This chocolate cake recipe is a great start to mastering sponges, some high consideration is given to technique and ingredient makeup.
If you've had trouble making cakes before, I hope this recipe can give a great result by following the details carefully.
Important notes before you begin
To achieve a consistent results, the following rules are critical:
- Weigh all ingredients, everything will be expressed in metric grams / ml.
- Equal parts method, ensure the same weight eggs / flour / wet.
- Room Temperature, all ingredients (including milk) are at room temperature.
- Substitutions. For a first attempt, stick with the given ingreidents. Only after you perfect a cake, then start switching out.
- Digital scales, for optimal accuracy always use digital scales.
- Butter not at room temperature? Boil a kettle and pour the water into a bowl, leave to sit for a minute and discard the water. Dice the butter on a small plate and place the bowl over the plate.
- Eggs not at room temperature? SubREPLACE the eggs in a bowl of warm water for 10 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 175 degrees C (155 Fan), Gas Mark 4.
(This was baked in a modern fan oven, checking temperature with an oven thermometer is highly recommended. Oven thermometers are both cheap and incredibly useful in domestic ovens).
This recipe is based on five large eggs, this should give enough quantity for two sponge layers.
Crack all of your eggs into a bowl and note down the weight. Next you'll need to adjust the quantity of the other ingredents to match.
In the recipe, we'll be using a sample *total egg weight (cracked) 340g*, weights will be rounded appropriately.
Prepare the quantities in advance for the different phases, ensuring everything is at room temperature.
Sugar / Fats
51g - Cocoa Powder (15% WEIGHT)
255g - Golden Caster Sugar (75% WEIGHT)
92g - Unsalted Butter (27% WEIGHT)
78g - Vegetable Oil (23% WEIGHT)
330g - Plain Flour (97% WEIGHT)
10g Corn Flour (3% WEIGHT) [If omitting, just make use 100% weight plain flour]
1. tsp - Salt
1. tsp - Baking Powder
340g - Whole Milk (100% WEIGHT)
Cake Tin Prep
Lightly grease your cake tins and line the bottom of the tin with a piece of baking partchment.
( Top tip: Line the outside of the tin with baking strips. These can be purchased, alternatively cut a tea towel into strips.
Each strip will need to be slightly wet, use safety pins to fasten and wrap along the edge of the tin. )
Place all the Sugar / Fats ingredients into stand mixer, start on a low speed for 10 seconds (to allow everything to mix together).
Moving to a higher speed for 2 minutes.
Gradually fold the Eggs into the mixture in increments, don't fold the entire egg mixture at once.
Sift the Dry ingredients into a different bowl.
Alternatively add the Dry and Milk into the mixture and mix briefly each time an ingredient is added. Suggested in quarter measures (i.e 85g dry, then 85g milk).
Add 1. tsp vanilla extract and mix briefly.
Pour the mixture into the prepared cake tins, filling as high as 3/4 of the tin.
Bake in the oven for 30 minutes, the time will vary for your oven. Use a toothpick to ensure the sponge is baked.
De-pan onto a cooling rack immediately and leave to cool completly before decorating.
Melt 50g of high Cocoa (Above 60%) content dark chocolate, place the chocolate in a bowl above boiling water. Keep stirring until liquid and set aside.
Mix the following ingredients in a bowl.
25g of Cocoa powder into the dark chocolate.
125g of unsalted butter into the mixture.
160g of icing sugar.
1 egg yolk.
1. tsp vanilla paste / 2. tsp vanilla extract.
1. tablespoon caster sugar.
Add the melted chocolate into the mix gradually.