Chocolate has the power to lift your mood and make everything better, it’s why we all love getting those lush boxes on special occasions, who ever said no to an assorted chocolate selection, no one ever. But when it comes to making a good chocolate cake we all want to be Nigella in the kitchen, and whip up a cake worthy of Mary Berry’s Bake off approval. So to honor national chocolate day, we’ve put together the easiest and tastiest chocolate cake recipes ever. There’s a recipe for everybody, whether your gluten intolerant or just a plain chocolate lover like us, we’ve got you covered. So grab your oven mitts and mixing bowls and try not to eat all the chocolate before putting the cake in the oven…
The Flourless Chocolate And Hazelnut Cake
For The Gluten Intolerant
500g chopped dark chocolate
6 eggs, at room temperature
2tbsp Frangelico or brandy
165g ground hazelnuts
250ml cream, whipped
Icing sugar to dust, and cream, to serve
Preheat the oven to 150°C/300°F/Gas 2. Grease a 20 cm (8 inch) round cake tin and line the base with baking paper.
Put the chocolate in a heatproof bowl. Half fill a saucepan with water, bring to the boil, then remove from the heat and sit the bowl over the pan (don’t let the bowl touch the water or the chocolate will get too
hot and seize). Stir occasionally until the chocolate melts.
Put the eggs in a heatproof bowl and add the Frangelico. Put the bowl over a pan of barely simmering water — don’t let it touch the water. Beat the eggs with electric beaters on high speed for 7 minutes, or until light and foamy. Remove from the heat.
Using a metal spoon, quickly and lightly fold the chocolate and ground hazelnuts into the eggs. Fold in the whipped cream and pour the mixture into the cake tin. Put the cake tin in a roasting tin and pour enough boiling water into the roasting tin to come halfway up the side of the cake tin. Bake for 1 hour, or until a skewer comes out clean when poked into the centre of the cake. Remove the cake tin from the water bath and cool to room temperature. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.
Turn out the cake onto a plate, remove the paper and cut into slices.
Dust with icing sugar and serve with cream.
The Easter Worthy Cake
If you want more than the standard hot crossed bun
425g butter, softened
175g caster sugar
3 organic free-range eggs
125g self-raising flour
50g cocoa powder, sifted
500g icing sugar
Few drops vanilla extract
200g dark chocolate, melted and cooled for 5 mins
Maltesers (optional) and flowers, to decorate
Heat oven to Mark 5/190°C.
Beat 175g of butter and the caster sugar together until pale and fluffy. Gradually beat in the eggs and fold in the flour and cocoa powder.
Pour the mix into 2 greased and lined 20cm sandwich tins and bake for 20 mins, or until a skewer inserted into the middle of the cakes comes out clean. Cool for 5 mins, before turning out onto a wire rack to cool.
Beat together the remaining butter with the icing sugar and vanilla extract; divide between 2 bowls. Stir the dark chocolate into one of the bowls (reserving a little for drizzling).
Spread plain butter cream over the top of one cake and sandwich together with the other cake. Spread the chocolate butter cream on top of the cake, drizzle with the reserved chocolate and decorate.
3. Triple Choc Brownies
For Brownie Lovers Everywhere
175g (6oz) butter
175g (6oz) plain chocolate, chopped
3 free-range eggs
200g (7oz) caster sugar
75g (3oz) plain flour
50g (2oz) cocoa powder
75g (3oz) white chocolate chips
75g (3oz) milk chocolate chips
23cm (9in) square cake tin, lined with non-stick baking parchment
Heat the oven to 180 C, 160 C fan, 350 F, gas 4. Place the butter and plain chocolate in a saucepan over a low heat and stir until melted and just smooth. Allow to cool.
Place the eggs and caster sugar in a bowl and whisk with an electric mixer until pale and creamy. Using a large metal spoon, fold in the chocolate and butter mixture, and sift in the flour and cocoa.
Stir in the white and milk chocolate chips, and then pour into the cake tin. Bake for 35 to 40 minutes, or until the mixture is set. Allow to cool, then cut into squares. Serve dusted with icing sugar, if you like.
4. Chocolate Hazelnut Kisses
Perfect Valentine’s Day Treat
285g (91/2oz) dark chocolate
225g (8oz) caster sugar
225g (8oz) softened unsalted butter
7 free-range eggs, separated
225g (8oz) ground hazelnuts
For the ganache
200g (7oz) dark chocolate
100g (4oz) unsalted butter
Hazelnuts, roasted and shelled, to decorate
You will need:
2 x 12-hole patty tins, lightly greased
Preheat the oven to 170 C, 150 C fan, 325 F, gas 3. Melt the chocolate in a bowl over a saucepan of simmering water, then leave to cool. Beat the sugar and butter until light and fluffy, and then add the egg yolks, beating well after each addition. Add the melted chocolate and mix well, then fold in the nuts, espresso and rum.
Whisk the egg whites until they form soft peaks. Fold a third into the chocolate mixture to loosen it, and then fold in the rest. Spoon the mixture into the patty tins and bake for 20 to 25 minutes until just cooked. They should be a little moist in the centre. Swap the trays over half way through. Cool for a few minutes in the tins, then invert on to a cooling rack.
For the ganache, melt the chocolate and butter over simmering water. Pour a little ganache over each cake and decorate with a roasted hazelnut. You can make these Hazelnut kisses the day before serving; store in a lidded container.
5. Microwave Chocolate Pots
For Those Super Quick Choc Fixes
4 tbsp plain flour
4 tbsp caster sugar
2 tbsp cocoa powder, plus ½ tsp to dust
2 tbsp (30ml) vegetable oil
3 tbsp (30ml) milk
4 tsp nutella
Berries & icing sugar
Mix the flour, sugar, cocoa and salt together in a medium bowl. Then add the egg, oil and milk and mix until well combined.
Place a large spoonful in each ramekin then place a teaspoon of nutella in the centre of each. Spoon over the remainder of the cake mixture and microwave for 45 secs – 1 minute. Its ready when it stops rising. Dust with the remaining cocoa powder and top with berries to serve.
6. Mocha Chocolate Bundt Cake
Great For A Post Dinner Treat For Guests
125g dark chocolate, broken into small pieces
250g unsalted butter, cut into cubes
1tsp vanilla extract
300g caster sugar
4 large free-range eggs
450g plain four
65g cocoa powder
1½tsp baking powder
1½tsp bicarbonate of soda
For the mocha glaze:
100g dark chocolate, roughly chopped
15g unsalted butter, cut into cubes
1tbsp cocoa powder
50ml strong coffee, cooled
3tbsp golden syrup
You will need:
22x9cm Bundt tin (or Kugelhopf mould), greased and lightly dusted with cocoa powder, if not a silicone mould
mini chocolate eggs, to decorate
Heat the oven to 170C, gas 3. Put the chocolate, butter, vanilla and 400ml hot water in a heavy-based saucepan over a low heat, allow to melt then mix to combine and set aside to cool slightly.
Using an electric whisk, beat the sugar with the eggs until thick and creamy, and then mix in the cooled chocolate mixture until just combined. In a separate bowl, mix the four with the cocoa powder, baking powder and bicarbonate of soda until combined, sift into the cake mixture and fold until smooth. Pour into the Bundt tin and bake for 55-60 minutes.
For the glaze, put all the ingredients in a heatproof bowl over a pan of barely simmering water, allow to gently melt then mix to combine. Remove from the heat and set aside briefly to cool slightly and firm up. Drizzle over the cooled cake, allow to set, and fill the centre with mini chocolate eggs.
7. Rocky Road Fudge
An Easy Classic…
150g (5oz) marshmallows
50g (2oz) shortbread biscuits, roughly chopped
50g (2oz) walnuts, roughly chopped
300g (10oz) plain chocolate
397g can of sweetened condensed milk
You will need:
8in 20cm square shallow cake tin lined with baking parchment or foil
Snip the marshmallows into pieces with wet scissors. Break the biscuits into small chunks, but not too finely, and chop the walnuts.
Place the chocolate in a bowl over a pan of gently simmering water, but do not allow the bowl to touch the water. Stir gently until the chocolate has melted (or melt in the microwave for 2 mins)
Stir the condensed milk into the chocolate and add the marshmallows, biscuits and walnuts, stir well then pour into the prepared tin. Leave in the fridge to set for at least 2 hours, preferably overnight, then cut into pieces. It will keep in a tin for up to 1 week- if you can resist it that long!
Hands off the chocolate!