This cake is pure celebration and my chocolate go-to. Not too rich but ridiculously moist, it is decadent without being overly sweet. It’s almost impossible to mess up and so easy to make; it gives Betty Crocker a run for her money. If you have a whisk and two large bowls, you can pull this off. Since the batter is very runny, avoid using a springform pan, which can leak. This cake is a slight adaptation of my dear friend Simon’s recipe. He effortlessly cooks for thirty people without breaking a sweat, and everything he makes tastes delicious—including this cake. There’s also an added bonus: the final product has some serious shelf life—it will keep fresh for days, and it freezes well if you would like to bake it ahead of time.
- Dust with confectioners’ sugar.
- Bake with chocolate crumble (recipe below) and serve with a scoop of vanilla bean or salted caramel gelato.
- Dollop with Nutella whipped cream or Toblerone ganache (recipes below).
1 10-by-3-inch round cake
- Preheat the oven to 350°F.
- Grease a 10-by-3-inch round pan with butter, line the bottom and sides of the pan with parchment paper, and grease the paper. (I'll let you just grease, line the bottom of the pan, and lightly flour the sides if you're feeling lazy.)
- Place a large sifter or a sieve in a large mixing bowl. Add the flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda, and salt and sift. Add the sugar, and whisk until combined.
- In another large bowl, whisk the eggs, milk, oil, and vanilla together.
- Gradually add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and whisk until there are no lumps and the batter is smooth.
- Carefully pour in the boiling water and stir until combined.
- Pour the batter into the prepared pan. Bake in the center of the oven for approximately 50 minutes or until a wooden skewer inserted in the center comes out clean, and the cake bounces back when lightly pressed.
- Remove from the oven and let the cake stand for 10 minutes. Run a butter knife around the cake to gently release. Peel off the parchment paper from the sides. Invert the cake, peel off the bottom piece of parchment, and cool on a wire rack.
- In a large bowl, combine the flour, sugar, cocoa powder, and salt. Add the butter and work it between your fingers until you have pea-size crumbles. Gently fold in the semisweet chocolate chips.
- With the cake batter already in the prepared pan, sprinkle the crumble on top of the batter.
- Bake according to the recipe's directions, adding a few minutes more to the suggested baking time. If the top is browning too quickly, turn the oven down slightly or cover the top of the cake with tinfoil. Bake until lightly browned, crisp, and a wooden skewer inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean.
- Break the Toblerone bar into individual triangles and place in the top of a double boiler. Bring an inch of water to a gentle simmer in the bottom of a double boiler and melt the chocolate and butter, then turn off the heat and stir in the heavy cream and vanilla.
- TIP: You can melt the chocolate in the microwave on low or medium heat if you prefer. Just make sure to do it incrementally, stirring the chocolate in between intervals. If you overcook chocolate, it will look thick and lumpy.
- Pour the cream into a large, cold metal bowl and add Nutella. Using a balloon whisk, begin to whisk the cream until it has doubled in volume, has smooth soft peaks, and is light and fluffy.
Reprinted with permission from Simple Cake by Odette Williams, copyright © 2019. Published by Ten Speed Press, a division of Penguin Random House, Inc.