Entropy Kitchen: The World’s Best Chocolate Cake

Really, this week’s Entropy Kitchen recipe should be a plain and simple sponge, because that’s what the science of cake post on Monday described. However, it was my birthday post, and this is my birthday recipe, so I can choose whatever I like, and this is my favourite cake in the whole world. Ever. And the ingredients do still do the same jobs as they do in a normal sponge, so all the science still applies.

This recipe originally comes from an Usborne Children’s cookery book I had when I was just a wee bouncy thing, and I used to sit at the oven door, licking a spoon, watching my cake rise in the oven. The page that holds this recipe has long been covered in chocolate and cake mix, and the book itself is falling apart from use. Luckily, I have the recipe, as I’ve tweaked it over the years, written down in my grown up recipe book. There’s chocolate cake mix all over that page now, too.  I’ve never found a chocolate cake recipe better than this one, and I’ve never tasted better chocolate cake anywhere either. It’s moist, gooey, delicious, basically it makes you want to stick your face in it and never leave.

For the cake

6 oz plain chocolate
6 oz butter
6 oz caster sugar
4 eggs
3 oz ground almonds
3 oz plain flour

For the ganache icing

3 fluid oz evaporated milk
4 oz plain chocolate
3 oz caster sugar
1.5 oz butter

Pre-heat your oven to 180oC and grease two 20 cm cake tins. This cake can be a little difficult to get out of the tins, so I always grease really thoroughly, and then sprinkle flour over the tin, just for extra help!

First, you need to melt the plain chocolate gently in the microwave, or in a bowl over boiling water. Once it’s melted, leave it to one side to cool down slightly while you get on with the business of creaming the butter and sugar together.

Once the butter and sugar look entirely fluffy and delicious, and full of air, start to add the beaten eggs, a bit at a time, until fully combined. Next add the flour and the ground almonds and mix together.

Finally, pour in the melted chocolate, and stir that in as well. You should probably lick the chocolate bowl at this point, it’s what any sane person would do.

Pour the mixture into the greased cake tins and bake for 20-25 min. Check the cake is done by sticking a skewer into the middle, if it comes out clean, we’re all good to take the cakes out of the oven and leave on the side, in their tins, for 20 min.

Run a knife around the outside of the tins, and turn the cakes out onto a cooling rack. It’s quite likely the cakes will stick a little bit, don’t worry about it, it can ALL be patched up with icing.

While the cakes are cooling, make the icing by heating the evaporated milk and sugar together in a pan until boiling, then remove from the heat and stir in the chocolate and butter until they’re both melted.

Cool the icing in the fridge until it’s a spreadable-type consistency then spread in between the two cakes, sandwich them together and spread more on top. I have also in the past made chocolate butter icing, and spread some of that in the middle as well, which is AMAZING.

Finally, cut a HUGE slice, and enjoy.

I’ve made this cake a lot of times, but it usually doesn’t hang around long enough to be photographed. And hey, this one has candles! It wasn’t my birthday cake, but I did get to eat a lot of it, so it’s all good.

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