This deliciously scrumptious, boozy chocolate cake made the perfect Cinderella appearance at my dad’s Boxing Day party last Christmas but i think it’s perfect for any occasion. Birthday? Check. Chinese New Year? Check. Valentine’s? Check. Finished the gym. CHECK. Just because it’s Friday? More like Fri-YAY with this little sweetie…
Despite a clean-eating mission fuelled by a gym challenge, my attitude to food has always been balance. My favourite meme goes “Some days you eat salads and go the gym, other days you eat cake and refuse to put on pants. It’s called balance.” Yes, I might be more heavily weighted to the salads these days, but dammit, a little cake is a great thing.
I firmly believe you have to indulge those impulses sometimes, otherwise you’d end up with some serious eating issues. Of course you can’t eat it everyday however much you love cake, (who are you, Marie Antoinette?!) because you’d be the size of a house. And probably be diabetic.
But if you generally eat well, and get enough exercise, you need to listen to that whisper when it calls you. Chocolate cake makes you happy. And that’s a fact. It’s scientific, believe me. Chocolate reduces heart attacks and strokes, it protects against blood inflammation, it may prevent against cancer, it actually increases insulin sensitivity which reduces the risk of diabetes (ok, so that last line in the last paragraph is negated – yay!), controls coughs, improves blood flow, strengthens your brain and makes you live longer. So really, chocolate cake should be mandatory. Followed by a salad.
The best thing about this cake is that it makes a lot which means you can share it with those you love. Or share it with those who just need some cake in their lives.
- 150 grams of dark chocolate, such as Lindt chocolate bar (70% cacao or higher) chopped well
- 1.5 cups of sugar
- 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1.5 cups unsweetened cocoa powder
- 2 teaspoons baking soda
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 3 large eggs
- 3/4 cup vegetable oil
- 1.5 cups of buttermilk or natural yogurt
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 cup of fresh pitted cherries soaked in 1/3 cup of Amaretto liqueur overnight
- Preheat your oven to 180c. Grease your cake or bundt tin.
- Melt your chocolate in a dish over a bowl of hot water.
- In a large bowl, sift sugar, flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, and baking powder. Mix these well.
- In a separate large bowl, beat the eggs until eggs are fluffy and thickened, a slight foam will forms – about a minute by electric whisk. Hand-whisking will take a little longer. Slowly add the oil, buttermilk or yogurt, vanilla, and melted chocolate mix until you have a thick mix. Drain the amaretto from the cherries into this wet mix.
- Add the dry mix to the wet mix slowly. Don't over mix, just fold in until just mixed.
- You can either put half the cherries into the bottom of your cake / bundt tin and put the cake mix on top and add the rest of the cherries, or you can just stir the cherries through. If you're using a ganache as cake icing, then there's probably no need to have cherries lining the tin.
- Fill your tin to 1cm below the edges. If you have any leftover cake batter, you can fill muffin tins with the rest.
- Bake for 1hr-1hr and 15 mins - turning the tin halfway through to ensure your cake bakes through evenly. Check your cake with a toothpick - if it comes out clean, it's ready.
- Let your cake tin rest upside on a wire rack to cool for 40 mins. The cake should come out smoothly with the help of gravity and a little steam so just have patience!
- Ice the cake with ganache or leave plain, as you wish.
- 250 grams of dark chocolate
- 1 cup of heavy cream
- 1 tablespoon of amaretto (optional)
- Place all the ingredients in a large bowl over a pan of simmering water and melt through. Whisk until smooth and glossy. Leave to cool a little before icing the cake.