Ev­ery­body loves choco­late cake. WE bring you four of our favourite ver­sions to make at home. now you can have your cake and Eat it


Our favourite choco­late cake recipes


Serves 6 to 8

For the short­bread base

2T hazel­nuts, toasted,

skins rubbed off 3T sugar

1/2 cup all-pur­pose flour 1/4 cup un­salted

but­ter, soft­ened 2T unsweet­ened co­coa pow­der

1/8t salt

For the mousse

1t un­flavoured gelatin

3T cold wa­ter

1/2 cup Nutella

1/2 cup mas­car­pone

1 1/2 cups heavy cream, chilled 2T unsweet­ened co­coa pow­der

3T sugar

For the ganache

1/4 cup plus 1T heavy cream 85g fine-qual­ity bit­ter­sweet

choco­late, chopped

Spe­cial equip­ment

20cm spring­form pan parch­ment pa­per

For the short­bread base

1. Put an oven rack in the mid­dle po­si­tion and pre­heat the oven to 180°C. In­vert the bot­tom of the spring­form pan, then lock on the side of the pan and line the bot­tom with a round of parch­ment pa­per. 2. Pulse the hazel­nuts with the sugar in a food pro­ces­sor un­til the nuts are finely chopped. Add the flour, but­ter, co­coa and salt, and pulse un­til a dough forms.

3. Press the dough evenly onto the bot­tom of the spring­form pan with your fingers. Prick all over with a fork, then bake un­til just dry to the touch, about 20 min­utes. 4. Trans­fer base in pan to a rack to cool com­pletely, about 30 min­utes. Re­move side of pan and care­fully slide out parch­ment from un­der short­bread, then reat­tach the side of the pan around the short­bread base.

For the mousse

1. While the short­bread cools, sprin­kle the gelatin over the wa­ter in a heavy saucepan and let stand un­til soft­ened, about 5 min­utes. Heat the gelatin mix­ture over low heat, stir­ring, un­til the gelatin is melted, about 2 min­utes.

2. Whisk in the Nutella un­til com­bined and re­move from heat. 3. Whisk to­gether the mas­car­pone and choco­late­hazel­nut mix­ture in a bowl.

4. Beat to­gether the cream, co­coa pow­der and sugar in an­other bowl with an elec­tric mixer at a low speed un­til just com­bined, then in­crease the speed to high and beat un­til cream just holds soft peaks. Whisk one third of the whipped cream into the mas­car­pone mix­ture to lighten, then fold in the re­main­ing whipped cream un­til well com­bined. Spoon the fill­ing onto the short­bread base in the pan, gen­tly smooth­ing the top. Chill, cov­ered, for 3 hours.

For the ganache

1. Bring the cream to a sim­mer in a small heavy saucepan, then re­move from the heat. Add the choco­late and let stand for 1 minute, then gen­tly whisk un­til com­pletely smooth. Trans­fer the ganache to a bowl and cool, stir­ring oc­ca­sion­ally, un­til slightly thick­ened but still pourable, about 20 min­utes.

To as­sem­ble

Run a warm knife around the in­side of the spring­form pan, then re­move the side. Slide the cake off the bot­tom of the pan and trans­fer to a serv­ing plate. Pour over the ganache and spread evenly, al­low­ing the ex­cess to drip down the sides.


Pro­nounced ‘dough-bash’, this south­ern-amer­i­can birth­day cake orig­i­nat­ing in New Or­leans is made of seem­ingly in­fi­nite lay­ers of choco­late pud­ding and yel­low cake topped with choco­late ic­ing.

Serves 8 to 10 For the cake

4 eggs, sep­a­rated

3 cups cake flour, sifted 1T bak­ing pow­der

3/4 cup but­ter, soft­ened 2 cups sugar pinch salt

1 cup milk

1t lemon juice

1t vanilla ex­tract

For the choco­late pud­ding

2 cups white sugar

1/2t salt

1/4 cup flour

1/4 cup maizena

1/4 cup co­coa pow­der 4 eggs, beaten

4 cups full-cream milk

30g bit­ter­sweet choco­late

(at least 70%), chopped 1T but­ter, soft­ened 1t vanilla ex­tract

For the but­ter­cream ic­ing

1 cup but­ter, soft­ened 3 cups ic­ing sugar, sifted 1 cup co­coa pow­der, sifted 1t vanilla ex­tract

1T hot wa­ter (op­tional)

For the ganache

2 cups 65% choco­late, roughly chopped 2 cups cream

2t vanilla ex­tract

For the cake

1. Pre­heat oven to 190ºc. Grease three 23cm cake pans. 2. Beat the egg whites in a bowl un­til stiff peaks form. Re­serve the egg yolks in a bowl. Set aside. 3. Sift to­gether the cake flour and bak­ing pow­der in a sep­a­rate bowl. Beat the but­ter, sugar and salt with an elec­tric mixer un­til light and fluffy. Add the re­served egg yolks one at a time, mix­ing con­tin­u­osly. Pour in the cake-flour mix­ture al­ter­nat­ing with the milk, mix­ing un­til in­cor­po­rated.

Add the lemon juice and vanilla ex­tract. 4. Use a whisk or rub­ber spat­ula to fold 1/3 of the beaten egg whites into the bat­ter. Fold in the re­main­ing egg whites, mix­ing un­til com­bined. Pour the bat­ter into the pre­pared pans and spread out evenly over the bot­tom. Bake un­til the cake is light golden brown and just pulling from the sides of the pan, 15 to 20 min­utes. Cool in pans for 5 min­utes, then in­vert on to cool­ing racks to cool com­pletely.

For the choco­late pud­ding

1. Com­bine 11/2 cups sugar, salt, flour, maizena and co­coa pow­der in a saucepan and mix well. In a sep­a­rate bowl, whisk the re­main­ing

1/2 cup sugar with the beaten eggs. Pour the milk into the saucepan and cook over medium heat, stir­ring con­stantly, un­til the mix­ture be­gins to boil. Re­move from the heat and grad­u­ally pour the hot milk mix­ture into the

egg mix­ture, whisk­ing con­stantly. Add chopped choco­late and stir un­til the choco­late melts.

2. Re­turn the pud­ding to the saucepan and cook, stir­ring con­stantly, over medium heat un­til the mix­ture has thick­ened, about 5 min­utes. Re­move from the heat; stir in the but­ter and vanilla ex­tract. Trans­fer the pud­ding to a bowl and al­low to cool.

For the but­ter­cream ic­ing

1. Place the but­ter in a mix­ing bowl. Grad­u­ally beat in the ic­ing sugar.

2. Beat in the co­coa pow­der. 3. Mix in the vanilla ex­tract and, if the ic­ing re­mains a lit­tle too stiff, add a ta­ble­spoon of hot wa­ter or as needed, driz­zling it very slowly, and mix well un­til de­sired con­sis­tency is reached.

For the ganache

1. Place the choco­late in a mix­ing bowl. 2. Heat the cream in a saucepan un­til hot but not boil­ing. Re­move from the heat and pour over the choco­late. Let stand for 3 min­utes, then whisk un­til smooth. Stir in the vanilla ex­tract. Cool to room tem­per­a­ture, cover, and set aside. It should be spread­able but not firm.

To as­sem­ble

1. Us­ing a long ser­rated knife and a gen­tle saw­ing mo­tion, slice each cake layer in half hor­i­zon­tally. 2. Cover the cake plate with strips of parch­ment pa­per or foil for eas­ier clean up. Put a dab of but­ter­cream in the cen­tre of the plate to keep the cake from shift­ing. Set a cake half on the plate.

3. Spread choco­late pud­ding on to the cake layer,

tak­ing care not to spread it too close to the edge. Gen­tly lay an­other cake round on top of the first and re­peat with an­other pud­ding layer. Re­peat with the re­main­ing cake and pud­ding, top­ping the pud­ding with the last cake layer. Chill the cake for 30 min­utes to al­low it to firm up. 4. Ice the top and sides of the cake with the choco­late but­ter­cream. Chill for 30 min­utes, to firm and set.

5. Spread the iced cake with ganache. Re­move the parch­ment strips from the cake plate. Store the cake in the re­frig­er­a­tor.


Serves 6

For the meringues

10 large egg whites

11/2 cups sugar

1 cup unsweet­ened co­coa pow­der, sifted

For the mousse fill­ing

2 large eggs plus 1 large yolk 1/3 cup sugar

11/2T wa­ter

170g dark choco­late (no more

than 62 per cent ca­cao)

1 cup heavy cream, chilled 3T seed­less rasp­berry jam


ic­ing sugar co­coa pow­der

Spe­cial equip­ment

Stand mixer fit­ted with a whisk at­tach­ment

Pas­try bag fit­ted with a 1.5cm round pas­try tip

For the meringues

1. Pre­heat oven to 120ºc with racks in up­per and lower thirds. Line two large bak­ing sheets with parch­ment pa­per. Draw three (17x13 cm) ovals on one of the lined pans. 2. Whisk to­gether the egg whites and sugar in a mix­ing bowl, then set the bowl over a large saucepan of barely sim­mer­ing wa­ter (bowl should not touch wa­ter) and heat whites, whisk­ing con­stantly, un­til mix­ture is foamy and reg­is­ters 50 to 52°C on an in­stant-read ther­mome­ter.

3. Beat the whites with the mixer un­til they hold stiff peaks. Re­move the bowl from the mixer and sift the co­coa pow­der over the meringue, then fold it in gen­tly but thor­oughly. Trans­fer to the pas­try bag and, start­ing from the cen­tre of each oval, pipe the meringue in a tight spi­ral to fill the ovals to the outer edge. 4. Pipe as many 6cm-long strips (about 1 cm wide and 1.5cm apart) as pos­si­ble on the sec­ond lined pan, slant­ing the rows so more strips will fit. 5. Bake meringues, switch­ing the po­si­tion of the pans half­way through bak­ing, un­til dry, crisp and firm,

3 to 4 hours. 6. Slide the parch­ment with the meringues onto a rack to cool com­pletely.

For the mousse fill­ing

1. While the meringues cool, whisk to­gether the eggs and yolk with 2 tea­spoons of sugar in a bowl. 2. Bring the wa­ter and re­main­ing sugar to a boil in a small heavy saucepan over medium heat, stir­ring un­til the sugar has dis­solved. Pour slowly into the egg mix­ture, whisk­ing, then re­turn the mix­ture to the saucepan. 3. Cook over medium-low heat, whisk­ing con­stantly, un­til the mix­ture is thick and the eggs just be­gin to cur­dle on the bot­tom of the pan, about 2 min­utes. Beat in a cleaned mixer bowl (with cleaned whisk at­tach­ment) at high speed un­til the mix­ture is dou­bled and cooled to room tem­per­a­ture, about 5 min­utes.

4. Melt the choco­late us­ing a dou­ble boiler, then re­move from heat and cool to 40°C, stir­ring oc­ca­sion­ally. 5. Mean­while, whisk the cream in a large bowl un­til it just holds soft peaks.

6. Fold the choco­late into the egg mix­ture, then quickly fold in the whipped cream.

To as­sem­ble the cake

1. Trim the meringue ovals to the same size. 2. Dab some mousse (to se­cure the meringue) in the cen­tre of a serv­ing plate, then set one oval on top. Spread with about one cup of mousse, then top with an­other oval. Spread with jam, then an­other cup of mousse, and top with the re­main­ing oval. Chill for 15 min­utes. Frost the cake with the re­main­ing mousse, then gen­tly press the meringue strips di­ag­o­nally around the side of the cake. Chop the re­main­ing strips and scat­ter on top. 3. Chill the cake, loosely cov­ered with plas­tic wrap, for 8 to 24 hours. Let stand, cov­ered, at room tem­per­a­ture for 30 min­utes be­fore serv­ing.

Handy tricks

1. This is a Swiss meringue, which means you whisk the egg whites and sugar to­gether over sim­mer­ing wa­ter un­til the whites are warm and foamy, and the sugar dis­solves, then trans­fer the whites to the bowl of a stand mixer and beat them un­til stiff. This is one of the most com­pact and sta­ble types of meringues, so this cake can be made a day ahead and re­frig­er­ated. 2. Af­ter fold­ing in the co­coa pow­der (the meringue de­flates a bit, but don’t panic), start pip­ing meringue onto the pre-drawn tem­plates. Only fill the pas­try bag two-thirds full, and re­lax while you’re pip­ing.

Let the meringue fall smoothly from the tip. 3. To fin­ish off each meringue stick, stop the flow of meringue by lift­ing up the tip of the pas­try bag and giv­ing it a lit­tle jerk. 4. This tech­nique for mak­ing an egg-safe mousse is a rev­e­la­tion: cook the eggs with a sugar syrup un­til they just be­gin to cur­dle; the fin­ished mousse is dense rather than airy, and rich in flavour. 5. To fold choco­late and cream into the egg mix­ture, start in the cen­tre. Sweep the spat­ula to­ward you, un­der­neath the bat­ter, and then around the side.

Doberge Cake

Choco­late Meringue Mousse Cake

Choco­late-glazed Hazel­nut-mousse Cake

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