I amalgamated this recipe after being fed up of certain cooks thinking that a tablespoon of cocoa powder added to a basic sponge cake constituted a chocolate cake.
It was no where close to what I considered a chocolate cake. I wanted something rich and decadent! The buttermilk in this recipe is crucial and it makes such a gorgeous light sponge. Just be sure that you only add the ½ cup required, in two quarter cup measures – I once added two half cups by mistake and out came a rather dense torte like sponge!
I specify galaxy chocolate in this recipe, because it really has to be. Any other chocolates are far too sweet or grainy.
The light sponge coupled with the thick icing makes for a fantastically gooey cake. Serve with tea, or ice cream for a dessert!
Makes 1 x 8 inch sandwich cake or 12 cupcakes
- 115g unsalted butter
- 50g galaxy chocolate
- 40g cocoa powder
- 100g plain flour
- 1 ½ tsp baking powder
- ¼ tsp salt
- 2 large free-range eggs
- 100g caster sugar
- 50g light brown sugar
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 120ml (½ cup) buttermilk
- 50g cocoa powder
- 50g softened butter
- 200g icing sugar (though you may need more)
- around 6 tbsp hot water
- Pre-heat oven to 170ºC and grease (with butter) and line two 20cm (8 inch) sandwich tins, or place your 12 cupcake cases in a muffin tin.
- Cube the butter and break the chocolate up into squares. Place in a small bowl over simmering water and stir continuously until the butter and chocolate has melted. Set aside to cool.
- In a separate mixing bowl, sift in the cocoa powder, flour, baking powder, and salt.
- In another large bowl, whisk together (by hand) the eggs, caster sugar, brown sugar, and vanilla extract. Add the melted butter and chocolate to the egg mix and whisk again.
- Add half the flour mix then half the buttermilk (¼ cup) to the mix and fold. Then add the rest of the flour mix and the remaining buttermilk and fold again until it is just combined, don’t be tempted to overwork it!
- Divide the mixture between the tins, or cupcake cases, and place in the middle shelf of the oven. Bake for around 15 minutes, or until a skewer comes out clean in the middle.
- Once baked, leave to cool and make the icing by beating the softened butter with the cocoa powder and a couple of tsp of hot water until smooth. Gradually add the icing sugar and beat until it reaches a dropping consistency. This icing tends to set quite firm, so don’t be afraid to make it a tiny bit looser than you usually would.
- When the cakes are cool, place the bottom layer on a plate and spread half of the icing on the top. Place the other sponge on top and spread the remaining icing on the top of the cake. If you are making cupcakes, spread a layer of the icing on the top of the cupcake and decorate with chocolate chips if you wish. Don’t try and pipe it, you don’t need that much of this icing on a cupcake.