It seems that round here, chocolate is the theme for the month, what with all of the chocolate containing goodies I made for Chocolate Week, and the preceeding double chocolate ricotta scones (oh so good!) and now this rather delicious chocolate cream cake. I shall have to make some more fruity cakes to balance it all out and make sure my ginger pear cake doesn't feel lonely... what can I say though, I love chocolate.
Anyway, I saw this chocolate cake recipe by Dan Lepard on the BBC website a while ago and was intruiged by the use of double cream in the ingredients. I can always rely on Dan to come up with something I haven't seen before, and I usually want to try them out. In this recipe the conventional amount of butter is replaced by the combination of a smaller amount of butter, a little oil and the double cream, all contributing to the fat content of the recipe but also to the liquid content.
I have to confess that I didn't have exactly the right ingredients in the house, so made a couple of small substitutions. Specifically I didn't have milk, so decided that I would use 120ml double cream plus 60ml water instead of 100ml double cream and 80ml milk. I suppose my cake ended up with a little more fat in it than the original recipe, but not by too much, and the liquid content was the same. I also went a different direction for my filling and topping. You can find the original recipe here, along with a video (next confession - I didn't watch the video before making the cake, but I'm sure it's an excellent video - the BBC ones always are!)
Chocolate cream cake with a jammy middle
100g unsalted butter
250g light muscovado sugar
50ml light olive oil
25g cocoa powder
2 tsp vanilla extract
4 medium free-range eggs
120ml double cream
300g plain flour
3 tsp baking powder
For the filling and topping
A 340g jar of your preferred jam, I used blackcurrant
150g 37% cocoa solids chocolate
40g unsalted butter
- Preheat the oven to gas 4/180C. Grease and line a 9"/22cm square cake tin. This was my guess, see rant later...
- Melt the butter over a low heat and then pour into a bowl with the sugar, oil, cocoa powder and vanilla extract. Beat well until smooth.
- Whisk in the eggs followed by the water and double cream. Yay, no curdling or splitting here!
- Sift in the flour and baking powder and mix until smooth.
- Spoon into the prepared tin and level. Cover with foil.
- Bake for 30 minutes covered then remove the foil and continue to bake. The recipe specifies 20 minutes, mine required about 35-40 minutes more, which is a lot extra. After an additional 20 minutes there was still liquid batter on my cake tester, but I was worried that I had overcooked it by leaving it so much longer, and that it would be dry.
- Allow to cool a little in the tin and then completely on a wire rack.
- Melt the chocolate and butter together in a small bowl over warm water. Leave to cool a little.
- Split the cake in half, spread the jam over the middle and replace the top.
- Spread the chocolate mixture over the top, smoothing out until evenly spread. I found I had enough for a reasonable layer, not too thick, but not too mean!
Can I take exception with the instructions on the BBC here please... I'm not sure if Dan's original was transcribed properly, but 20cm is not 9", it's 8". 2.5cm = 1inch therefore 20/2.5 = 8. I also want to know if my cake tin is supposed to be round or square.... OK, rant over.
This really was an easy cake to make - melt and mix, my favourite kind!
It was an excellent cake - I needn't have worried about it being dry, it wasn't! The jammy middle and not-too-sweet topping provided a good contrast to the soft, chocolatey cake. I'm glad I tried this recipe - new techniques are always good to try, and this will be a good cake to have in the repertoire. (Much appreciated by colleagues too - I think they quite like chocolate cake!)