My favourite chocolate cake

I wonder how many chocolate cake recipes are out there? I have seen many recipes called “The best chocolate cake ever.” And I believe every one of them. The world is a good place when you know so many good things exist.
This recipe is my favourite. It is the chocolate cake  I would like for my birthday cake. The cake itself is dark, moist and deeply chocolatey. It is not sweet and has all the characteristics of a good slab of chocolate. 

The icing is something out of this world.  It is a chocolate custard but is silky and thick enough to be called a frosting. It can be piped. 
Together, this cake and custard end up tasting like a dessert cake. It is rich because of the deeply chocolate taste. I have made this cake into cupcakes and it is wonderful. 

The chocolate custard takes a few hours to cool so start making the custard first. Cover with a film of plastic over the top of the custard to prevent a skin from forming and leave to cool completely in the fridge.

thick, rich, dark and luscious chocolate custard cream

Chocolate custard

  • 75g cornflour
  • 600ml milk
  • 300g caster sugar
  • 1 TB golden syrup
  • 100g sifted cocoa powder
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 100g butter
  • Blend the cornflour with 200ml of milk until smooth, and set aside.
  • Add the remaining 400ml of milk, sugar, golden syrup and cocoa to a saucepan over high heat and whisk well together until smooth.
  • Add the cornflour mixture and bring to the boil, whisking constantly.
  • When the custard thickens it will be a rich and dark colour and have a silky texture.
  • Remove from heat and add the butter and vanilla, stirring, until everything melts.
  • Turn over custard into a bowl and cover the surface of the custard with a film of plastic wrap. This is to prevent a skin from forming on the surface of the cake.
  • The custard can be left to completely cool at room temperature or left in the fridge.
  • When ready to use. give the custard a good mix to break any soft lumps that may have  formed.

Ingredients for Cake

  • 180g butter
  • 300g caster sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 50g cocoa powder
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 280g cake flour
  • 200ml milk
  • 1 tsp vanilla
cake can be baked in 2, 3 or 4 pans

Method to make cake

  • Preheat oven to 180 degrees celsius.
  • Grease the sides and the line the bottoms of 2 or 3 x 20cm round cake pans.
  • Cream the butter and sugar with an electric beater until light and creamy.
  • Add the eggs one a time and beat well after each addition.
  • Add vanilla.
  • Sift dry ingredients.
  • Add the dry ingredients in 2 batches to the creamed mixture. 
  • Mix to combine all ingredients.
  • Finally add the milk and give a final mix so that all ingredients are well incorporated.
  • Divide mixture into pans depending on whether you are using 2 or 3 pans.
  • Bake for 25-35 minutes until the cake layers are well risen, springy in the centre and coming away from the sides of the cake pans.
  • Leave to cool for about 5. minutes before turning out onto a wire rack to cool completely.


Assembling the cake – 1 way

  • If you have baked this cake into 2 layers, cut each cake layer into 2 layers so that you end up with 4 layers.
  • Take one layer and crumb very finely. This will serve as a crumb coating over the custard.
  • Take one of the remaining cake layers and lay on a flat cake plate or board.
  • Add about a quarter of the custard filling onto the layer and spread evenly. Repeat this with the next 2 layers of cake until you have a chocolate cake in 3 layers sandwiched with the custard filling.
  • Use the remaining custard to frost all around the  cake.
  • Once down, gently press the cake layer crumbs all round and on top of the cake.
  • Chill the cake to allow to set.
  • Remove from the fridge about half an hour before serving.


………another way

  • If you don’t want to crumb one layer, sandwich all 3 or 4 layers of cake with  the custard filling and coat the the cake with the remaining custard.
  • In other words, treat this cake like you would any cake and use the custard as a normal frosting.


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