup size not coffee mugs

· 1 dessert spoon

. a batter spatula or another dessert spoon

· a large mixing bowl or a salad bowl or a round plastic container

. a whisk and a fork or just a fork from the cutlery drawer

· a sieve

. a tea strainer - optional

. a knife to cut up the butter

. a 24cm (9") round spring form cake pan·

. aluminium foil

. non stick baking paper

. cooking oil spray

· a cutting board

. 1 cooling rack - optional

. a serving plate



Bakers Equipment

You can get by easily using this equipment

It is important to note here that this recipe uses cups and teaspoons, which is absolutely fine for this dish.


For the more experienced bakers among you – this way of

measuring is not accurate and can drastically affect your

baking outcomes. We will get into this further when other

recipes require more accurate measurements such as

grams/ounces.


5) Ok so now we are going to prepare your cake pan for baking - This is really important as you don't want the cake to get stuck in the pan when you try and turn it out and you end up ruining all your hard work.

So grab your 24cm (9") round spring form cake pan, your cooking oil spray and the non stick baking paper. On a sheet of baking paper, trace around the circle base of the cake pan and cut it out. Whoops - I forgot to mention that you need a pencil and scissors.


Next you need to cut strips of baking paper that are as deep as your baking pan, This doesn't need to be perfect but the measurements would be 78cm (30 3/4") long by 8cm (3 1/8th ") high, giving a bit of overlap. I usually just cut 3 strips that are the width of the box of baking paper making sure they are 8cm (3 1/8th ") wide.


Now spray the base and sides of your cake pan with oil over the top of the kitchen sink. That oil spray can go everywhere if you're not careful. Then place your circle in your baking pan and then the sides. Trim off any massive overlay and use a bit more oil spray to glue down any overlapping baking paper. Also trim around the perimeter where the baking paper is up above the pan. You are going to cover your cake pan with foil and this excess will get in the way.

Put away your baking paper, the spray oil, pencil and scissors and any scraps of paper in the bin. Place your beautifully prepared cake pan to the side until you need it.



6) Turn your oven on.

Make sure you have your oven rack in the centre of the oven and remove any other racks or baking trays.

If you have an oven with a fan turn temperature to 180 degrees celcius / 356 degrees fahrenheit.

If you have an oven without a fan turn temperature to 200 degrees celcius / 392 degrees fahrenheit.


7) Okay so now you are going to measure out your ingredients.

. Grab your cutting board and place your butter on the board. Open up your butter and you will see marked for you a guide showing 25g increments.

With your knife you can slice through the butter at the 150g guide.

Seal up the remaining butter and pop that back into the fridge. With the remaining butter roughly chop this up into large playing dice size, you know the dices with the numbers 1 to 6 in dots. Place this butter into your medium sized microwave proof bowl. Put your chopping board and knife in the sink.

. Using your chocolate melts and your 3 cups you are going to fill 2 completely and the 3rd cup half full. You can also eyeball this measurement. For example if your chocolate melts come in a pack of 300g. You will need 2 packets of chocolate melts. 1 full packet and a 1/3 of the other packet. Place this chocolate into the microwave proof bowl with the butter. Pop your empty chocolate packaging in the bin.

· fill 1 cup a 1/2 full (70g) of plain flour

· fill the next cup full to the top (175g) with brown sugar - pat it down with a dessert spoon so that it is packed but not too tightly.

. and fill your final cup all the way to the top (120g) with the ground almonds or almond meal. Just level this off - you don't need to pack this tight. If you are using measuring cups you might be short one cup, so just use a tea cup or small coffee cup to measure out the almond meal.

. grab your large mixing bowl and measure out 4 dessert spoons of milk and place this milk into your large mixing bowl that isn't microwave oven proof.

· you should have 5 eggs on your bench.

. Tear off a sheet of aluminium foil large enough to cover and seal your cake tin.


8) Now that everything is measured out you can put all of your unused ingredients away you should only have on your bench these things now

. your prepared cake pan

. chocolate and butter in a microwave proof mixing bowl

. a large mixing bowl with milk in it

. a dessert spoon that was used to measure out the milk

. 1 cup of brown sugar

. 1 cup of ground almonds

. 1/2 cup of plain flour

. a sieve

. 5 eggs

. a whisk or fork

. a batter spatula or a dessert spoon

. a sheet of aluminium foil

. a cooling rack (optional)

. a serving plate

. cocoa powder - just have this in the box

. a tea strainer (optional)

. raspberries or strawberries

. in the fridge you should have double thick cream or dollop cream

9) So we are going to melt the butter and the chocolate

So place this into your microwave and heat for 40 seconds then give a really good stir with the dessert spoon you used to measure out your milk with. Don't be tempted to heat for any longer than this as you might cause it to seize up. Chocolate with cocoa butter retains its shape for longer even though it has been heated. The crystals inside are getting very busy though so stirring will activate the crystals to spread out and melt. So after a really good stir you can then place the bowl back in microwave for another 30 seconds. Again give it a really give stir with your dessert spoon. Squash out any lumps of unmelted chocolate and stir again. If needed you can place back in the microwave for 10 more seconds and then stir again. Your chocolate and butter should now be smooth and of a medium thick consistency. Place this bowl to one side now.



10) Okay, into the large mixing bowl that already has the milk in it, you are going to add the brown sugar and the ground almonds. Next you are going to place your sieve over this bowl and tip your flour into this sieve. Shake the sieve from side to side until all the flour has gone through. Place your cups and sieve into the sink. With your fork mix these ingredients until just combined. It will look like large biscuit crumbs. Retrieve your chocolate and butter mixture that you have set aside and give it a final short stir and add this to the large mixing bowl. Put your empty chocolate and butter bowl and dessert spoon in the sink. Use your fork to further mix the ingredients together until just combined, then crack open your eggs into this bowl and stir again until all your ingredients are combined with your whisk or fork. Put your shells in the bin and your whisk or forks in the sink. Your batter will be quite liquidy.




11) Pour your mixture into your prepared cake tin using your batter spatula or a dessert spoon. Place your bowl and your batter spatula or dessert spoon in the sink. To remove any air bubbles gently tap your cake tin on the bench a couple of times and then seal the top of the cake tin with some aluminium foil.


12) Carefully place your cake pan on the middle rack of the oven

Set your timer for 60 minutes. Have next to your oven a clean fork, oven mitts or 2 tea towels and your drying rack if you have one.

Now is the time to wash your dishes and clean your bench.

The remaining time is all yours - do whatever you like now - just don't go too far from the timer.


When the timer goes off open the oven door and stand away a bit to let the steam escape and carefully pull out the oven tray with the baking cake about half way out of the oven and remove the foil and put in the bin, then pierce the cake with your fork. Your cake is ready when you remove the fork and it comes out fairly clean. Tiny bits of cake on the fork is fine - as long as it is not wet batter. If it is not cooked close the oven door and put on the timer again for 10 minutes or 5 minutes if nearly baked. While doing this try being as quick as you can to reduce the amount of heat being lost through the open oven door.


13) Remove your cake from the oven when it is baked with your oven mitts or two tea towels and keep in baking pan for 15 minutes.

Turn off your oven.

After 15 mins using a tea towel carefully open up the spring of your baking pan to release the cake and lift this outer ring pan up over the cake. Then you need to remove the baking paper.


If you have a cooling rack you can place this over the top of the cake and flip the cake over, then remove the base of the cake pan and the baking paper. Let the base of the cake cool a bit before flipping again to the correct side with your hands. Let it completely cool on the cooling rack.

If you don't have a cooling rack, just let the cake cool down on the base of the cake pan but try to speed up the cooling by allowing air to circulate under the base of the cake pan. A good way to do this is on top of your gas cook top or on the drainer section of your aluminium sink. If you don't have any of these, raise the base by popping it on some aluminium utensils. When cool remove the base and baking paper.

You can wash up your cake pan now.





14) Time to decorate your cake. Before you place your cake on your serving plate, place a 1/2 a level dessert spoon of cocoa into a tea strainer and sprinkle over cake or if you don't have one just grab pinches of cocoa powder and sprinkle over cake. Now place your cake onto your serving plate and decorate with your fresh raspberries or strawberries in designs of your choosing and grab your cream out of the fridge. Pop your dessertspoon and tea strainer in the sink and put your packet of cocoa away and wipe down your bench.



15) Eat and Enjoy - Well done – you CAN cook…



NOTES

If you don't have a microwave to melt the chocolate and butter

Place a saucepan, that has about 6cm / 2" of water in it, on your stove top and bring to a simmer (this is when there are gentle bubbles on the surface and steam is being produced). Maintain this water temperature and carefully place your mixing bowl over the top of this saucepan. It needs to fit snug so that no steam is escaping. Stir your chocolate and butter until completely melted. Be careful - a good tip is to wrap your hand in a tea towel while stirring and to use 2 tea towels to carefully lift the bowl off the saucepan when all is melted.


Simple Ingredient Changes to Suit Your Dietary Requirements

Gluten freereplace the plain flour with gluten free plain flour and 1/4 teaspoon of Xanthan Gum.



Dairy Free – replace the milk with unsweetened almond milk or your milk of choice and replace the chocolate with dairy free chocolate eg: Sweet William and replace the butter with dairy free butter eg: Nuttelex





Storage Requirements

At room temperature - any parts of the cake that has been sliced and the inside of the cake is exposed to the air, needs to be sealed with cling or freezer wrap and then wrap making sure the cake is fully sealed with cling wrap or a freezer bag. You can also place in a sealed plastic container. Keeps for up to 3 days.


Refrigerate - any parts of the cake that has been sliced and the inside of the cake is exposed to the air, needs to be sealed with cling or freezer wrap and then wrap the making sure the cake is fully sealed with cling wrap or a freezer bag. You can also place in a sealed plastic container. Keeps for up to 5 days.


Freezerundecorated - fully wrap and seal the cake with cling or freezer wrap and place in a ziplock bag or a sealed container for up to 3 months. Thaw at room temperature for a few hours.

 


 

CHOCOLATE DESSERT CAKE


Prep time- 10 mins Cooking time – 80 mins Serves - 14-18


Ingredients

. 2 1/2 cups (400g) dark chocolate melts

. 125g butter

· 1/2 cup (70g) plain flour

. 1 cup (175g) brown sugar

. 1 cup (120g) almond meal

· 5 eggs

· 4 dessert spoons (40mls) milk

. cocoa for dusting

. raspberries or strawberries


Preheat Oven to 180 degrees Celsius / 356 degrees Fahrenheit


Method

· In a mixing bowl melt chocolate melts and butter in the microwave.

· In another larger mixing bowl put the milk, almond meal, brown sugar and sifted flour - mix until combined.

. Add the eggs to this large mixing bowl and mix until combined.

. To this add the melted chocolate and butter and whisk well.

. Pour batter into a prepared springform 24cm round cake pan.

. Cover with aluminium foil

. Bake for approximately 60 minutes.

. Uncover and cool in tin for 15 minutes before turning out.

. Decorate with a dusting of cocoa, fresh raspberries or strawberries and cream.

 

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