Come over and I'll make us some coffee. We can sit and look out at the garden and talk about stuff. We'll laugh, we'll cry a little and we'll eat cake. Won't it be fun?
Rich Chocolate Cake with Creamy Vanilla Filling and Ganache
filling adapted from here
For the Cake:
45g dark chocolate, chopped
180ml strong brewed coffee, hot
320g caster sugar
180g plain flour
90g cocoa powder
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
2 eggs (about 55g each)
90ml light olive oil
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
For the Filling:
125ml full cream milk
2 tablespoons plain flour
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
115g unsalted butter
115g caster sugar
For the Ganache:
125g dark chocolate, chopped
125ml thickened cream
10g unsalted butter
Make the Cake:
Preheat the oven to 160C. Grease and line two 20cm round cake pans with baking paper. Set aside.
Put the chopped chocolate into a heatproof bowl and pour the hot coffee over it and stir until the chocolate has melted. Leave to cool slightly.
In a separate bowl, sift the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, salt together and add the sugar.
In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the eggs for 2 minutes. Add the oil, buttermilk and vanilla and mix to combine. Gradually add the dry ingredients and beat on low until just combined. Add the chocolate mixture and mix until just combined.
Pour the batter evenly into the prepared pans and bake for 30 - 35 minutes, or until a skewer inserted into the centre of the cakes comes out clean. Leave the cakes to cool completely in the pans.
Make the Filling:
Put the milk in a small saucepan and whisk in the flour. Whisk until smooth, then put the pan on a low heat. Continue whisking until the mixture becomes very thick. Remove from the heat and leave to cool to room temperature.
In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter and sugar together for about 8 - 10 minutes. You want the sugar to dissolve. To test, dip a finger into the mixture and rub it between the tips of your finger and thumb. If there's any graininess, continue to beat until it's gone. Add the cooled milk mixture and vanilla and beat until it resembles whipped cream.
Make the Ganache:
Put the chopped chocolate into a heatproof bowl. Set aside.
Put the cream and butter into a small saucepan, bring it to a boil, then pour it over the chopped chocolate. Leave for 2 minutes, then stir until smooth. Leave to cool to a pouring consistency.
Put one of the cakes on a cake stand. Spoon the filling on top and use a palette knife to spread it neatly and evenly to about 1cm from the edges. Put the second cake on top, sandwiching the filling between the two cakes and press down gently to get the filling to spread right to the edges.
Pour the ganache over the top of the cake, letting it drip seductively over the edges.