Woman’s Weekly Cookery Editor Sue McMahon shows you how to make this chocolate-packed recipe in this simple step-by-step video
- For the cake:
- 175g self-raising flour
- 100g cocoa powder
- Pinch bicarbonate of soda
- Pinch of salt
- 350g caster sugar
- 3 large eggs
- 175ml sunflower oil
- 175ml milk
- For the ganache:
- 450ml (3/4pint) whipping cream
- 300g (10oz) dark chocolate, broken into pieces
- Few drops vanilla extract
- For the decoration:
- Approx 100g carton chocolate vermicelli
- 2 x 200g bars dark chocolate
- You will also need:
- 20cm (8in) round tin, lined with baking parchment
- granite or marble worksurface or board
- spatula, preferably crooked-handle
- paint-scraper (reserved for using with chocolate!)
- Chocolate thermometer
- Disposable gloves
To make the cake, set the oven to gas mark 4 or 180°C.
Sift the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, bicarobonate of soda and pinch of salt into a bowl. Stir in the sugar. Beat the eggs with the oil and milk and then pour into the dry ingredients and mix well. Pour the mixture into the lined cake tin. How to line a round cake tin video
Bake the cake in the centre of the oven for11/4-11/2 hours, or until it feels firm to the touch in the centre.
Remove the cake from the oven and upturn it onto a wire rack and leave it to cool, removing the tin, but leaving it wrapped in the lining paper. Turning the cake upside-down will help to flatten the top of it, if it’s domed during baking. If the cake is still very domed when it’s cooled, then the top may be cut off.
To make the ganache, bring the cream to the boil. Place the chocolate in a bowl and pour over the cream and add the vanilla extract. Stir until the chocolate melts. A stick blender may be used to speed up the blending process. Leave the mixture to cool, and then chill it in the fridge until it starts to thicken.
To temper the chocolate for the to decoration, break the chocolate into pieces and then melt it, either in a microwave oven or over a pan of hot water, to over 50°C. Pour out about 2/3rds of the chocolate onto the granite or marble and spread it out with the palette knife. Use the paint scraper to scoop the chocolate back to the middle, and then spread it out.
Keep repeating the spreading until the chocolate starts to thicken. This chocolate should be at 27°C.
Scrape the chocolate from the worksurface back into the bowl and mix with the reserved chocolate. The chocolate in the bowl should now be at about 31-32°C which is the working temperature. If it’s above this temperature, repeat the cooling stage on the table, and if it’s below the temperature re-warm it very gently.
To make the ruffles, pour some of the tempered chocolate onto the worksurface and spread it out thinly, using a palette knife, into a rectangle. When the chocolate is on the point of setting, use the paint scraper to go around the edges to neaten the rectangle. Then, working quickly, starting at one edge, place the paint scraper under about a 5cm (2in) area of chocolate and place your finger on top, and then scrape the chocolate away from you so that the chocolate ruffles up. If the ruffles are too tight, they may be opened out a little before the chocolate sets fully. Repeat the ruffles along the rest of the rectangle, then repeat this process a further 2-3 times to use all the tempered chocolate.
Use a long-bladed knife to cut the chocolate cake into 3 layers.
Whip the chilled ganache until it’s light and fluffy. Fill the layers of the cake with the whipped ganache.
Spread the ganache over the top and sides of the cake, smoothing it as much as possible.
Tip the vermicelli out onto baking parchment, and scoop it up and gently press it against the sides of the cake.
Wearing disposable gloves, starting at the outside edge, press the ruffles into the ganache on the top of the cake.
Work around in rings to fill the centre, using a little extra ganache to hold the ruffles in place if necessary.
Watch our How to temper chocolate video for tips on working with chocolate