The ultimate chocolate cake

Annabel Langbein describes this fabulous cake as a secret weapon for dinner parties and special occasions
By Annabel Langbein
The ultimate chocolate cake
  • Rating:
  • Serves: 12-16
  • Cook Time: 1 hour 10 minutes
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Effort: easy


For the cake

  • 500 g self-raising flour
  • 440 g caster sugar
  • 1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 90 g cocoa powder
  • 2 tsp bicarbonate of soda, sifted
  • 200 g butter, softened
  • 250 ml milk, or unsweetened yoghurt
  • 3 large eggs
  • 250 ml hot coffee

For the decoration

  • 500 ml cream
  • 500 g best quality dark chocolate, (70% cocoa solids), roughly chopped
  • fresh raspberries

Tips and Suggestions

If not using at once, the cake will keep for about a week in a sealed container in the fridge. You can also freeze it un-iced.


1. For the cake: heat the oven to 170C/150C fan/Gas 3. Grease the sides and line the base of a 30cm round cake tin or 2 x 20cm round cake tins with baking paper.

2. Place all the cake ingredients in a large bowl or food processor and mix or blitz until the ingredients are combined and the butter is fully incorporated.

3. Pour the mixture into the prepared tin or tins and smooth the top. Bake for 1 hour or until a skewer inserted in the centre comes out clean. Leave to cool in the tin.

4. For the decoration: pour the cream into a medium saucepan and heat until it is very hot, and almost but not boiling. You'll know it's ready when bubbles start to form around the edge of the pan. Remove from the heat and add the chopped chocolate. Stand for 2 minutes, then stir until the chocolate is fully melted into the cream.

5. Whisk this chocolate ganache until it is smooth and glossy, then chill.

6. Slather the chilled chocolate ganache over the top of the cake. Top with fresh raspberries and serve.

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