How To

Tips to bake the perfect chocolate cake

Whether it's in cake, pudding or cookie form, chocolate always tastes amazing, and is pretty hard to get wrong. However, there's a few tips you should know to perfect your desserts every time.
CHOCOLATE Sour Cream Cake

Ordinary vs. compound chocolate

For cake-making, use an ordinary eating chocolate – white, milk or dark. Compound cooking chocolate doesn’t contain much cocoa butter, the ingredient that makes chocolate so wonderful. Some of the cocoa butter is replaced with other vegetable fats such as palm, coconut or soya oil, and the result is a waxy tasting chocolate.

This stunning white chocolate mud cake is perfect for that special occasion.

Why is my chocolate cake so dry?

Most chocolate cakes are butter cakes with chocolate of some sort added. Melted chocolate alone in a recipe often won’t give enough colour and flavour, but it does add fat and sugar, which is all good when it comes to making a moist chocolate cake. When cocoa alone is used, it will give colour, some fat, sugar and flavour, but not as much as chocolate, and too much cocoa will result in a dry cake.

Look out for recipes that contain both cocoa and melted chocolate; that combination will give you the best results in terms of colour and flavour, as well as texture.

Nutella chocolate cake

For a properly indulgent chocolate experience, you can’t go past our Nutella chocolate cake.

The secret to fudgy brownies

Usually, it’s all about the baking time. If your brownies tend to be too dry, drop the baking time back by 5 minutes each time you bake brownies until you get the consistency that suits your taste, and don’t forget to make notes about what you’ve done.

If your recipe uses white sugar, try using coarse granulated table sugar instead, as this will help with fudginess.

If your recipe beats butter, sugar and eggs together as in a cake recipe, use the same proportions of ingredients but change the method: Melt the butter and chocolate, then stir in the other ingredients. This will result in a heavier, fudgier brownie.

CHOCOLATE BROWNIE WITH WARM CHOCOLATE SAUCE

You’d never believe that these decadent choc-hazelnut brownies were actually sugar-free.

The secret to moist (but not too moist) mud cake

Some people like mud cakes to be moist and fudgy, others prefer them dryer and more cake-like. It’s up to the cook, and it’s all about getting the temperature and baking time right.

If your mud cake isn’t cooking in the middle, it needs longer baking. Often lower oven temperatures aren’t too accurate; the longer slower baking won’t hurt the cake.

Mud cakes are high in fat and sugar, and they can develop a sugary crust during baking. If the crust is a problem for you, try baking the cake at a slightly lower temperature. Drop the temperature by 10 degrees to start with, and keep a note of the results. The cake might take a little longer to cook, but probably not much – up to 15 minutes or so.

dark chocolate mud cake

This rich, smooth chocolate mud cake is a little slice of heaven.

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