If you haven’t guessed already, I’m not someone to joke about chocolate. Ever. If it’s good, it’s worth eating–if it’s not, toss it out the window before it dimples your thighs. Chocolate cake comes in a myriad of recipes, and a lot of them are pretty darn good, but this recipe, my friends, is the best.
I found this recipe in the Elle Canada magazine, and it just goes to show that good recipes can crop up in the most unlikely of places. I knew it would be good because of the ingredients: butter, sugar, plenty of cocoa, and the two most important ingredients of all, the beer and the sour cream. See what I mean? There’s just no rivalling this cake for decadence and deliciousness.
The recipe is a pretty basic one, and so quite flexible. You can add nuts, berries, chocolate chips, flavourings, or whatever else catches your fancy. I’ve left notes at the bottom for making a chocolate ganache to top the cake with, which is easy to make and adds that je ne sais quoi of moistness and richness.
This cake keeps and travels well for lunch. Wrap up a few pieces in tin foil and take ’em to work! …If your willpower lets you, anyway.
The Best Chocolate Cake Ever
Makes: 1 amazing cake
Cooking time: 1 hour hands-on, plus cooling time
- 1 cup dark beer (stout is preferred, but any ale works too)
- 1 cup unsalted butter
- 3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder, sifted
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 cups sugar
- 1 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 3/4 tsp salt
- 2 eggs
- 2/3 cup sour cream
Preheat oven to 350 F / 180 C. Bring butter and beer to a simmer, until butter is melted. Whisk in cocoa powder until the mixture is smooth. Allow to cool slightly. In a separate bowl, combine dry ingredients. In another large bowl, combine eggs and sour cream until smooth; slowly mix in beer and butter mixture until mostly combined. Add dry ingredients and mix well.
Grease a bundt cake tin (it’s the round one with the hole in the middle that fruit cakes or pound cakes are made in) and dust lightly with cocoa powder (it’s like flouring, but chocolatey!). Pour in batter, and bake for about 35 minutes, until cake pulls slightly away from the sides of the pan. Allow to cool completely before turning cake out of the pan onto plate.
To make the ganache: Melt 1 tbsp butter and 1 tbsp milk or cream in saucepan over low heat. Slowly add about 1/2 cup good quality chocolate chips, or equivalent in finely chopped baker’s chocolate. Stir constantly just until chocolate is melted and combined with butter and milk; add a flavouring if you so desire (1/2 tsp instant coffee granules, 1 tbsp brandy, a few drops of almond extract, pinch of cinnamon, whatever you like!). Allow to cool slightly, and drizzle over cake. Serve immediately!