it’s the best chocolate cake in the world. it’s so good, i’m speechless, time and again. and i don’t even really like chocolate cake! i mean, i like it enough, but i don’t love it. but this cake here, i just love. it’s moist and spongy and light (yes, honestly, not heavy at all), and cakey and refreshing and sweet and not too chocolatey.
in fact, if i had to bring 2 things to a deserted, lonely island, it would be this chocolate cake. and bradley cooper to share it with, obviously. that cheeky, reckless, handsome devil, swoon. we could really take care of all those excess calories, ahem.
on to less slippery topics: this recipe actually comes from the (much referenced) aunt, but since the aunt has passed away a long time ago (may god rest her kind and cheeky soul), i think it’s fair to call it my mom’s cake. the aunt never wanted us to share the recipe, though. we were strictly forbidden to give it to anyone (let alone people she didn’t like, and there were a few she didn’t like)! and for a couple of years after her death, we sticked to it. until the recipe began to leak (because people really can be pretty persistent when it comes to cake, go figure… and we’re not talking bribing with cookies or charcuterie… rather beating you up with a salame until you give it away…). and now, with the blog and the nice friends i’ve made and the community of food bloggers that has become my happy place… well i think it’s only fair to share it. because you’re all nice people. the aunt would have approved (i hope?). also, i’m making sure the heritage gets to live on. not to mention the many karma points i’m collecting for being so altruistic, eh?
mom’s chocolate cake
2 cups flour
1 1/2 cups sugar
2 cups chocolate powder (one, that’s not too sweet and airy, i use the migros budget one)
2 cups ground hazelnuts
1 cup oil (sunflower)
2 packs baking powder (1 pack in switzerland is 20 g or about 2 heaped teaspoons)
2 packs vanilla sugar (20 g or 2 heaped teaspoons)
1 pinch salt
2 cups sour cream
1 glass / jar strawberry jam
200 g dark chocolate
150 g butter
whipped cream & amarena cherries for decoration
combine the flour, hazelnuts, sugar, vanilla sugar, chocolate powder, salt and baking powder (aka all dry ingredients) in a bowl. combine the oil and eggs in a separate bowl and stir to combine. add the sour cream to the eggs and oil. then add the liquids to the dry mix. stir to combine. line a baking sheet with parchment paper (the cake is really actually baked on a large sheet as it has to be rather flat and can be cut into bitesized squares later. i’ve never tried it in any other shape or mold and i wouldn’t recomment it, either). bake at 170 degrrees c / 250 f for about 30 minutes until an inserted stick comes out clean. remove from the oven and leave to cool completely.
heat the strawberry jam in a saucepan to liquify it. work it through a fine-meshed thieve to remove the seeds (i know, bland but necessary). with the cake still in the pan, spread the now liquid jam evenly ontop of the cake. the cake should soak up the jam thoroughly. let dry for a couple of minutes. in the meantime, slowly, very slowly, melt the chocolate with the butter on very low heat (if you heat it on high then the chocolate won’t have a nice shine anymore later). then, start by pouring some of the chocolate in the middle of the cake, and spread it (or more like: “let it run”) to all angles with a spatula, carefully. let cool and dry. then cut into (42, someone quite detail obsessed would say) squares (leaving out the borders, just cut them off as they’re dry and don’t look nice). use a hot knife (just dip it into hot water) to cut it, so the chocolate layer doesn’t crack but gets a nice cut instead. decorate with whipped cream and an amarena cherry or a slice of strawberry (my mom insists – but i often find it torture to have to decorate it as i just want to dig my teeth into it right away… yeah, life can be tough… sighs…).
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