How to make the perfect chocolate cake

Chocolate cake
Who doesn’t love a slice of chocolate cake?
Iamge source: Thinkstock

The 27th January is national chocolate cake day – could there be a better thing to celebrate at the start of the new year? Here at Clifford James we want to make sure that you’re celebrating it in style, so we’ve coming up with a guide to help you make the perfect chocolate cake.

Where does it come from?

It’s hard to pinpoint exactly where in history the chocolate cake comes from – it is thought that it could date back as far as the 1700s, when Dr James Baker discovered how to make cocoa by grinding the beans between two millstones. Or did it start when Rodolphe Lindt developed a smoother method to bake with chocolate back in the 1800s? Wherever the magnificent chocolate cake originally came from, it has become a firm favourite worldwide, and comes in many variations today.

How to make the perfect chocolate cake

Apart from making sure you’ve got the best ingredients possible, you’ll want to make sure you’ve got the right equipment to help you along. First off, you’ll need to measure out those ingredients. Using a set of accurate digital scales allows you to measure out all the dry ingredients. To save yourself continually moving ingredients between bowls to measure everything out individually, you can even use the tare (or reset) function for ease of use. This allows you to measure things precisely. Of course, some people prefer a more traditional set of kitchen scales. If it’s worked for all these years, why change now, right?

Handy tip: If you don’t like really sweet cakes, then opt for using dark chocolate in your recipe rather than milk chocolate. Depending on the recipe, using milk chocolate will make your cake sweeter than intended.

To make light work of the baking process, your best option would be to use a stand mixer. You can just pop the ingredients into the bowl, and the mixer will do all the hard work for you. Not only will it help you to create the perfect chocolate cake batter, you can use the various attachments to make other things – such as a dough hook to create a yummy loaf of bread? Of course, if you prefer something that’s a little easier to store, you can never go wrong with a hand whisk.

Handy tip: To give your cake a more chocolatey flavour, try melting some chocolate over a bain marie or in the microwave, and add it to your batter.

Cooks Professional Stand Mixer
A stand mixer will do all the hard work for you.
Image source: Clifford James.

Feeling inspired?

Now all that’s left to do is cook! Spoon your wonderful batter into some prepared cake tins, and cake to perfection in the oven. While your cake is cooling on a rack, think about how you’re going to decorate it. Buttercream taking your fancy? Or maybe some wonderful ganache… The possibilities are endless! If you’re feeling inspired by national cake day, take a look at some of these mouthwatering recipes from some of our favourite food bloggers to get you started!

This stunning cherry and nutella chocolate cake from The Baking Explorer is sure to satisfy any cake cravings that come your way.

Or why not try some tray bakes infused with chocolate? These tempting black bean brownies with walnuts from Only Crumbs Remain are perfect, and they’re also vegan friendly!

Got any tips for creating the perfect chocolate cake? Let us know by leaving us a comment on our Facebook page!

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