If I could only have one cake recipe, this would hands down be it. It’s dense, muddy and rich and best of all it’s ridiculously easy to make. Weddings, birthdays, desserts, this no fail cake has your back. It’s super versatile too – I make different flavours so no one knows I keep whipping out the same cake!
My favourite versions of the moment are Lavender and Sea Salt as pictured and Black Dorris Plum (which I made for my recent wedding by using ‘Fresh As’ freeze dried plums and black dorris jam in the centre with ganache.
2 cups caster sugar
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1 teaspoon vanilla essence
1 cup soured milk (made by adding 1 tbsp vinegar to 1 cup milk & allowing to sit 1 minute or so)
2 large free range eggs
1 teaspoon sea salt
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 cup strong black coffee (cooled slightly)
3/4 cup cocoa
1-3/4 cups plain flour
Heat oven to 180°C. Grease and line two 22cm round baking tins.
Mix together sugar, flour, cocoa, baking soda, baking powder and salt in large bowl. Add eggs, soured milk, coffee, oil and vanilla; beat on medium speed of mixer 2 minutes (batter will be thin). Pour batter evenly into prepared baking tins
Bake 30 to 35 minutes or until skewer comes out clean. Cool 10 minutes then remove from tins and allow to cool completely before icing.
Lavender and Sea Salt Ganache
500g dark chocolate, chopped (at least 70% cocoa)
Bunch of lavender tied in cheese cloth (like a bouquet garni)
Sea salt for sprinkling
Add the cream and lavender into a pot and heat it until almost boiling (but not quite). Remove from the heat and add the chocolate. Stand for a couple of minutes, then stir until the chocolate is fully melted into the cream. Whisk until smooth and glossy- it will come together after about a minute of stirring. Leave the lavender in as it cools and remove before it’s set – this will intensify the flavour. Once set, divide in half and ice middle and top of cake. Garnish with extra lavender and sea salt just before serving.
Note: I usually make ganache the night before and allow to set in the fridge.