Cooking with.. Yotam Ottolenghi: Chocolate Birthday Cake

Hey kids!

Sorry for our absence but it was a pretty busy few weeks (in a good way). Berlin, Tiago’s Birthday, friends came over and a week later family came to visit but here we are to share with you the recipe for this Chocolate Birthday Cake. ‘Cooking with.. Yotam Ottolenghi: Chocolate Birthday Cake‘ is the first post of our series of ‘Cooking with..’ here on the blog, where we grab recipes from books we love, tried them and then ate them share them here with you!

Tiago loves cakes, loves chocolate, loves chocolate on cake, loves cake on chocolate and loves chocolate cake. Got it? Basically, anything that involves chocolate and cake so last year I (Nuno) promised that for 2018 I would bake him a proper chocolate cake (you can last year’s cake here).

Why this one from Ottolenghi‘s Sweet cookbook? First, it’s pretty easy (we like to keep things simple in the kitchen). Second, it’s said to be ‘World’s Best Chocolate Cake‘ (by Ottolenghi himself). Third, as soon as Tiago saw it on the book could not stop thinking about it. So there you have, 3 reason to bake this cake and a fourth one – IT IS THAT GOOD!

chocolate-birthday-cakeChocolate Birthday Cake

1 cake

There are two small changes to this recipe: first, the cooking chocolate is 85% cocoa instead of 70% (at Tiago’s request) and second, we didn’t add the 2 tsp. vanilla extract as in the original recipe. Then after baking the cake we decided to top the chocolate with our favourite combination – greek yoghurt and mascarpone with fresh berries!

ingredients (for the cake):

  • 250 g unsalted butter, at room temperature, cut into 2 cm cubes, plus extra for greasing
  • 200 g dark cooking chocolate (85% cocoa), chopped into pieces
  • 1 and 1/2 tsp. instant coffee granules, dissolved into 350 ml boiling water
  • 250 g caster sugar
  • 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • 240 g self-raising sifted flour
  • 30 g cocoa powder
  • 1/4 tsp. salt

Preheat the over to 175ºC. Grease two 20 cm round cake tins and line with baking paper, then set aside.
Place the butter, chocolate and hot coffee in a large heatproof bowl and mix well until everything is melted, combined and smooth. Involve the sugar by hand until dissolved in the mixture. Add the eggs and whisk again until the mixture is smooth. On the side mix the flour, the cocoa powder and salt and then whisk into the chocolate mix.
Pour the mixture into the two prepared cake tins and bake in the over for about 50-60 minutes or until a skewer is inserted and comes out clean.

Notes on baking this cake:

  • you don’t require a hand mixer for this cake;
  • the batter is liquid – don’t freak out!;
  • the top will crack a little but it’s supposed to.

ingredients (for the topping):

250 g mascarpone cheese
250 g natural greek yoghurt
1 tsp. powdered sugar
400 g fresh berries – raspberries, blueberries and strawberries

Mix the mascarpone cheese, greek yoghurt and powdered sugar in a bowl and beat it until well involved and creamy, for about 2 minutes.

assembling the cake:

The cake layers must be around 3 cm tall. They don’t need to be perfect, but relatively uniform.
Place the first cake layer on a cake stand, spread half of the mascarpone and yoghurt mixture in an uniform and flat way and place some berries to cover the surface. Place the second cake layer on top, spread the rest of the mascarpone mixture and on top add the remaining berries.
Place in the fridge until serving time.

Enjoy it (cause we certainly did  – at least with friends around there was plenty of us to eat it all!) and see you next week!