The Ultimate Chocolate Cake
This is the cake that will make you a star. It will become your secret weapon for dinner parties and special occasions and you'll never look at another chocolate cake recipe again.
3 cups self-raising flour
2 cups sugar
1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
3/4 cup good-quality cocoa
2 tsp baking soda, sifted
200 g butter, softened
1 cup milk, buttermilk, or plain yoghurt
3 large eggs
1 cup boiling hot coffee
Preheat oven to 160°C fanbake.
Grease a 30cm-diameter springform cake tin and line the base with baking paper.
Place all ingredients except Chocolate Ganache and raspberries in a large bowl, electric mixer or food processor and mix or blitz until the ingredients are combined and the butter is fully incorporated.
Pour into prepared tin and smooth top.
Bake for 1 hour or until a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean.
Allow to cool in the tin.
When you are ready to ice the cake, slather chilled Chocolate Ganache over the top.
Top with fresh raspberries and serve.
To make chocolate cupcakes, preheat oven to 160°C and line 24 muffin pans with paper cases. Prepare cake batter according to the instructions for The Ultimate Chocolate Cake (see above). Spoon mixture into the paper cases, filling about two thirds full. Bake for 25-30 minutes. Cool before icing. For icing, beat 200g firm cream cheese with 100g softened butter until smooth. Gradually beat in 2 cups icing sugar until smooth and creamy. Add a few drops of food colouring to get the desired colour. Icing can be stored in the fridge in a sealed container for up to a week. Pipe onto the cakes and top with confectionery sprinkles. Makes 24.
If not using at once, the cake will keep for about a week in a sealed container in the fridge. You can also freeze it uniced.