Easy and Simple Chocolate Cake
Last Thursday was a very special date, it was my sister's birthday! My sister is living in Lisbon (Portugal) at the moment and I'm in Luxembourg. To make things more complicated, we're still in the midst of a world pandemic caused by Covid-19, so this means we wouldn't be able to spend this day together.
Personally, I've started to feel more lonely now (in what I believe is the end - at least of the first wave), being an introverted person, the whole lockdown thing had its positive aspects. Right now, though, I'd love to spend some more time with my sister and my friends. All of that to say that I felt like making a little something for her, even knowing that she wouldn't be able to blow the candles! I decided to bake her a chocolate cake: her favourite! She knows I'm not a big fan of chocolate cakes, but I made it specially for her.
I got this recipe at the time I was still a pastry chef in Ireland. At that time I would serve it broken into pieces, some chocolate sauce, delicate hibiscus jelly and cherry ice cream. And before that, I used the same recipe and adapt it into a red velvet cake for a Valentine's Day special. That's a very versatile cake. I like a subtil chocolate taste, but you can always add some more cocoa powder or some melted dark chocolate (hummmmm).
One thing is for sure: this cake is foolproof! There's no way it can go wrong (unless you don't follow the recipe!). So, it goes as it follows:
2 cups of sugar
3 cups of plain flour
1 cup of milk (I made mine with almond milk, it works too)
5 tbsp cocoa powder
2 tbsp butter at room temperature
2 tbsp baking powder (full ones)
For the chocolate sauce:
1/2 cup of cocoa powder
1/2 cup of milk (or your preferred one)
4 tbsp sugar
1 tbsp butter
Pre heat the oven to 170 C. Start by whisking the eggs and the sugar together in a mixer (or hand mixer). As soon as the sugar is completely dissolved and the mix is fluffy, add the butter. Sieve the flour and cocoa powder together and add to the mix, as well as the milk. Beat the mix for 5 minutes. Turn off the mixer and sieve the baking powder onto the mixture. Fold it in with a spatula until very well combined.
Line a cake tin (I used 2 small ones) with butter and a bit of cocoa powder dust. Put the mixture into the tin and bake it for at least 40 minutes. To check if the cake is ready, insert a toothpick into it. If it comes out totally clean, the cake is ready. It's very important not to open the oven before the 40-minute mark, otherwise your cake might sink in the middle (and you don't want that!).
Remove the cake out of the oven and let it cool completely before removing it from the tin.
To make the sauce to cover the cake, place all the ingredients in a saucepan and simmer it until the sauce thickens. You have to keep on mixing it with a wooden spoon to avoid lumps or burning. Remove from the stove and cool it down slightly before pouring onto the cake. Don't let it cool completely because it might be difficult to pour it evenly. But don't pour it too warm either, otherwise it will be too runny and won't "stick" to the cake.
Before pouring onto the cake, take a knife and pierce the cake several times so the sauce can get into it. Add your sprinkles or the topping you like (nuts, chocolate chips, etc). Enjoy it! :)
Bonus tip: if you're like me and love black tea, you can brew some and sprinkle with a spoon onto your cake before adding the sauce to have a wet cake. The same can be done with warm milk and sugar or orange juice.
Do you like this recipes and the photos? Leave a comment and let me know about it. Feel free to share this recipe with your friends who like baking. Maybe they can make it for you!