Chocolate cake with cream cheese icing

Chocolate cake with cream cheese icing

By
From
How I cook
Makes
8–10 slices
Photographer
Jason Lowe

This cake is sweet, dark and sludgy, with a contrasting American-style icing of whipped cream cheese, icing sugar and butter. It is not the sort of sophisticated smoky rich chocolate cake that you will find on a restaurant menu, but rather one that should be eaten at home. It is best served on its own as a teatime treat – it is too independent to share the stage with anything else. A small slice is all that is needed.

Ingredients

Quantity Ingredient
150g good-quality dark chocolate (minimum 64% cocoa solids)
185g unsalted butter, at room temperature, plus extra to grease
375g plain flour, plus extra to dust
1 teaspoon baking powder
185g caster sugar
185g soft brown sugar
3 organic free-range large eggs, at room temperature
185ml whole milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Icing

Quantity Ingredient
300g soft cream cheese
75g unsalted butter, at room temperature
600g icing sugar

To finish

Quantity Ingredient
a little dark chocolate, for grating

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 170°C. Melt the chocolate in a heatproof bowl over a pan of barely simmering water. When it is melted, smooth and glossy, remove from the heat and set aside to cool slightly.
  2. Lightly grease and flour three 20cm sandwich cake tins (or two 25cm cake tins) and line with baking parchment. Sift the flour and baking powder together and set aside.
  3. Using an electric mixer, cream the butter until light and pale – this will take about 3 minutes. Add the caster and brown sugars and cream until light and very fluffy. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating after each addition. Now incorporate the chocolate, mixing until evenly combined.
  4. Finally fold in the flour alternately with the milk and vanilla, using a large metal spoon or spatula. The batter should be smooth and glossy.
  5. Divide the mixture between the prepared cake tins and bake on the middle shelf of the oven for 20 minutes, or until a skewer inserted in the centre comes out clean.
  6. Place the tins on a wire rack and leave to cool for 5 minutes or so, then turn out the cakes onto the rack and leave to cool completely before icing.
  7. For the icing, using an electric mixer, beat all the ingredients together until soft and completely smooth. Spread the icing over the cake while it is still soft; lay one sponge on a board and spread generously with a third of the icing. Place a second sponge on top and spread with another third of the icing. Position the final sponge on top and cover with the rest of the icing. Place in the fridge for an hour or so before serving. Grate a little dark chocolate over the top to serve.

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