SMiLes by Meg

Simple Chocolate Cake

I know that today is National Ice Cream Day. And that it’s ridiculously hot up and down the east coast, and no one wants to turn on their oven. But I have ignored both of those things, and today I bring you something that you should start just keeping all of the ingredients on hand for: Simple Chocolate Cake.

I’ve made other chocolate cakes in the past, but this one has fewer than 10 ingredients, can be made in one bowl, and can be dressed up as much as you want, or left alone without any fuss. It is, of course, an Ottolenghi recipe, and though he suggests it served with chocolate ganache and espresso cinnamon mascarpone cream, I’m just dusting it with some cocoa powder.

Because really, when I bake a cake that is only going to go to the office, and not being served anywhere else, mascarpone cream and chocolate ganache seem a bit over the top. The beauty of this cake? It doesn’t need anything to make it worthwhile – it stands alone in its fudgy goodness.

Start by bringing the water to a boil. While it’s boiling, put the espresso powder into a large heatproof bowl, and prepare the butter and chocolate by cutting/chopping into 3/4-inch pieces and placing in a separate bowl.

When the water is boiling, pour it over the espresso powder and stir to dissolve.

Immediately add the butter and chocolate and stir until smooth and melted.

Add the sugar and whisk until sugar dissolves.

As you can see, my whisk refuses to stand up in my biggest bowl. But at this stage, it also didn’t touch the batter when it fell, so I let it be.

Add the eggs and vanilla extract and whisk to combine.

In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, cocoa powder and salt.

Whisk into the batter until smooth. It will be liquidy. That’s OK.

Pour the batter into a 9-inch springform pan sprayed with cooking spray. Place on a baking sheet and bake at 350°F for 1 hour, until a skewer comes out clean and the top begins to crack.

Allow to sit in the pan for 20 minutes before removing to a wire rack to cool completely.

The 20 minutes gives it time to settle back down, which leaves you with a surprisingly well-shaped cake.

I may start only baking cakes in springform pans from now on. I really can’t get over how perfect it is.

Anyways, if you want to get fancy, do your thing. But I’m just dusting mine with some cocoa powder, putting it in an airtight container, and bringing it to work.

Enjoy!

Simple Chocolate Cake

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup + 1 1/2 tablespoons butter, softened and cut into 3/4-inch cubes
  • 7 ounces dark chocolate, chopped into 3/4-inch pieces
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons instant espresso powder
  • 1 1/2 cups boiling water
  • 1 1/4 cups (250g) sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 3/4 cups + 2 tablespoons (240g) self-rising flour
  • 1/3 cup (30g) cocoa powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

Directions:

  1. Bring the water to a boil. While heating up, put the espresso powder into a large bowl.
  2. Pour boiling water over espresso powder and stir to dissolve. Immediately stir in butter and dark chocolate, continuing to stir until melted and smooth.
  3. Whisk in sugar until dissolved.
  4. Whisk in eggs and vanilla extract until incorporated.
  5. In a separate bowl, whisk together flour, cocoa powder and salt.
  6. Add to melted chocolate mixture and whisk to combine.
  7. Pour batter into a greased 9-inch springform pan. Place on a baking sheet and bake for 1 hour at 350°F, or until a skewer comes out clean and the top begins to crack.
  8. Remove from oven and allow to cool in pan for 20 minutes before removing from pan and allowing to cool completely on wire rack.
  9. Dust with cocoa powder.

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