Forgive me the name. I remember many a cake being called this in the 80s, mostly on chain pub menus. Not sure I ever felt those mass produced, icy cold, spongey (as in sea sponge, not sponge cake) textured cakes lived up to the hype though. I recently tried the choc cake at Nando’s and well, it’s probably one of the best chain restaurant cakes I’ve ever tasted.* I helped my son eat a portion, as in I ate 85% of the slice.
This chocolate cake is light and tender, leading you into a false expectation of a not too chocolately hit. Then the ganache filling and icing hits you and it’s time to sit down, cram the rest into your mouth and maybe have a glass of milk to counter the effects of the richness. I decorated this particular cake rather conservatively as it was a gift for a friend. If I were decorating it for myself I’d cover the entire thing in chopped up chocolate bars and Smarties. Then I’d sit down with a large fork and dive straight in…
*No, Nando’s haven’t paid me to say that, however if they would like to give me a free slice of cake every now and again I’d be very much up for that. I have elasticated trousers ready should such an occasion arise.
150g castor sugar
175g margarine/butter at room temperature
150g plain flour
3 large eggs at room temperature
1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
2 tsp cream of tartar
30g cocoa powder
1 tbsp vanilla extract
35g Greek yoghurt
300mls double cream
200g dark and 100g milk chocolate, broken into squares
Chocolate bar(s) of your choice
Preheat the oven to Gas 4/180C. Butter and line two tins with greaseproof paper. I used 8.5 inch wide ones. Cream together the sugar and butter/margarine until light and fluffy. I use an electric hand mixer for this. Scrape down the bowl and add in the flour, eggs, bicarb of soda, cream of tartar, cocoa powder, vanilla extract and Greek yoghurt. Whizz up for about 4 minutes with the handheld mixer until all combined, light and fluffy.
Divide the mixture between the two cake tins and level with the back of a spoon. Bake in the oven for 30 minutes. Once the cakes are ready they should be well risen (one may have cracked a little – worry not) and a toothpick should come out of the centre of the cakes clean. Leave to cool for ten minutes in their tins, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
Make the chocolate ganache, pop the cream into a saucepan and heat until it starts to bubble, remove from the heat, then add the chocolate and stir, stir, stir until the mixture is completely molten and without any chocolate lumps showing. Leave to cool until the mixture has thickened, (this takes a couple of hours at room temp, you can pop in the fridge but the ganache may lose its shine) then spoon about two large tablespoons onto one of the cakes already secured to the cake board with a tiny bit of ganache . Spread evenly, though not all the way to the edges, possibly add a little more if you wish, then place the other cake on top.
Add the rest of the ganache to the top and then decorate with chopped up chocolate bar(s). Leave to set. Eat or give to people you love.
Get the monthly newsletter...
and subscribe to get all recipes straight to your inbox!