Dark, rich and gorgeous enough to grace the shelves of a patisserie, these cakes are made from a mix that is my culinary equivalent of a Little Black Dress—you can dress it up or down, take it anywhere, and it will always make you look fabulous.
Although there are 11 ingredients, it takes only 11 seconds to mix. Oil instead of butter in the mixture makes it super-moist and helps keep it dark and luscious. You can bake this mix in muffin tins and primp the results with a luxurious ganache icing—as we have here—or make one or two larger cakes instead. Either way, this recipe is not just my culinary LBD—it’s almost my BFF. Make it yours, and it could be the only chocolate cake recipe you will ever need.
1. Preheat the oven to 170C fan-forced.
2. Place the sugar into the mixing bowl and give it 2 bursts on Turbo.
3. Weigh in all the remaining ingredients in the order listed. Mix 11 seconds/speed 6—this will be a pourable mixture rather than a stiff cake batter.
4. Place muffin papers into the depressions in a standard 12-hole muffin tin. Pour the mixture in to ¾ fill the papers. (If you have 2 muffin tins, do the whole batch all at once; but if you have just a single muffin tin, the leftover mixture will happily wait until the first batch is baked.)
5. Bake in the centre of the oven for 15–18 minutes; they will be firm to the touch, and a skewer into the centre will come out clean.
6. While the cakes are in the oven, wash the mixing bowl and make the ganache.
1. Break the chocolate into pieces and place into the mixing bowl. Chop 8 seconds/speed 6, then tip out and set aside.
2. Pour the cream into the mixing bowl and heat 3 minutes/90 degrees/speed 1, the cream should be almost boiling.
3. Add the chocolate all at once then mix 5 seconds/speed 3, scrape down the bowl and mix again 5 seconds/speed 3.
4. Switch the Thermomix off and allow the ganache to rest in the machine while the cakes bake. The ganache will thicken as it cools; be sure to wait until it is thick enough to be easily spooned into the centre of the cakes before you proceed; this will take 30 minutes or so.
5. Remove the cakes from oven and while they are still warm, spoon the ganache into the centre of each one—the best way (unless you’re skilled with a piping bag) to do this is with two teaspoons.
6. Leave the cakes in the muffin tin and hold a teaspoon in each hand. With one teaspoon make a space in the middle of the cake, with the other dollop a generous spoonful of ganache right into the centre, allowing it to ooze out on top as well. Be generous, use all the ganache.
7. Dredge the cakes with cocoa and leave them to cool for a few hours so the ganache sets. The cakes will keep well for a few days.
AND … This cake mixture will also make one 26-centimetre round cake, or a 20-centimetre x 30-centimetre slab cake, or 2 x 20-centimetre round cakes. To ice, pour the ganache over the top of the cooled cake(s) and partially smooth it with a spatula. I don’t try for a perfectly smooth finish, preferring a deliberately rough one; use broad, sweeping strokes with the spatula in one direction, then the other, making pronounced tracks in the setting ganache