Chocolate fudge cake

Who can resist an over-the-top gooey chocolate cake?  This is one of my favourite recipes and comes from the chocolate section in my book National Trust Simply Baking see Books page.  I tend to cook with Valhrona chocolate.

Serves 10

150g/5oz dark chocolate, chopped

400g/14oz dark muscovado sugar

225ml/8 fl oz milk

250g/9oz plain flour

1  teaspoons baking powder

3 tablespoons cocoa powder

pinch of salt

150g/5 oz butter, softened

3 medium eggs, beaten

teaspoon vanilla extract

Chocolate ganache:

340g/12oz dark chocolate, chopped

300ml/10 fl oz single cream


1  Preheat the oven to fan 160C/gas 3.  Lightly oil two 20cm/8in sandwich tins.  Line the base of each with baking parchment and lightly oil. 


2  Put the chocolate, half the sugar and about two-thirds of the milk in a saucepan.  Set over a low heat and gently stir until the chocolate is melted and the sugar has dissolved.  Remove from the heat and set aside.


3  Sift together the flour, baking powder, cocoa powder and salt.  Mix thoroughly and set aside.  Put the butter and remaining sugar in a large mixing bowl and beat until pale and creamy, with a wooden spoon or electric whisk. 


4  Gradually beat in the eggs, a little at a time, until light and fluffy adding a couple of tablespoons of the flour mixture if it looks as though the mixture is about to separate.  Beat in the vanilla extract.  Then, using a flat metal spoon, gently fold in the flour mixture, in three batches, alternating with the remaining cold milk. Finally, fold in the warm chocolate mixture.


5  Divide between the two prepared sandwich tins and bake for 40 minutes or until the sponge springs back when lightly pressed. Test by inserting a skewer into the centre of the cake: if it comes out clean, the cake is cooked.  Cool the cakes in their tins on a wire rack for 10 minutes, before turn out and peel off the baking paper. 


6  Meanwhile, make the chocolate ganache.  Put the chocolate in a bowl that will neatly fit over a pan of just-boiled water (off the heat).  You may need to replace the boiling water to allow the chocolate to melt.  Once the chocolate has melted, put the cream in a small saucepan, bring to the boil, and pour into the melted chocolate.  Using a wooden spoon, beat thoroughly until the mixture is smooth and glossy mixture.  Leave to cool. 


7  Once both the cake and the ganache are at room temperature, sandwich the two chocolate sponges together with ganache, then cover in the remaining ganache.  Leave in a cool place to set.  This will take several hours. 



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