Chocolate cake with flowers piped on top
Print Recipe

Ultimate Chocolate Cake

Prep Time30 mins
Cook Time30 mins
Icing Time30 mins
Total Time1 hr 30 mins

Ingredients

For the cake

  • 4 tbsp cocoa powder
  • 175 ml boiling water
  • 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 100 g dark chocolate
  • 125 g unsalted butter at room temperature
  • 350 g golden caster sugar
  • 2 large eggs at room temperature
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 300 g plain flour
  • 125 ml soured cream at room temperature

For the cream cheese icing

  • 200 g dark chocolate
  • 200 g white chocolate
  • 500 g mascarpone
  • 2-4 tbsp icing sugar sifted
  • Handful Maltesers to decorate

Instructions

For the cake

  • Preheat the oven to 180°C/gas mark 4 and grease and line 2 x 20.5cm sandwich tins.
  • Put the cocoa into a heatproof jug with the boiling water and mix until smooth. Stir in the bicarbonate of soda and leave to cool.
  • Break up the chocolate and melt in a heatproof bowl over a pan of hot water. Once melted, leave to one side to cool.
  • Beat the butter in a mixing bowl until creamy. Gradually beat in the sugar and then continue beating for 4-5 minutes until light and fluffy.
  • Whisk the eggs and vanilla with a fork until broken up and then gradually add to the butter mixture, beating after each addition.
  • Fold in the flour in three batches, alternating with the soured cream.
  • Mix the cocoa liquid into the melted chocolate, then fold into the cake mixture. Once combined and with no visible streaks, divide the mixture evenly between the two tins.
  • Bake for 30 minutes or until risen and just firm, and a skewer inserted into the cake comes out clean.

For the cream cheese icing

  • Melt the white chocolate in a heatproof bowl over hot water. Once melted, leave to cool for 5 minutes.
  • Add 250g of mascarpone plus a tablespoon or two of icing sugar to taste. Beat until light and fluffy using an electric mixer.
  • I used this batch of icing to fill and crumb coat the cake. I kept the leftovers to one side and used it later on to lighten the colour of the dark chocolate icing.
  • Melt the dark chocolate as above and leave to cool for 5 minutes.
  • Add the remaining mascarpone plus a tablespoon or two of icing sugar to taste. Beat until light and fluffy using an electric mixer.
  • I used this batch to ice the top and sides of the cake. I then piped flowers on top, using the leftover white mascarpone icing to gradually lighten the colour.

Notes

If you simply want to fill and coat the cake, you can just make a single batch of dark chocolate icing and it will be enough for a thin layer. I made an additional batch of white chocolate icing as per the recipe to make sure I had enough for piping the decorations.