Ingredients (all at room temperature)
Makes 1 x 8” Cake or 24 x cupcakes. See my handy table at the bottom of the page for other yields.
- 180g Salted butter (preferably at room temperature, if not zap it in the microwave till its about 10% runny)
- 300g Caster Sugar
- 6 x Large free range eggs
- 300g dark brown sugar
- 180g plain chocolate
- 270mls milk
- 400g plain flour
- 4.5tbsp cocoa powder
- 1.5tsp baking powder
- 1.5tsp baking soda
You will also need:
- 4 x loose bottomed sandwich pans/2 x 12 hole muffin tins
- Greaseproof paper
- Cake release spray/butter and flour for greasing
- Bake even strips (optional, see this post for benefits)
- Ice cream scoop if you’re making the cupcakes (optional)
- Deep heavy bottomed saucepan
- Preheat the oven to 170°
- Grease and line your cake tins. To do this I spray the tin with cake release and line the bottom with a circle of greaseproof paper. It’s much quicker/less faff. If you don’t have the spray you can use regular butter and flour round the edges. Whatever you do, it’s important to still line the bottom. If you’re making cupcakes, pop the cases into your muffin tins. (definitely muffin tins, not fairy cake tins as they’re much shallower)
- Sift together your flour, cocoa powder, baking powder and bicarbonate of soda into a bowl.
- If the butter isn’t at room temperature, melt it in a microwave until softened (about 10% liquid).
- In a deep, heavy bottomed pan, place your chocolate, milk and dark brown sugar.
- Bring your mix to the boil on a medium heat, occasionally stirring to make sure the mixture doesn’t burn. Once your mixture has boiled turn it off and remove from the heat. It can look a little bit separated sometimes but don’t worry.
- Whilst your chocolate mix is heating, use the paddle attachment on your mixer to cream the butter and caster sugar together on high speed until light and fluffy.
- Crack your eggs into a separate bowl and lightly beat, turn your mixer to low speed and gradually add them to your butter/sugar mix until well combined. Scrape down the sides of your mixing bowl occasionally to make sure everything is well incorporated.
- Add your flour mixture 1/2 at a time and mix until combined.
- While your chocolate mixture is still hot, carefully add it to your batter whilst your electric mixer is on low speed.
- Mix until combined but no more.
Spoon the mixture into the cupcake cases or cake tins until two-thirds full and bake in the preheated oven for 35-45 minutes for cake layers or 20-25 minutes for cupcakes. Turn everything 2/3rds of the way through to ensure they bake evenly and non of the edges burn.
5 minutes before the baking times up, open the oven a crack to check on them. Unlike most cakes I find the sponge doesn’t necessarily bounce back when touched and if it does you’ve likely over done it. Poke the sponges and if the bottom 2/3rds feel spongy then you’re on the right track. Insert a knife, look for a ‘cakey’ fudgey texture. A few crumbs should stick to the knife when it comes out but you certainly don’t want it molten inside, if that’s the case put it back in. The difference between runny and fudgey at this stage can be a few minutes though so don’t go far- your cake needs you right now!
When you’re happy, take your sponges out the oven. If making cupcakes, turn them out onto a cooling rack as soon as soon as possible (If left to cool in the tin, you risk the cases steaming off). If you’re making cake layers, leave to cool for 20 minutes before removing them from the tin to cool slightly. If done right, your cakes should shrink and ‘deflate’ a little, so don’t be disheartened when that happens- they are going to taste really good. Wrap in clingfilm while still slightly warm to the touch, once they’ve cooled completely, transfer to the fridge or freezer.