Ice cold days, as we have just had this past weekend, are ideal times for staying in a hot kitchen and baking delicious cakes.  This cake is based on one from our favourite food magazine, Saveur. It uses chocolate four ways: ganache (chocolate cream frosting), chocolate cake layers, shavings, and cocoa.

For the cake

11T  unsalted butter, softened
1½ cups flour
170g semisweet chocolate, preferably 54% cocoa, chopped
½ cup castor sugar
7 eggs, separated
½t  salt
1 cup sugar
½ cup dark rum

For the ganache

680g semisweet chocolate, preferably  54% cocoa, roughly chopped
3 cups double cream
Chocolate shavings
Cocoa powder, for dusting

For the cake

  1. Heat oven to 170°C. Line bottom of a 22cm springform pan with parchment paper. Grease the pan with 1T of the butter. Add ¼ cup of the flour and  shake to  coat the inside. Invert and tap out excess flour; set the pan aside.
  2. Set a medium bowl over a a large pot of simmering water, ensuring that the bowl does not come into contact with the water. Add chocolate and melt. Set aside to cool.
  3. In a large bowl, beat the cooled melted chocolate, butter, and sugar with a hand held mixer on a medium speed until pale and fluffy, about 2 minutes.
  4. Add the egg yolks one at a time, beating well after each addition.
  5. Sift in the flour and salt, and mix until just combined. Set the batter aside.
  6. In another very clean bowl, beat egg whites on high speed until frothy.
  7. Sprinkle in ¼ cup sugar and beat to form stiff, glossy peaks.
  8. Using a rubber spatula, fold egg whites into the cake batter.
  9. Pour the batter into a prepared pan and smooth the top with the rubber spatula.
  10. Bake until a toothpick inserted in the cake comes out clean, about 1 hour.
  11. Transfer to a rack and allow to cool.
  12. Invert the cake, and cut horizontally into 3 even layers.
  13. Dissolve remaining sugar and ¼ cup water over medium-high heat. Cook, whisking occasionally, until the syrup has slightly thickened, about 5 minutes. Remove from the heat,  stir in the rum and cool.

For the ganache

  1. Place the chocolate in bowl of a standing mixer.
  2. Bring cream to a boil and pour over the chocolate. Sit for 5 minutes to cool slightly. Using a rubber spatula, combine the chocolate and cream. Allow to cool, stirring occasionally, until ganache reaches room temperature.
  3. Chill until ganache has the consistency of peanut butter, about 2 hours. Transfer to a mixer bowl, fitted with a whisk and whip on medium speed, 15–20 seconds.
  4. Place bottom cake layer on a cardboard cake circle. Using a pastry brush, brush the cake with one-third of rum syrup. Using a butter knife, spread 1 cup of the ganache evenly across cake top.
  5. Top with second cake layer, one-third of rum syrup and 1 cup of the ganache; repeat process with remaining layer. Spread remaining ganache over cake sides.
  6. Press the chocolate shavings onto the sides.
  7. Using a fine sieve, sprinkle cocoa powder over the top of the cake.

For more delicious chocolate cake ideas see the Wickedfood website, click the links below:

Chocolate and chestnut terrine

Chocolate brownies

White Chocolate Cheesecake

Flourless chocolate cake

Wickedfood Cooking School runs cooking classes throughout the year at its purpose-built Johannesburg cooking studio. Cookery classes are run in the mornings and evenings 7 days a week (subject to a minimum of 12 people). The venue is also popular for corporate events and private functions – teambuilding cooking classes, birthdays, kitchen teas, and dinner parties with a difference. Our cooking lessons are hands-on, where every person gets to participate in the preparation of the dishes. They are also a lot of fun where you not only learn new skills, but get to meet people with similar interests. For corporate groups and team building cooking classes these events are a novel way of creating staff interaction or entertaining clients.