I love chocolate, like I really love chocolate and I have shared a lot of chocolate recipes on here. For the early part of this pregnancy I had totally gone off baking but now I've got a little more energy and the nausea has passed I've started getting back into the kitchen a bit more often.
A few weeks ago I was having a meeting with my manager and he said to me "Now Clare I'm not usually one to complain..." and I started to panic "...but there has been a distinct lack of Monday morning baking in the office." I was stunned but also realised it has been ages and once I get bigger or when baby comes along will I want to bake or better still, will I have time??
So anyway.... that weekend I was sat thinking about those words and decided to make something nice for my colleagues to enjoy the following week which was also National Cake Week. Almost everyone I know loves a good chocolate cake so I decided to use my no fail recipe. Honestly this recipe is idiot proof, it's what got me in to baking in the first place and it was the first recipe I felt confident enough to fiddle with to make it my own.
Instead of buttercream I opted to use chocolate ganache as I thought it would make a nice change and make the cake a bit more decadent. I actually think if I make this cake in future I will always fill it with ganache. It really does take it to the next level.
Anyway... recipe! All you need is 2 cake tins, a big bowl, a whisk and some measuring cups. Now I know most cup recipes drive me mad - a cup of butter - errrr how?? But this one is so so easy and you can make it dairy free too - win! Mr T is lactose intolerant so I swap the milk for his Lactofree stuff and you can't tell the difference. I'm keen to try it with the Lactofree cream too but I've yet to spot it in the shops.
2.5 cups SR flour
2 cups of soft dark brown sugar (any sugar is fine but I prefer dark brown)
1 cup cocoa
1 cup sunflower/vegetable oil
1.5 cups milk
1tsp vanilla extract
1tsp baking powder
Preheat the oven to 160C (fan).
Grease and line two 20cm cake tins.
Place all the ingredients in a bowl and whisk until smooth.
Divide between the two cake tins.
Bake for 40mins or until a skewer inserted comes out clean.
Leave to cool on a wire rack.
Dark Chocolate Ganache
300g dark chocolate (I used cheap Aldi stuff and it was fine)
300ml double cream
Heat the cream in a bowl for 2-3 mins in the microwave until warm.
Break up the chocolate and stir into the cream until melted, smooth and glossy.
If the chocolate doesn't fully melt give it another quick zap in the microwave.
Leave to chill and firm up. I left mine overnight but you can pop it in the fridge for a few hours.
White Chocolate Ganache
200g white chocolate
200ml double cream
Repeat the steps from above.
Once the cake is cooled and the ganache is ready level off both tiers.
Sandwich together with a generous helping of dark chocolate ganache.
Chill in the fridge for 30mins.
Apply two coats of ganache to the cake, chilling for 15mins between each coat.
Pour the white chocolate ganache over the top of the cake and decorate with chocolate of your choice.