Cake is not really a thing I would cross the Kalahari barefoot for – with two possible exceptions: 1) cheesecake, but only a decent oven-baked one and… 2) chocolate cake – the darker and richer, the better. Chocolate cake recipes made with hot milk are not exactly something new. Every self-respecting church fête baker has a trusted recipe that’s mostly guarded like the crown jewels. Well I don’t believe in that. Today I’m sharing my gran’s can’t-fail version. She would have been 102 this month. The web wasn’t even a thing yet when she passed away, but I bet she’d be tickled pink that her recipe lives on in the blogosphere.

Gran would have sandwiched her chocolate cake layers together with cooked condensed milk or apricot jam. The top would have been liberally spread with chocolate buttercream icing. But I spotted sweet dark purple figs in Checkers and couldn’t resist them. I thought good old fig jam and whipped cream would be a lovely sandwich idea. And instead of buttercream I pour over chocolate ganache, before I tumble on the entire tub of figs.

All you need is…

FOR THE CAKE
3 extra large eggs
1¼ cups sugar
1½ cups cake flour
5 tbs cocoa powder
3 tsp baking powder
pinch of salt
¾ cup of milk
3 tbs butter
FOR THE GANACHE
½ cup milk chocolate, chopped
½ cup quality dark chocolate, chopped
third of a cup of cream
FOR ASSEMBLY
fig jam (or apricot)
1 cup cream, whipped with 2 tbs castor sugar

Preheat the oven to 190 degrees Celsius (on normal setting, not thermo). Whisk together the sugar and eggs until it’s pale and creamy and the sugar dissolved. (To check, simply rub it between your fingers, if you feel sugar granules, keep on whisking.) Sift together the dry ingredients 2-3 times. (There’s no lazy-cook shortcut here, you want to incorporate as much air as possible.) Gently fold the flour into the egg mixture. Heat the milk and butter until just under boiling point and stir into the batter. Divide evenly between two 18cm non-stick, springform cake tins sprayed with non-stick cooking/baking spray. Give the tins a gentle whack on your kitchen table to encourage any small air bubbles out. Bake for 25-30 minutes. Do NOT open the oven before 25 minutes. After this it is safe to test it by inserting a thin skewer. If it comes out clean, it’s done. If not, give it another five minutes. Remove from tins and allow chocolate sponge to cool on wire racks.

To make the ganache, heat the cream until just under boiling point (I simply pop it in my micro) and stir in the chocolate until completely melted and glistening. Allow ganache to cool to room temp. Spread sponge layers with jam and cream. Place on final layer, pour over ganache and top with figs. (TIP: If preferred, you could replace the fig jam and fresh figs with cherry jam and fresh cherries.)

serves

8

prep

20 min

bake

30 min

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Ook beskikbaar in: Afrikaans