Man, let me tell you about this cake.
It’s so freaking good.
So good, in fact, that even I, a chocolate non-admirer, a person who finds chocolate way overrated, love this chocolate cake. So good, in fact, that even my father, who also thinks chocolate kinda sucks, loves this chocolate cake.
This is the type of cake you feed a chocolate hater in an attempt to convert them to cocoa-ism. This is the type of cake you feed a chocolate fiend.
This cake is so delectably moist even days after it’s been baked. It’s rich in cocoa flavour and sweet enough to balance the bitterness of dark chocolate. The nuanced flavours of burnt sugar from the homemade caramel sauce complements the cake in a way that shop bought caramel sauce or a tin of caramel treat could never. Moreover, the chocolate ganache just adds to that rich chocolate flavour.
If you’re thinking okay cool, I’ll make the cake but I’m too afraid to make caramel at home, I completely understand. You could make this cake alone but you will be missing out on the full taste potential you could experience with that caramel added to the party. Making caramel can be a little scary at first. You don’t know how many times I’ve fudged it up in the past by either burning it or ending up with a weird solid mass of unmelted sugar that stays that way no matter how long I kept it on the heat. It does take practice but at the end of the day it is 1000000% worth it. It is buttery, caramelly, creamy, rich, and velvety.
If there was ever a cake that personified Valentine’s Day it would be this cake. Romantic, rich, robust, soft, sweet, and delicious.
A note on baking: measuring flour and solid ingredients (like butter) with a kitchen scale yields more consistent and accurate results every time you bake. It greatly reduces the chance of your cake flopping.
- 295g (1 3/4 cup) cake flour
- 60g (1/2 cup) cocoa powder
- 3/4 tsp baking powder
- 3/4 tsp bicarbonate of soda
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 3/4 cup dark brown (treacle) sugar
- 1/2 cup white sugar
- 1 cup buttermilk (or omaere)
- 3/4 cup sunflower oil
- 2 extra large eggs
- 2 tsp vanilla essence
- 1 cup + 2 tbsp strong coffee
- 100g dark chocolate
- 2 tbsp milk
- 100g white sugar
- 1/2 cup warm full cream
- 65g butter
- pinch of salt
- preheat the oven to 180o C and grease a bundt cake tin and dust with cocoa powder.
- In a medium sized bowl, sift the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda, and salt together.
- In a separate, larger bowl, mix the sugars, buttermilk, oil, eggs, and vanilla essence together with a whisk until homogenous.
- Slowly add the flour mixture to the liquids alternating with the coffee and mix until well combined.
- Transfer the cake batter to the prepared bundt tin and place in the oven to bake for about 45min or until a toothpick inserted into the cake comes out clean. Let cool on a wire rack for 20 minutes before removing the cake from the baking tin and transferring to a serving plate.
- To make the chocolate ganache place the chocolate and milk in microwave safe bowl and melt in the microwave, removing to stir it every 30 seconds until fully melted, glossy, and smooth.
- To make the caramel sauce, place the sugar in a heavy based, small pot and heat on medium high heat stirring occasionally until the sugar begins to melt and turn a golden caramel colour. Once the sugar begins to melt, try to agitate it with your wooden spoon or spatula as little as possible, rather stir the pot itself to get all the sugar to melt completely. If you find sugar crystals clinging to the side of the pot, dip a pastry brush in water and dissolve the sugar by brushing it.
- Once the sugar is caramelized and golden brown, remove from the heat and add the cream stirring constantly with a whisk until you get a homogenous mixture. The caramel may seize and become hard but as you stir, it will melt and be liquid again.
- Add the butter and salt and mix until you get a homogenous, silky, velvety sauce. If some parts of the caramel are still hard and not melting, place the pot back on a low heat and stir until fully melted. Remove from heat.
- To assemble drizzle the chocolate ganache over the top of the cake to evenly cover it. Then follow up with the caramel sauce and evenly drizzle it over the cake. Serve immediately.
- Leftover cake can be kept in the fridge for up to 5-7 days if it lasts that long.