In general I usually shy away from chocolate cakes, opting for a lemon or Victoria sponge instead, so I’ve tried to develop a chocolate cake recipe that works.
I love Nutella more than life so here I’ve added in chopped, roasted hazelnuts to create a similar flavour and the addition of coffee makes the whole thing richer and balances off the sweetness of the chocolate flavour.
I also have a weird phobia of dry cakes so with this one I created a coffee-flavoured sugar syrup which I poured onto the cake once it had come out of the oven to make the texture squidgy and brownie-like.
It’s pretty intense – you won’t manage more than once slice in one sitting – but it provides the right amount of everything you need from a chocolate coffee hit.
125g self raising flour
75g cocoa powder
125g caster sugar
125g unsalted butter, at room temperature
100g chopped, roasted, hazelnuts (save a handful for the decoration)
50ml espresso (or strong coffee)
2 large eggs, at room temperature
50ml milk, whole is best but semi skimmed will do
100g unsalted butter, very soft
500g icing sugar
50g cocoa powder
2 tablespoons espresso (or strong coffee)
25g cocoa powder
100ml espresso (or strong coffee)
100g caster sugar
Preheat the oven to 190C/180 fan/Gas 4 and line a loaf tin with parchment paper.
Mix the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy and doubled in size, around three minutes with an electric whisker or five without. If using an electric mixer make sure you scrape down the sides of the bowl so all the ingredients are well mixed in. Add in the eggs one at a time until the mixture is completely combined.
Sieve the flour, cocoa powder and coffee into the mixture and carry on stirring until everything is combined. As you’re mixing, slowly pour in the milk and then the hazelnuts, and when the entire mixture is combined, pour into the baking tin.
Pop the cake into the oven for 45 minutes, it’s done once it springs back when you gently press it, or a sharp knife inserted into the cake comes out clean.
While the cake is cooking make the coffee syrup. Boil 100ml of espresso (or strong coffee) in a pan along with 100ml caster sugar until it reduces by around a half ( around five minutes).
When you take the cake out of the oven, prick it all over with a skewer or sharp knife and then pour the syrup over the top of the cake.
Leave it for at least an hour before removing it from the tin. During this time make your icing. Beat together the butter, cocoa powder, coffee and sugar until it forms stiff peaks.
Spread a thick layer of butter cream on top of the cake and cover with a sprinkle of hazelnuts and then dig in!