Easy Chocolate Cake


Chocolate Sponge:
4 Eggs
4 Egg Yolks
220 g (8 oz) Sugar
1 pinch of Salt
180 g (6.5 oz) Flour
40 g (1.5 oz) Cocoa Powder
2 teaspoons Vanilla Sugar
70 g (2.5 oz) Butter
Rum Simple Syrup:
120 ml (4 oz) Water
120 g (4 oz) Sugar
30 ml (1 oz) Rum
Caramel Simple Syrup:
100 g (4 oz) Sugar
0.5 teaspoon Lemon Juice
100 ml (4 fl oz) Water
Homemade Condensed Milk:
1 litre (1 quart) Milk
180 grams (6.5 oz) Sugar
Easy Chocolate Cream:
500 ml (1 pint) Whipping Cream
200 g (7 oz) Condensed Milk
30 g (1 oz) Cocoa Powder
Chocolate Ganache Glaze:
250 g (9 oz) Chocolate
250 ml (9 fl oz) Heavy cream

Preheat oven to 190°C. (375°F.)

Make the chocolate sponge:
Sift flour and cocoa powder into a bowl.
Place eggs, egg yolks and sugar in a bowl, and set over simmering water.
Whisking constantly, bring the egg mixture to 43°C. (110°F.).
Transfer to the bowl of a stand mixer; add a pinch of salt and vanilla sugar.
Whip on high speed until increased in volume and stiff.
Add the sifted flour and cocoa powder into the egg mixture, in 3 batches, folding gently after each addition.
Mix some of the cake batter with melted butter, and fold into the cake batter until incorporated.
Transfer to a 26 cm (10”) cake pan, greased with butter and lined with parchment paper.
Bake at 190°C. (375°F.) for about 30 minutes.
Test for doneness – an inserted skewer should come out clean.
Cool slightly, invert onto a rack, un-mold, and cool completely for a few hours.

Make the rum simple syrup:
Place sugar and water in a saucepan.
Bring to boil, stirring to dissolve the sugar.
Remove from the heat, and cool to room temperature.
Add rum and stir.

Make the Caramel Simple Syrup:
Place sugar and ½ teaspoon lemon juice in a saucepan.
Melt the sugar and cook to a deep umber color.
Remove from the heat, and gradually add warm water, stirring constantly with a whisk until combined.
Cool completely.

Homemade Condensed Milk:
Combine milk and sugar in a saucepan.
Bring to boil, and cook over low heat stirring occasionally, until cooked down to 400 g (14 oz).

Trim any uneven parts from the sides and top of the cake.
Slice into three slices.
Make the condensed milk and cocoa frosting:
Mix together condensed milk and cocoa powder until smooth.
Add heavy cream and whip on high speed until stiff.
Strain and cool. The sweetened condensed milk is ready to use.

Assemble the cake:
Brush the first layer of cake with 1/3 of the rum syrup, and spread 1/3 of the chocolate frosting.
Repeat with 2 more layers of cake.
Smooth the sides and top of the cake using a long metal spatula, and refrigerate the cake for a few hours.

Make the chocolate glaze (ganache):
Bring heavy cream to simmer.
Pour over chopped dark chocolate, and stir until melted and smooth.
The glaze should be at room temperature, and runny enough to pour over the cake.
You could cover the cake with a different glaze, like chocolate mirror glaze recipe or shiny caramel glaze.
To glaze a cake, place it on a rack set over a sheet tray.
Pour the glaze over the cake, and use a long spatula to spread the glaze over the entire cake.
Transfer to a serving plate, and refrigerate the cake.
Pass leftover glaze through a sieve, cover and refrigerate for a few hours.

To decorate the cake, fill a parchment paper cone with 20 g (0.7 oz) melted chocolate.
Remove the cake from the refrigerator, and pipe stems.
Remove the ganache (chocolate glaze) from the refrigerator and whip until stiff.
Transfer to a pastry bag fitted with a small star tip, and pipe flowers.
Fill a parchment paper cone with 10 g melted white chocolate, and pipe a dot inside each chocolate flower.
The cake is ready to serve.