Last week I made the next recipe for my A to Z challenge a few days earlier than usual because I was due to go to Glastonbury. So, no sooner had I gotten over over the stressful chocolate brownie experience before I was back in the kitchen again making Double Chocolate Espresso Cake.
This time, however, I took to the baking experience with a much more positive attitude and even managed to bake the cake alongside making tea for my boyfriend and sister, with no stress, tantrums or tears.
The cake turned out really well, although it took a while because I had to cook the two cakes in two batches as my oven was too small to fit in two tins.
The biggest hassle this week was finding people to eat the cake before I headed off to spend the best part of a week in a field. I originally planned to take the cake with me to Glastonbury to share with friends but later came to the conclusion that a 4.5 hour journey in a hot car would probably not be the best idea for a chocolate cake. So, with a day to go I shared the cake out amongst my parents, and friends and colleagues based around the University where I work.
Easier to make than expected, and the mix of coffee, chocolate and caramel makes for a truly decadent treat.
The original recipe called for the cake to be cut into four layers but I found this impossible to do without destroying the cake so opted for two layers.
Here’s the recipe I followed:
- 85g good quality dark chocolate, minimum 60% cocoa solids
- 1tsp vanilla extract
- 340g soft light brown sugar
- 290ml milk
- 110g unsalted butter
- 2 eggs
- 75ml espresso coffee (I used Tiramisu flavoured filter coffee)
- 225g plain flour
- 1tsp bicarbonate of soda
For the filling
- 397g tin of caramel (dulce de leche)
For the icing
- 65g good quality dark chocolate, minimum 60% cocoa solids
- 100g unsalted butter
- 200g icing sugar
- 20g good quality dark cocoa powder
- Few drops of vanilla extract
- 25ml strong espresso coffee (again I used Tiramisu flavoured filter coffee)
Heat the oven to 190C / fan 170C / gas 5. Lightly grease the base of two 8in sandwich tins. Break the chocolate into small pieces and put in a heavy based saucepan with the vanilla, half the sugar and half the milk. Melt over a low heat, stirring until smooth. Set aside to cook. Put the butter and remaining sugar into a large bowl and, using an electric whisk, beat until light and fluffy. Break the eggs into a bowl and best lightly with a fork to break them up. Add to the creamed mixture in several additions, beating well between each, then stir in the chocolate mixture and the espresso. Sift the flour and bicarbonate of soda over the surface and fold in carefully and thoroughly. Stir in the remaining milk; the mixture should be the consistency of a thick batter.
Divide the mixture between the time and bake in the middle of the oven for 35-40 minutes. When cooked, the cakes should feel spongy to the touch and should be evenly set. Leave to cook in the tins for a few minutes before turning out to cool on a white rack.
To make the icing, break the chocolate into small pieces and put into s heatproof bowl. Set over a saucepan of just boiled water and leave it to melt, giving it an occasional stir. When the chocolate has melted, remove from the pan and cool. Whisk the butter in a bowl using an electrician whisk, until light and fluffy. Sift the icing sugar and cocoa powder into a separate bowl, then gradually add to the butter, with the electric whisk still running. Stir in the chocolate and vanilla, then beat in the espresso until smooth.
To assemble, cut each cake into two layers. Set aside the best layer for the top, then spread the others with the caramel. Stack the cakes. Spread the icing sugar over the top and sides using a palette knife, and swirl the top with the knife. Chill briefly to set the icing, before cutting into slices to serve.