Moist chocolate cake with sweet whipped cream. This cake is rich in chocolate flavor and tastes like it’s from a bakery. Simple yet super delicious. You’ll have a hard time convincing your guests this cake is homemade.
The weather in The Netherlands has been beautiful lately! The temperatures aren’t exactly high (around 10 C), but seeing the sun shine everyday makes me feel so happy. Today’s no different. I’m going for a stroll once I finish this post and hung the laundry. Fresh air and the feeling of sun on my skin.. the formula for a perfect weekend, right? I might even get a Starbucks frappuccino. As you guys can tell, I’m feeling really bold today haha… 😛
Anyway, last week I surprised my boyfriend’s colleagues with a treat: Chocolate cake with whipped cream. The combination sounds simple, but the flavor of this cake is ah-mazing! The cake is rich in chocolate flavor, but not as heavy as a brownie. Also, because I added less sugar than a traditional chocolate butter cake, the cake isn’t too sweet and the chocolate is the first and last thing you’ll taste. Just the way I love my baked chocolate goods. As for the whipped cream: it’s the perfect finish to any cake.
Whenever you make a butter cake, it’s important to have butter that’s really at room temperature. If your butter isn’t softened enough, it will cream less well with the sugar and your cake won’t be as light and moist. I usually take out the butter just before I go to sleep and make my cake first thing in the morning. However, if you have less time on hand (or was yearning for bed so much you forgot to take the butter out. Trust me, it happens.), you can also:
- cut the butter in small cubes, spread them evenly on a plate and microwave each side for 5 seconds. Repeat until softened.
- put the butter in a firm bag, pound it to a thin sheet with a rolling pin and leaving it on the counter for a couple of minutes
Once your butter is soft, all you have to do is beat it with sugar for a couple of minutes and you’ll have a soft and smooth mixture. Easy, right? Add the rest of the ingredients, bake it at 170C and let the cake cool completely before decorating.
The filling for this cake is a simply whipped cream. I’ve described the steps to a perfect whipped cream in another post. In addition, the whipped cream I used for this cake is stabilized. This means the cream will stay firm for a couple of days and won’t melt at room temperature. Obviously, if you’re serving your cake the same day, you won’t need stabilized whipped cream.
To stabilize the whipped cream, I used 3 gelatin sheets (to 500 mL whipping cream). If you have powdered gelatin, you’ll need about 1 Tbsp. For vegetarians, the gelatin can theoretically be substituted with agar-agar or confectioner’s sugar (instead of gelatin and caster sugar). I’ve never tried agar-agar before though, so I don’t know how firm the whipped cream will be and how long it will stay firm. Confectioner’s sugar is a great alternative though.
To make the cake, I used Wilton’s cake leveler to slice off the dome and halve the cake. I’m a total loser at cutting cakes evenly so the cake leveler is my best friend when it comes to leveled cakes. Assemble the cake by spreading an even layer of whipped cream on one half and place the other half of the cake on top. Then, cover the complete cake with a thin layer of whipped cream and use a spatula to create a smooth look.
For decoration, I used the dome I cut off earlier. I hate wasting food, so I usually look for a way to use up scraps. To use the dome as decoration simply use your hands to crumble the dome. Don’t worry, it doesn’t have to be perfect. Then, take some of the crumbles in your hand and press it against the sides of the cake. Continue this process until you like the looks of your cake. I know, you’ll have crumbles all over your kitchen counter, but it’s totally worth it! And if you’re not into cake crumbles, chocolate sprinkles, chocolate flakes, crushed nougatine and sliced almonds are totally fine too. Whatever you like. Finally, pipe some more whipped cream on top of your cake with a fancy nozzle and finish with sprinkles of more chocolate cake crumbles.
- 170 g all-purpose flour
- 30 g cocoa powder
- 1 tsp baking powder
- ¼ tsp baking soda
- ¼ tsp espresso powder (optional)
- ¼ tsp salt
- 100 g unsalted butter, room temperature
- 250 g caster sugar
- 2 eggs
- 160 mL skim milk
- 500 mL whipping cream (35%)
- 60 g sugar
- 3 gelatin sheets, bloomed
- 2 Tbsp water
- Preheat the oven to 170C and line a 22 cm (9 inch) round baking pan with baking paper. Set aside.
- In a bowl, quickly mix the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, espresso powder and salt. Set aside.
- In a large bowl, cream the butter and sugar until light and creamy.
- Whisk in the eggs one by one.
- Add half of the flour mixture and all the milk to the batter. Beat until just mixed.
- Add the rest of the flour mixture and beat until just mixed.
- Pour the batter in the baking pan and level it with a spatula.
- Bake the cake 40-50 minutes at 170C or until a cake tester comes out clean.
- Let the cake cool for 10 minutes in the pan before inverting it onto a cooling rack. Then, let the cake cool completely.
- To make the whipping cream, heat the bloomed gelatin sheets and water in a small sauce pan until the gelatin is completely dissolved. Remove the pan from the heat and set aside. Whip the cream and sugar until stiff peak. Then, slowly pour in gelatin mixture while beating. Leave the cream in the fridge until the cake is fully cooled.
- Slice off the dome* of the cake and halve the cake.
- Using a spatula, spread some whipped cream evenly on one half of the cake and place the other half on top.
- Use the remainder of the whipped cream to decorate the cake as desired. I covered the whole cake with whipped cream, piped some cream on top and used the crumbled dome as decoration.
- *Safe this dome to use as crumble decoration if you don't want to waste it.