A couple of weeks ago I tried the recipe for Chocolate, Olive Oil, and Rosemary Loaf by Anna Jones (writing for the UK Guardian). It was so spectacularly good that I wanted to try her other chocolate cake recipe. I made a mistake on this one that ruined its appearance (by my standards), but gosh, it still tastes brilliant. I’ll make it again next week and post a better picture.
Don’t do what I did: slicing the cake in half horizontally to add ganache to the middle. Just let it cool, spread the ganache over the top, and dig in.
Use an 8″ springform pan rather than a 7″ springform pan.
Start the ganache BEFORE making the cake. Really.
If you do decide to make layers, wait until the cake is completely COLD.
This is such an easy cake to make: there is no creaming, no sifting. Be sure to use a tight-fitting cake tin as the batter is quite (i.e., very) wet and will run out if there are any gaps.
Prep takes 15 minutes, cook time is 45 minutes, and an hour to cool; this quantity serves 8-10.
For the cake
225g (1 cup) plain or light spelt flour
1½ tsp bicarbonate of soda
1 generous pinch salt – I like to use Kosher salt rather than table salt
75g (¾ cup) cocoa
250g (1¼ cup) dark muscovado sugar
75g (½ cup) coconut oil
1½ tsp vinegar (I use cider vinegar)
Heat the oven to 180°C/350°F. Grease an 18cm/7” springform cake tin with oil or Pam spray, and line the base with baking parchment. Boil a kettle.
Make the ganache first! Put all of the icing ingredients except the chopped chocolate into a heavy-based saucepan with 60ml (¼ cup) cold water. Heat until the coconut oil is melted, making sure the mixture doesn’t boil, then turn off the heat, add the chocolate and leave it to sit. After about a minute, whisk until you have a dark glossy icing and set aside. It should be cool and thick by the time the cake has baked and cooled.
For the cake, whisk the flour, bicarbonate of soda, salt and cocoa together in a bowl. Make sure there are no lumps of bicarbonate of soda.
In a separate bowl, mix the sugar, 375ml (1½ cups) of just-boiled water, the coconut oil and the vinegar. When the coconut oil has melted, stir into the dry ingredients, then pour into the prepared tin.
Bake for 40 minutes or so. When it is ready, the cake should come away from the edges of the tin and a skewer inserted into the center will come out clean. Cool for 30 minutes in the tin, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely. Pour over the icing and decorate as you wish: flowers, chopped nuts, and grated chocolate are all favorites.