Decadent chocolate birthday cake

This chocolate cake can be semi-assembled and refrigerated up to 3 hours in advance. Pour over the room temperature ganache to serve.

Preparation Time
20 minutes

Cooking Time
40 minutes

Equipment
You‘ll need 2 x 20cm springform pans.

Ingredients (serves 6)
120g unsalted butter, chopped
220g (1 cup firmly packed) brown sugar
2 eggs
240g (1 cup) sour cream, at room temperature
1 tsp vanilla extract
225g (1 1/2 cups) plain flour
75g (3/4 cup) Dutch cocoa (see top tips)
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp bicarbonate of soda
Chocolate ganache
200g dark chocolate (55% cocoa solids), finely chopped
300ml thickened cream

Method
To make ganache, place chocolate in a large heatproof bowl. Place cream in a saucepan and bring to a simmer over medium heat. Pour cream over chocolate and stir until melted and combined. Divide ganache between 2 bowls. Cover with plastic wrap. Refrigerate 1 bowl. Stand second bowl at room temperature.

Preheat oven to 160°C. To make cake, grease pans and line with baking paper. Place butter and sugar in a saucepan. Cook, stirring, over medium heat for 3 minutes or until sugar dissolves and butter is melted. Remove from heat and whisk in eggs, sour cream and vanilla. Sift over flour with cocoa, baking powder and bicarbonate of soda, then whisk until smooth. Divide batter between pans.

Bake, swapping pans halfway, for 35 minutes or until a skewer inserted into centres comes out clean. Cool cakes in pans for 5 minutes. Turn out onto a wire rack to cool completely.

Remove ganache from fridge, stir until smooth, then spread over top of 1 cake. Top with second cake, then gently press together. Pour over room temperature ganache to serve.

Notes

Top tips: Dutch cocoa has a richer taste and deeper colour than regular cocoa. Available from delis and selected supermarkets.

Receipe courtesy of Masterchef Magazine.