Decadent Chocolate Cake: Pro Tip

We’re bringing to you this insanely beautiful Dark Chocolate Cake with Ganache & Raspberry Topping in a kit (available to order from the My Food Bag Kitchen), easy enough to make at home but with the flavours of a professional bakery! We want your cake to be an absolute success, so our Queen of Sweets and Development Kitchen Manager Jessie Juneberry, is here to tell us a bit about how this recipe was created and how you can achieve the picture-perfect cake at home.

To be quite honest with you, it is very rare (almost one in a million times) that a baking recipe comes out right on the first attempt. There are so many contributing factors that mean it could be a failure, and it’s not until you take it out of the oven, when you’ve already poured your heart and soul into it, that you find out it’s just not right. But somehow all the stars aligned with this recipe and the chocolate cake came out of the oven and it was deliciously light and fluffy and moist and chocolatey and dare I say – perfect. But of course, we had to cook it 100 more times to just make sure it really tasted great 😉

It did take us a while to settle on what the icing should be, in the end we decided on a beautiful, luscious chocolate ganache in this recipe, which I think is a great match for the light cake, adding richness and giving it an impressive shine. To really complete the cake and add an element of freshness, we topped it off with the beautiful, freeze-dried raspberries, which are so great at elevating any baking and making it look professional.

Below I’ll share some tips to give you the best chance of success on a picture-perfect chocolate cake. I hope you can all enjoy this delicious treat for any special occasion, I look forward to seeing your creations.

Lining the cake tin

A somewhat mundane but essential task if you want your cake to come out of the pan perfectly and avoid the ripped sides (especially as we want to present this chocolate cake “naked-style” where the sides are not iced). Grease your tin with butter or spray oil to help the paper stick. Cut a circle of baking paper for the bottom, then cut two strips of paper for the sides and press into the tin.

Make mixture

In this recipe we “bloom” the cocoa – meaning we combine it with hot water, to extract all the flavour and to prevent any lumps of it in our chocolate cake. A top tip for those of you not baking this recipe for kids, add 2 tsp of instant coffee granules to the cocoa/hot water mixture and it adds a beautiful richness of flavour to the cake (you can’t tase the coffee, it’s kind of like salt here, where it enhances the other flavours).

Bake cake

Pour the mixture into your prepared tin, then tap it a couple of times on the bench to get rid of any air bubbles. Bake as per label and make sure to check it’s done by inserting a knife into the centre, it should come out clean. Leave to cool for 5 minutes, then remove the cake from the tin and leave to cool completely before icing – otherwise your ganache will melt all over the place! Making cakes is a test in patience.

Make ganache

You know when a recipe says to have the butter at room temperature, and you just ignore it? Yeah, don’t do that here. You can heat it in the microwave for 10 seconds if you forgot to soften it, just be careful not to over do it! Cream your butter for 5 minutes, I mean 5 minutes – set a timer. It really does make a difference to how fluffy and smooth your ganache will be. Add the melted chocolate and continue to beat a further 2 minutes and you should have a soft and silky beautiful ganache.

Cutting into layers

This is not an essential step but it does make for an impressive chocolate cake! See the video above for some visual cues. Make sure the cake is completely cooled, or you will make a crumb-y mess. Use a serrated knife to score around the middle of your cake and then slice it in half. If your cake has a round dome on the top, you can trim this off too, for the perfect look, but it’s not a must.

Decorating

This is where you can really make the cake your own! Look up some inspiration pictures, or just copy our model from the box! I like to use a spoon to make swirls in the icing, it looks effortless (and it is) and beautiful. You could also use a piping bag, just have fun with it! Finish with your raspberries and marvel at your masterpiece!

Meet the Chef

Jessie ‘Juneberry’

When she’s not being referred to as Juneberry, she’s also known as our dessert Queen or resident sweet tooth. Her favourite part of her role comes as no surprise with “being in charge of dessert! I have the biggest sweet tooth so am always finding ways to get in the kitchen and whip up a sweet treat.” However, Jessie’s favourite New Zealand produce reveals her true millennial colours by choosing avocado, especially when it’s smashed on a bagel – the perfect start to the weekend!

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