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Triple chocolate party cake {Recipe}

We’re celebrating one year of Di-licious Cupcakes and now it’s time for me to give you your present – my Triple Chocolate Party Cake recipe.

This sweet, moist chocolate cake is the perfect base for a large celebration cake, cupcakes or as this simply elegant cake with cream and ganache.  It’s truly a cake for every celebration.

A hint of coffee helps to temper the sweetness of the cake and lets the chocolate flavour shine.  The semi-sweet chocolate cream and chocolate ganache makes it a show stopper (just don’t tell anyone how easy it was to make!)

The cake is also perfectly happy to be baked ahead of time and frozen.  In fact it’s better if you do; it’s easier to trim and tort the cake when it’s still semi-frozen.  Likewise you can make the ganache ahead of time to make decorating a breeze.

Could this be the world’s best chocolate cake? 

Recipe: Triple Chocolate Party Cake
Serves 4-6  Recipe adapted from Donna Hay 
Recipe makes one 6inch or 7inch cake or single 9inch layer.  Double the recipe to make an 11inch square layer or 12 cupcakes.

½ cup of water
2 Tbls baking cocoa, sifted
1 Tbls instant coffee
60g butter, chopped
1cups plain flour, sifted
½ tsp bicarbonate soda, sifted
1 cups caster sugar
1 pinch salt
1 egg, at room temperature
¼ cup buttermilk, at room temperature
½ tsp vanilla extract

Chocolate ganache
200g dark chocolate
100ml cooking cream

Chocolate cream (makes more than you’ll need but is fabulous with hot chocolate)
300ml cream
1 Tblsp baking cocoa, sifted
1 Tblsp drinking chocolate, sifted

6inch or 7inch round baking pan
2 x cooling racks
2 x tea-towels
Palette knife

For the cake

  • Put the water, cocoa, coffee and butter into a small saucepan.  Gently heat over a low heat, stirring until the butter melts.  Take off the heat and allow to cool.
  • Preheat your oven to 160°C (no fan).  Grease and line base and sides of a 6inch round pan with baking paper. 
  • Sift together the flour, bicarbonate of soda and salt into mixer bowl.  Stir in the caster sugar and make sure everything is well distributed.
  • In a separate large jug, lightly whisk together the buttermilk, egg and vanilla extract.
  • With the whisk attachment in place, turn your mixer on to low speed and slowly pour in the cocoa/butter mixture.  Scrape down the sides and then increase speed to medium so that it is completely mixed in. 
  • Reduce speed to low and slowly whisk in the buttermilk mixture. Use your scraper to make sure the egg mixture is completely incorporated.
  • Pour mixture into the lined cake pan and bake on low shelf in oven for approx 60mins or until a skewer inserted into the cake comes out clean.  (Every oven is different so don’t be concerned it cooks in less or considerably more time – let the skewer tell you when it’s done.)*
  • When cooked, remove the tin from the oven and place it on a cooling rack to cool for approx 10minutes. Get another coolin rack and two clean tea-towels ready.
  • Line the second cooling rack with a folded tea-towel and invert onto top of the tin.  Holding each side of the tin/rack sandwich, lift and carefully flip the cooked cake onto the lined rack. Remove the tin and cover base of cake with spare tea-towel and rack. Flip the cake again so that the baking paper covered base of the cake is cushioned by the tea towel and allow to cool completely.  The tea-towel helps prevent rack lines marking the base of the cake.
  • If freezing the cake, wrap in 4-5 layers of cling wrap, label and freeze.

For the ganache

  • Place chocolate in big bowl (metal is good – it helps hasten the process).
  • Heat cream in a small saucepan and bring it to the boil – this is referred to as scalding the milk.  Take off heat straight away and pour over the chocolate.  Using a whisk, stir cream into the chocolate and keep stirring until the chocolate melts and becomes glossy and smooth.
  • Transfer to a microwave safe container and allow to cool completely. Store in the fridge if not using straight away.  Ganache can also be frozen for up to three months.  Wrap container in cling wrap to be sure of airtight seal and label.

For the chocolate cream

  • Place cream, cocoa and drinking chocolate into bowl of your stand mixer with whisk attached and start whipping on medium speed. Keep an eye on it (I accidently made chocolate butter one day when I got distracted- oops).
  • Whip cream til it is thick.  Transfer to an airtight container and store in fridge if not using straight away. 

Assembling the cake

  • Trim top of cake and then split into two layers.
  • Place bottom layer onto cake plate or stand. 
  • Dollop a generous amount of chocolate cream into centre of the cake and gradually spread out, not quite to the edge of the cake (when you put the top layer on the weight will squeeze out cream to the edge).
  • Cover with remaining cake layer and using both hands, gently press down to make sure the top layer is level.
  • Gently heat the ganache in microwave (50% power for 10 seconds) til it becomes spreadable.  If you melt it too much, just make a cup of tea and let it thicken up a little while you take a break.
  • Spoon some ganache into centre of cake and spread it out slowly, almost to the edge.  Do this a couple of times and make swirl marks with your palette knife.  Allow to set.  Voila!
  • Store cake in fridge and allow to come to room temperature before serving.  (This will ensure your ganache is glossy.)

*Additional baking times
For cupcakes, bake approx 24 minutes
For 9inch round layer, bake approx 50 minutes
For 11inch square layer, bake approx 45 minutes
For double quantity batter in 9inch round pan, bake approx 75 minutes



Anne said…
Now you're talking Di. That looks gorgeous! I've heard that recipe of Donna Hay's is a good one. Your cakes are always gorgeous and so are your photos. Do you have a separate area to take your photos, like a studio? They look so professional.

Anne @ Domesblissity
Di-licious said…
Thanks Anne - it's a great recipe for kids and big kids alike!

Re the photos, my set up is a little primitive at the moment. I use my kitchen bench which has lots of north facing windows. I have two giant tiles that I use as a background and 'floor' and I use a Speedlite flash to bounce light up to the ceiling to prevent shadows. It's fine so long as the sun isn't shining. Most of the time I shoot early morning or dusk.

Occasionally I'll take a dish to the hall table which is south facing and gets soft even light (dulce de leche shoot)but its limited by the number of angles that can be taken.

Mr Di-licious has promised to make me a light box one day, which will allow me to establish a consistent look to my photos. Until then I'll make do! :-D
Tina said…
You had me at triple chocolate! Donna Hay has a lot of nice recipes out there. This picture is awesome, thanks for sharing.
Di-licious said…
Thanks Tina. I thought triple chocolate would be provocative!
That's a great idea to make it ahead of time and trim it when it's still cold and frozen-that would make things a lot easier wouldn't it! This looks wonderful! :D
Oh I don't care about the wrote "triple" followed by "chocolate". I was had, right there. Lovely post. :)
Di-licious said…
@Lorraine - it's no secret that I love my freezer and as a busy mum, any short cuts I can make whilst staying true to my Baked from Scratch ethos - I'll do it!

Viviane - three thank-yous, dipped in dark chocolate, straight to you! x
briarrose said…
Mmmmm....triple chocolate. Love it!

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