I do not exaggerate, Ogglers, when I say that this is THE BEST CHOCOLATE CAKE I think I’ve ever had – and all thanks to my pal Mimi (she of the Cinnabon Substitute).
Adapted from a few different recipes that have been expertly fused together, it was made for me as a belated birthday present – and was extremely well received.
With a sponge not unlike a Chocolate Fudge Brownie (moist and slightly chewy at the edges), plus a filling so creamy and perfect it hurts (the berries! The cream cheese! The chocolate!) , I defy you to bake one and leave it alone.
Indeed, so bereft was I when I finished my first, I had to make me a second the very next day.
I kid you not.
Anyway, a million thanks to Mimi for curating the recipe – and for letting me share it with you lot via this blog.
Trust me, Ogglers: homemade cakes don’t get much better than this…
The Dark Chocolate, Berry & White Chocolate Cream Cheese Cake (makes a sponge big enough to feed 10 in one go – or 2 over several sittings)
For the Dark Chocolate Sponge:
- 125ml cold water
- 200g broken dark chocolate (the best you can afford)
- 200g butter
- 1tbsp dried coffee
- 85g self raising flour (or 85g plain with ¾ tsp baking powder)
- 85g plain flour
- ¼ tsp bicarbonate of soda
- 200g golden caster sugar (white caster sugar’s fine too, if that’s all you’ve got in your cupboard)
- 200g brown muscovado sugar (light, preferably)
- 25g cocoa (or drinking chocolate – though reduce the sugar content by 50g if using the latter)
- 3 eggs
- 75ml buttermilk (I used natural yoghurt in its absence – no probs)
For the Berry, White Chocolate & Cream Cheese Filling:
- 300g icing sugar
- 250g cream cheese
- 150g softened butter
- 100g white chocolate
- A handful of berries for garnishing – if using fresh raspberries, this works out at about 20 or so. Alternatively, you can also use 3 to 4 tbsp of mixed berries (i.e. blackcurrants, blueberries, redcurrants, etc). Whatever you fancy for extra juice and tartness…
To Make the Sponge:
- Grease a 20cm springform cake tin and line with parchment paper. Preheat the oven to 140 degrees C (fan assisted) or Gas Mark 3
- Add the coffee to the cold water and stir well
- In a small bowl, beat the eggs and stir in the buttermilk/natural yoghurt. Put aside for later
- Pop the dark chocolate, butter and coffee solution into a saucepan. Warm gently and on a low heat, stirring occasionally with a wooden spoon to stop the bottom burning
- While the chocolate mixture is melting, put the flours, bicarb, sugars and cocoa together in a large bowl, using your hands to stir out the lumps (a spoon will do the same job if you’d rather not get messy)
- Add the egg mixture and the melted chocolate mixture to the flour mixture, then stir the whole lot until it’s smooth and runny
- Pour into the tin and bake for approximately 1 hour 20 minutes (until a knife comes out clean when poked through the top)
- Keep the cake inside the tin for a few minutes, then carefully turn it out on to a wire rack
The cake cannot be iced until it has cooled, so take a break and then get to work on the cream cheese frosting…
To Make the Filling:
- Beat the butter and cream cheese together in a large bowl until the whole thing is fully blended
- Using either a microwave or a saucepan, gently melt the white chocolate.
- Stir the melted chocolate into the butter and cream cheese
- Sift the icing sugar and beat this in with rest
- Try to refrain from eating the lot until the cake is cool (tempting though it might be)
- Using a long, sharp knife, carefully cut the sponge in two, then smear half of the frosting in the middle
- Dot this with about three-quarters of your berry rations, scattering them evenly throughout
- Pop the upper sponge on top, then cover it with the rest of your icing and berries, hiding any cracks that might have appeared while the sponge was baking
- Hey presto: bring out the cake forks!
NB: This is one of those sweet treats that improves after 24 hours or so. However, if you don’t think you’ll be able to eat the lot within a few days, slice up the surplus and freeze it in airtight containers.
When you’re ready to eat, allow at least four hours for your slices to defrost (leaving them out overnight works for me…).