Ultimate Chocolate Cake




  • 200g good quality dark chocolate, broken into pieces
  • 200g unsalted butter, roughly chopped
  • 1 Tbl instant coffee granules
  • 125ml water
  • 85g plain flour
  • 85g self raising flour
  • 1/4 tsp bicarbonate soda
  • 200g light brown/muscovado sugar
  • 200g caster sugar
  • 25g cocoa powder
  • 3 eggs
  • 75ml buttermilk*

*Note – if you don’t have buttermilk, add about 10ml of white vinegar to 65ml of milk and sit for 5 minutes. Instant buttermilk!


  1. Preheat oven to 160°C and grease and line a 22cm springform tin.
  2. In a heavy based saucepan over low heat, place the chocolate and butter. Mix the instant coffee into the water and add to the chocolate. Gently melt together and stir to combine. Remove from heat.
  3. While chocolate is melting, sift in the two flours, bicarb, two sugars and cocoa powder and whisk it to remove lumps. In a separate bowl, gently beat the eggs with the buttermilk.
  4. Pour into the flour bowl, the chocolate mix and the egg mix. Stir together until just combined and pour into cake tin.
  5. Bake for 80 – 90 minutes (1.20 – 1.5 hr) until skewer comes out clean and the centre springs back when lightly touched.
  6. Rest in tin for 5 minutes then remove springform ring cool completely on wire rack.


  • 200g good quality dark chocolate
  • 285ml pouring cream
  • 2 Tbl caster sugar
  1. Break the chocolate into pieces in a bowl and set aside. Heat up the cream and sugar in a pot and bring it to just under a boil. Pour the cream into the chocolate pieces and sit aside for a couple of minutes. When chocolate has melted, stir gently to combine into a silky ganache. Refrigerate until it has thickened but still loose enough to pour.

To assemble cake

  1. Divide cake into 3 even layers and use some ganache to sandwich the layers together. Pour the rest of the ganache over the top of the cake and use a palette knife to push it to the edges so it’d spill over and coat the sides. Use the palette knife to smooth ganache all over the cake and leave aside to set. Pour over another layer of ganache to smooth out the cake if it’s still bumpy (you’ll need a double batch of ganache for this). Decorate the top with chocolate curls (recipe to follow) or grated chocolate and dust with cocoa powder.

Chocolate Curls

  1. Melt 200g of chocolate in a double boiler over barely simmering water. When chocolate has melted, pour over a chopping board or marble slab and use palette knife to spread it in an even layer, about 5mm thickness.
  2. Leave aside to set (do NOT refrigerate it). Chocolate is ready when it has mostly set but not completely hard and still a little pliable. A good tip is make sure the chocolate has lost all the shine off the surface.
  3. Using a sharp cooks knife at an angle of about 30° to the chocolate (with blade facing away from you), scrape slowly along the surface (again away from you). It’ll make your life easier if you place the board against a wall opposite you to brace yourself.
  4. Make sure the knife is relatively flat to the chocolate as possible. If it’s angled too deep you’ll just end up scraping chunks off the board. Like I did numerous times




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