Friday, April 2, 2010

Three Quarters of a Mile High Cake

I doubt there is any other cake that is subject to such broad-scoped sacrilege as the humble chocolate cake. Every second cook book has a "Best Ever" or "World's Greatest" recipe, claiming to end the eternal search for a truly great chocolate cake. Have you ever experienced butterflies and an irregular heartbeat thinking you have found the holy grail of the patisserie world, dutifully stocked up on all things buttery, creamy and chocolaty, sat patiently by the oven for the whole 62 minutes it took to work the magic, then waited for the godly offering to cool enough to cut, taken a bite, and had your heart sink through the floor? Or was that just me?

I wont tell you this is the "World's Best" or make any outrageous claims. But friends, this cake is good. It's very good. It is not a mud cake, it is a proper, cocoa-loaded, moist, sweet, chocolaty morsel of goodness. If you can leave out the 3 layers of cream, the thick lashings of butter and cream laden ganache, and forget about the two cups of sugar... it's not that bad for you. But then again, noone should have to justify eating chocolate cake.


If you're wondering why this is only 3/4 of a Mile High Cake - I had a minor altercation with the mixer, which resulted in a substantial portion of cake mix being flung from head to toe... literally. Don't despair, the recipe is for the full 4/4, 4 layer cake.

Mile High Chocolate Cake

1 cup boiling water
1 heaping cup cocoa powder
2 cups sugar
3 large eggs
180g butter, at room temperature
1 cup buttermilk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups plain flour
1 teaspoon bi-carb soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt

Preheat oven to 180c. Grease and line 4 round cake tins, 2 x 12 hole muffin trays, or one large round 12" cake tin.

Combine water and cocoa and whisk until smooth. Set aside. In a large mixing bowl, beat eggs and sugar until pale and fluffy, add butter and beat until smooth. Add cocoa mixture, buttermilk, vanilla and sifted dry ingredients. Beat until thickened, about 2 minutes. Cook 50 minutes for large cake, 35 minutes for layer cakes, and 20 minutes for muffins or until cakes spring back when touched.

If you made the 4 separate cakes, just stack them up with some whipped cream and pour over some ganache. This is one cake that is infinitely better the next day. You won't be disappointed, and it's seriously low effort for the final outcome.


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