This collection of decadent recipes is a tribute to everyone’s favourite indulgence – chocolate cake. Whether it’s a simple melt- and- mix cake the kids can help with, a tray bake to feed a crowd at a party or picnic, or a wickedly rich dessert mud cake,
chocolate mud cake
250g unsalted butter, chopped 200g dark chocolate, chopped 1 ¹⁄³ cups ( 330ml) milk 1 ½ cups ( 330g) caster sugar 1 teaspoon vanilla extract 2 eggs 1 ½ cups ( 225g) plain flour, sifted ¼ cup ( 35g) self- raising flour, sifted ¼ cup ( 25g) cocoa, sifted, plus extra, for dusting Preheat oven to 150° C. Place the butter, chocolate, milk, sugar and vanilla in a large saucepan over medium heat and stir occasionally for six minutes, or until melted and smooth. Set aside to cool slightly. Add the eggs and whisk to combine. Pour into a large bowl, add the flour, self- raising flour and cocoa and whisk until smooth. Pour into a lightly greased 22cm round cake tin lined with non- stick baking paper and bake for one hour and 25 minutes, or until cooked when tested with a skewer. Allow to cool completely in the tin. Remove from the tin, dust with cocoa and serve with the ganache icing ( see recipe, right). Serves 10– 12.
chocolate tray cake
375g unsalted butter, softened 1 ½ cups ( 260g) brown sugar 3 eggs 2 cups ( 300g) plain flour, sifted 2 teaspoons baking powder, sifted ²⁄³ cup ( 70g) cocoa, sifted ¾ cup ( 180ml) milk Preheat oven to 160° C. Place the butter and sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer and beat for eight to 10 minutes or until pale and creamy, scraping down the sides of the bowl. Gradually add the eggs, one at a time, and beat well after each addition. Add the flour, baking powder, cocoa and milk and beat until combined. Spoon the mixture into a lightly greased 20cm x 30cm cake tin lined with non- stick baking paper and smooth the surface with a palette knife. Bake for 50– 55 minutes or until cooked when tested with a skewer. Allow to cool in the tin for 10 minutes before turning out onto a wire rack to cool completely. Spread with the ganache icing ( see recipe, right). Serves 10– 12.
melt- and- mix chocolate cake
1 ½ cups ( 225g) self- raising flour, sifted ¾ cup ( 75g) cocoa, sifted 1 ¹⁄³ cups ( 295g) caster sugar ½ cup ( 90g) brown sugar 1 teaspoon vanilla extract 250g unsalted butter, melted ¾ cup ( 180ml) milk 4 eggs Preheat oven to 160° C. Place the flour, cocoa, caster sugar, brown sugar, vanilla, butter, milk and eggs in a bowl and whisk until well combined. Pour into lightly greased 22cm round cake tin lined with non- stick baking paper ( with the paper sitting 2cm above the edge of the tin). Bake for one hour 30 minutes or until cooked when tested with a skewer. Allow to cool in the tin for 10 minutes before turning out onto a wire rack to cool completely. Spread the cake with the ganache icing ( see recipe, below). Serves eight to 10.
chocolate ganache icing
150g dark chocolate, chopped ½ cup ( 125ml) single ( pouring) cream Heat the chocolate and cream in a small saucepan over a low heat, stirring, until melted and smooth. Makes one cup ( 250ml). photography William Meppem
styling Donna Hay recipes The dhm food team