This is a real chocolate cake, made with good quality dark chocolate, and you can really taste the difference. The fudge frosting can be made with any form of chocolate (here’s a similar version) but here I’ve mixed it up a bit and used white. This way, I could decorate with some melted dark chocolate to make it so much more special.
- 100g dark chocolate (e.g. 85%), chopped
- ¾ cup (187.5 ml) grapeseed Oil
- 1 cup castor sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 4 eggs
- 1 1/2 cups self-raising flour
- 60ml cream
For the fudge frosting:
- 150g white chocolate
- 150g butter, softened
- 1 1/2 cups icing sugar, sifted
For the Hamsa (or “Fatima’s hand”) decoration:
- 100g dark chocolate
- Preheat oven to 170°C.
- Melt chocolate in the microwave.
- In a large bowl, mix melted chocolate and oil, then add eggs and vanilla and whip vigorously.
- Add cream, then put the electric mixer away
- Add self raising flour through a sifter and incorporate gently but thoroughly with a wooden spoon
- Spoon into prepared pan and smooth the cake’s surface. Bake for around 40 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean. It could take from 35 minutes up to about 50, depending on the diameter of your tin.
- For the frosting, melt chocolate then leave to cool slightly. Whip up butter until fluffy, then start adding icing sugar. When combined, add cooled melted chocolate gradually until smooth. Add more icing sugar if mixture is too loose. Using a butter knife and a cup with very hot water (dip and dry off to assist spreading as the frosting starts to stick to the knife rather than the cake) smooth on the frosting.
- Put the cake in the fridge to cool for 1 hour
- Warm the remaining dark chocolate in the microwave. Taking a firm plastic bag (e.g. a snap-lock freezer bag), spoon the chocolate into one corner. Snip the tiniest amount off the corner to make a decorating pen. If you are lucky, you may have a store-bought decorating pen, or a clean squeezy-bottle with a very fine nib.
- Decorate as desired, then chill cake further until you are ready to eat.
- A 20cm tin is perfect for this recipe. If you wish to use a larger tin, increase all the ingredients by ½ again, and consider baking in two halves and filling with a chocolate butter cream.
- Sometimes cakes rise and crack in the centre. This is because the sides of the cake cook before the rising ingredients activate fully. There are a couple of things you can do to prevent this:
- before putting the cake in the oven, push the sides of the mix further up the tin, leaving a small dent in the middle. This will equalize in about 5 minutes in the oven, but it’s a good start.
- You can cook the cake in a bain marie (place the cake tin in a larger tin with water in the oven), leaving it covered with foil for the first half of the cooking time. It may take a little longer to cook this way (5 minutes max)
- Buy better quality pans. Cheaper (thinner) pans heat up faster, cooking the crusts of your cake well before the middle even gets hot.
- If all else fails, and you still get the big crack, you can usually fill it with frosting and nobody will know. For this cake however, you need a smooth top. Use a sharp serrated knife to slice away the uneven surface, then turn the cake over and frost the sealed surface. (If you frost the cut surface, crumbs will come away and dirty your frosting.
- To get a very smooth surface on your fudge frosting, lightly oil a little baking paper, and place this over the frosted cake. Use your fingers to smooth it out, pressing lightly. Remove paper and you should have a perfect finish. If the surface of the frosting is slick with oil, simply dust with icing sugar.