Sunday, 12 January 2014

Seriously Rich Winter Chocolate Cake

I do rather like the energy and promise, admittedly utterly unfounded, that a new year ushers in. 

Not just the promise of another 365 days of cake. Nor the making of optimistic resolutions which, deep down, you really know are overwhelming, overrated (and over by the second week of January).

But the idea of a blank slate. New beginning. An entire year of the unknown. It's all quite exciting really. I promise this isn't the bit where I leap up, book a one-way rickshaw ticket to Timbuktu, dynamic, go-getting YOLO style while leaving spatulas and sieves in my wake. 

Of course, bleak, storm-ravaged, broke January with its Blue Monday and Dryathalon is doing it's very best to deter such enthusiasm. But in the manner of an elderly pensioner feeling it in her bones when the weather turns, I've a sense this year will be a good 'un*. Mainly because we began by tucking into this gloriously, rich, decadent Winter Chocolate Cake. Spoons at the ready....


Seriously Rich Winter Chocolate Cake 

For the cake:
225g unsalted butter
350g dark 70% chocolate, chopped into gravel sized pieces 
225g caster sugar
6 large eggs
3 balls of stem ginger, drained and finely chopped
100g plain flour

For the ganache:
142ml double cream
100g dark chocolate, chopped into gravel sized pieces 
1 tbsp caster sugar

For the decoration:
Selection of leaves, herbs and berries, e.g. holly, cranberries, bay leaves, rosemary 
Egg white 
3 tbsps caster sugar

1. Preheat the oven to 170C/fan 150C/Gas Mark 3. Line and grease a 23cm/9inch springform cake tin with grease proof parchment
2. Melt the butter in a large pan over a gently heat. Remove from the heat and stir in the chopped chocolate.
3. Gradually in the sugar, followed by the eggs and ginger. Gently fold in the flour and a pinch of salt
4. Pour into the prepared tin and bake for 50-60minutes. A skewer inserted into the centre will come out slightly sticky. Cool in the tin for five minutes before inverting onto a. Wire rack to cool completely
5. Meanwhile, make the ganache: heat the cream and sugar in a pan over a gently heat until just before boiling point. Remove from the heat and stir in the chocolate until melted a smooth. Cool for a few minutes before spreading over the cake. Leave to set
6. To make the (non edible) decoration: gently wash the leaves and berries, drying with kitchen roll. Place the egg white white and sugar into separate shallow bowls. Dip each leaf and berry in the egg white, followed by the caster sugar and set aside to dry. Decorate the cake by placing the leaves and berries in the centre

Baker's notes...
  • Without the ganache and decoration, this cake will freeze well for up to three months
  • It is adapted from a recipe in Good Housekeeping magazine, circa 2007
  • Apologies if you are on a diet and currently attempting to lick this page in despair

* entirely irrationally. I'm not Mystic Meg and, sorry, haven't a clue about this weekend's lottery numbers. 



  1. I never understand the urge to go 'cold turkey' on all food that is rich, decadent and utterly delicious in one of the most depressing months of the year so I'm quite happy to drool over this glorious chocolate cake. Love the decoration too.

  2. I've been honsetly been eating loads of cake since the new year.....must try and doesn't bode well! This looks devine...I'm always looking for good chocolate recipe cakes
    My cupcake habit

  3. Lovely and your decoration is so pretty. Chocolate cake sounds like a good way to start anything, yet alone a new year!

  4. me too, I love the blank slate it gives us, like re-setting the computer... could we blank slate every day after eating a slice of this gorgeous cake?

  5. Delighted to hear I'm not the only one who a) loves the thought of a NY b) isn't a fan of resolutions and c) is continuing to partake in cake despite it being the dieting month of January!

  6. This cake would lift any blue January day. But is January really that down and out??Maybe I have lived in the southern hemisphere for so long and the memory cannot quite remember those dark grey cold days of January. We celebrate quite a few birthdays in January and so cake is still plentiful and this chocolate cake would be perfect for one of those. Although now the opposite problem - the reluctance of popping on the oven and having to have the air conditioning going at the same time!

  7. I've been told not to bake cakes in Jan by quite a few people or if I must bake then it has to be a healthy cake. I have made some healthier treats but it doesn't stop me baking what I want and now I want this cake!! Love the decorations.

  8. absolutely beautiful and sure delicious!!!!xxx

  9. Looks delicious, I love how you've done the snowy effect!


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