Chocolate buttermilk cake with rich chocolate frosting

(Serves 12-16)

250 g caster sugar
100 g brown sugar
Pinch of sea salt
5 eggs
250 ml buttermilk
250g unsalted butter, melted and cooled
1 tsp vanilla extract
150 ml hot water
350 g self raising flour, sifted
100 g Dutch process cocoa powder, sifted
Sprinkles, to serve

Chocolate cream cheese frosting

250 g full fat cream cheese, at room temperature
150 g unsalted butter, softened
120 g pure icing sugar, sifted
50 g Dutch process cocoa powder, sifted
150 g 70% chocolate, melted and slightly cooled


Preheat the oven to 180C and grease and line a 30×20 cm rectangular deep cake tin.

In a large bowl, whisk together the sugars, salt, eggs, buttermilk, melted butter, vanilla and half of the hot water. Add in half of the flour and cocoa and gently whisk until just combined. Pour in the remaining hot water and whisk to combine. Finish with the remaining flour and gently whisk until just combined.

Pour the batter into the prepared cake pan and smooth the top with a spatula. Cook in the preheated oven for 30-35 minutes or until a skewer comes out almost clean when tested, a few crumbs are fine. Set aside to cool in the cake tin then transfer to a serving board or plate.

Meanwhile, for the frosting, place the cream cheese and butter in the large bowl of the stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Beat on a high speed until smooth and light. Reduce the speed to medium and add the icing sugar and cocoa powder and continue to whisk. Stream in the melted chocolate and increase to the highest speed. Whisk the frosting until voluminous and airy (around 2-3 minutes). Use a palette knife or spoon to smooth the frosting over the cooled cake, creating a swirled pattern as you spread. Scatter with sprinkles or your desired decoration, cut into squares and serve

What else I’m cooking…

Enjoying the last of Spring things, like; asparagus gently poached in butter, lemon and water and eaten simply with boiled eggs and parsley; burrata with broad beans and mint and fried zucchini flowers stuffed with mozzarella and anchovy.

What I’m eating…

I recently returned from a beautiful week in Japan where we ate some really special meals. Always a favourite is the very special Monk in Kyoto, which is set just off the Philosopher’s path. Chef and owner Yoshihiro Imai centres the entire meal around the wood fire, including the most amazing pizza and highlighting seasonal vegetables from local farms. A must visit!

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