DARK CHOCOLATE CAKE WITH COCOA NIB CRUNCH

DARK CHOCOLATE CAKE WITH COCOA NIB CRUNCH

Serves 6-8

 

Chocolate Cake

½ litre water

240ml vegetable oil

450g brown sugar

200g AFRIKOA 55% semisweet chocolate, chopped

115g cocoa powder

4 large eggs

325g cake flour

5g baking powder

2g salt

10g bicarbonate of soda

 

Chocolate Buttercream

100g egg whites (from about 3 large eggs)

150g castor sugar

340g butter, cubed, at room temperature

200g AFRIKOA 55% semisweet chocolate, chopped and melted

 

Chocolate Drip Glaze

55g AFRIKOA 55% semisweet chocolate

1/4 cup (60ml) cream

2 tbsp (30ml) honey

1 tsp vanilla extract

pinch of salt

 

Preheat oven to 160C (fan-forced). Grease and line 3 x 24cm spring form cake tins. Boil water then add oil and sugar. Stir until the sugar is dissolved and then pour over the chopped chocolate. Stir until smooth. Whisk eggs lightly then stir in the chocolate mixture. Fold in the combined dry ingredients. Let mix stand covered for 1 hour. Place the batter into the lined cake tins and bake for 25 minutes or until a skewer inserted comes out clean. Allow to cool for 5 minutes before turning out. Cool completely then level the tops with a sharp bread knife.

For the buttercream, combine the egg whites and sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer set over a pot of gently simmering water and cook, whisking constantly, until the mixture it hot to the touch or is no longer gritty when rubbed between your fingers. Transfer to the stand mixer and whip until glossy, stiff peaks form, about 5-7 minutes. Add the butter a few pieces at a time and whip until the frosting is creamy and smooth. Fold in the melted chocolate.

Make the glaze by combining all the ingredients in a bowl, microwave until the chocolate is melted and the glaze is smooth. Cool to room temperature.

To assemble the cake, layer the sponges alternately with whipped ganache, leaving enough to cover the top and sides. Spread the glaze over using a palette knife to make sure it drips down the sides. Pipe a few rosettes on top using any leftover ganache and sprinkle with crunchy cocoa bits*.

 

TIP! To make the crunchy cocoa bits, place 100g sugar in a saucepan with 2 tbsp water and heat until caramelized and golden. Add 1 cup of cocoa nibs and 1 tsp of sugar and stir vigorously until the caramel starts to crystallize. Pour onto a baking tray and allow to cool. Melt 25g AFRIKOA 55% semisweet chocolate and then toss the caramelized cocoa nibs in the chocolate. Spread them out again and allow to set.

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CHOCOLATE TRUFFLES

Chocolate Truffles
Makes 12

125g fresh cream
250g AFRIKOA 70 PERCENT dark chocolate chopped
Cocoa powder, for rolling

Heat the cream in a small saucepan until just below boiling point.
Immediately pour the cream over the chopped chocolate and allow to stand
for 5 minutes before stirring until smooth and glossy.
Cover with cling wrap and refrigerate until set.
Roll the ganache into a ball then roll in cocoa powder to coat.
Refrigerate until ready to serve.

TIP! Double the amount of cream in the recipe to create a silky chocolate sauce that is delicious poured over ice cream, brownies or simply eaten with a spoon!

truffles