Chocolate Ganache Cake

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“I always use Bournville for this cake. I find it has just the right balance of sweetness and cocoa flavour,
and it’s a very stable chocolate that is easy to work with.”
Paul Hollywood, ‘How to Bake’

I make this cake as an alternative to Christmas cake, as many guests do not like dried fruit, particularly children. So it normally sits alongside the fruity alternative on my Christmas table. It also works well as a birthday cake.

Serves 10
CAKE: 170g (6oz) butter, soft & cut into cubes * 170g (6oz) golden caster sugar * 4 eggs, beaten * 200g (7oz) self-raising flour * 1 tbsp cocoa powder * 1 tsp baking powder * 55g (2oz) dark chocolate, melted

GANACHE: 500ml (1 pint) double cream * 2 tbsp golden caster sugar * 370g (13oz) dark chocolate, broken into pieces (or you could have a mixture of dark and milk chocolate)

Pre-heat the oven to 180°C/350°F/Gas 4. Grease a 20cm/8″ springform cake tin and line with baking paper. Beat the butter and sugar until lightly fluffy. Gradually add the eggs, beating well after each addition. Sieve together the cocoa, flour and baking powder then mix well. Fold into the cake mixture. Fold in the melted chocolate. Pour the cake mixture into the cake tin and level the top. Bake in the oven for 40 minutes or until the top is springy to touch. Leave to cool in the tin for 5 minutes, then turn onto a wire rack. When completely cool, cut the cake into two layers.

To make the ganache, place the cream and sugar in a pan and bring to the boil, stirring. Add the chocolate and stir until melted and combined. Pour into a mixing bowl and whisk for 5 minutes or until the ganache is light and fluffy. Spread one-third of the ganache on each of the insides of the cake and sandwich together. Then spread the remaining ganache all over the top and sides of the cake.

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