The ULTIMATE CHOCOLATE cake from The Free Range Cook Annabel Langbein

The Ultimate Chocolate Cake

Prep time 5 mins
Cook time 1 hour
Serves 12-16

Makes 1 big cake or 2 smaller cakes

3 cups self-raising flour
2 cups sugar
1½ tsp vanilla extract
¾ cup cocoa powder
2 tsp baking soda, sifted
200g butter, softened
1 cup milk or unsweetened yoghurt
3 large eggs
1 cup boiling hot coffee

To ice:

1 recipe Chocolate Ganache (see below)
fresh raspberries

Heat oven to 160°C. Grease the sides and line the base of a 30cm  round cake tin or 2 x 20cm round cake tins with baking paper.

Place all ingredients except Chocolate Ganache and raspberries in a bowl or food processor and mix or blitz until the ingredients are combined and the butter is fully incorporated.

Pour mixture into prepared tin or tins and smooth top. Bake for 1 hour or until a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean. Allow to cool in the tin. If not using at once, the cake will keep for about a week in a sealed container in the fridge. You can also freeze it uniced.

When you are ready to ice the cake, slather chilled Chocolate Ganache over the top. Top with fresh raspberries and serve.

Chocolate Ganache

Prep time 5 mins
Cook time 5 mins + standing
Makes approx 4 cups

500ml cream
500g best quality dark chocolate, roughly chopped

Pour the cream into a medium pot and heat it until it is almost but not quite boiling. You’ll know it’s ready when bubbles start to form around the edge of the pot. Remove from the heat and add the chocolate. Stand for 2 minutes, then stir until the chocolate is fully melted into the cream. Whisk until smooth and glossy. When you start to stir it, you think it won’t come together, but it will.

If you’re not using the ganache straight away, store it in a jar in the fridge for up to two weeks. When you’re ready to serve it, gently warm in a pot or microwave to soften.

From TV episode 2 of The Free Range Cook: also online on iView. In the episode, Annabel demonstrates the generosity of cooking, sharing her chocolate cake with whitebait fishing companions on the west coast of the South Island of New Zealand.

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Comments for this article

18 Responses to “The ULTIMATE CHOCOLATE cake from The Free Range Cook Annabel Langbein”

  1. Kitchen Butterfly says:
    September 8, 2010 at 6:25 am

    It looks gorgeous…………and indeed, we are generous, aren’t we foodies. Sometimes, I’m so overly generous to me….others must wonder why :-). Lovely cake

  2. Fay Lesinski says:
    October 9, 2010 at 9:05 pm

    Hi, I tried your cake recipe some days ago but somehow couldn’t get the same result as you, my cake clearly wasn’t looking that good (but tasted fine). What kind of chocolate are you using? Maybe it’s coming from the flour I used, i’m gluten intelorant so I used quinoa flour instead of usual wheat flour.

    • Dorothy in Oz says:
      November 13, 2010 at 7:30 am

      Gluten-free flours generally won’t give results as light as wheat flour in my experience.
      Using a mix of rice flour, tapioca flour, maize flour and soy flour (all fine ground) plus a couple of tsp guar gum or xanthan gum might work better. Also baking times aren’t always the same with gluten-free, so experiment, test carefully, and be prepared for some disappointments before you find what works for you.

      • Rebecca Varidel
        Rebecca Varidel says:
        November 14, 2010 at 5:33 am

        I just love this about cooking – how we share ideas and help each other – thanks for taking the time to contribute.

  3. Ian says:
    November 16, 2010 at 9:38 am

    This is the best chocolate cake recipe I have ever used… and that’s from a father of 4 young children!

  4. Bex says:
    November 30, 2010 at 9:18 am

    This cake is awesome! I used it as a wedding cake, and added a little coffee liqueur to the hot coffee and it was great!! Also am planning to make mini Xmas cakes with this recipe as a change from fruit cakes.

  5. Beckys says:
    December 8, 2010 at 1:12 am

    The BEST choc cake I have ever made – hands down. Thank you!!

  6. Lesley says:
    April 1, 2011 at 11:54 pm

    Ok I’m new to baking: for the butter, i’m assuming its unsalted?

    • Mawera Karetai says:
      May 8, 2012 at 8:20 am

      Most baking recipes say unsalted, but then they also ask for salt to be added. Salt nehances the flavour of anything. I very rarely use unsalted butter in my baking and yet I keep winning compeitions with my cakes.

  7. Maureen says:
    April 16, 2011 at 12:57 pm

    This looks so yummy and the sort of cake you want to lick the fork and plate when you finish even if someone’s looking.

  8. betty says:
    May 30, 2011 at 3:38 am

    looks delicious!

  9. Food Wine Sleep says:
    November 7, 2011 at 2:39 pm

    Awesome looking cake and great photos you have inspired me to give it a try!!

  10. Fiona McIlreavy says:
    November 29, 2011 at 5:45 pm

    This is a gorgeous cake and now a standard birthday cake for my 22 yr old daughter and my husband. It is so easy and the ganache is addictive.
    xxxThanks Annabelle.

  11. Delyse says:
    May 6, 2012 at 11:51 am

    this is the best chocolate cake eva, so easy and turns out so big so looks fantastic

  12. Alannah says:
    March 22, 2014 at 7:20 pm

    I’m planning on making this tommorow for the coffee done just do a teaspoon if instant coffee in a cup of boiling water?

  13. Maria Mentha says:
    September 5, 2010 at 6:35 pm

    I made the Ultimate Chocolate Cake for my husband’s 56th birthday, I forgot to add the eggs so ultimately the cake sagged in the middle, so I put a whole packet of frozen raspberries in the middle and poured the hot ganache over the hot and it was an instant hit. All the neighbours and family thought that it must be the original recipe. Yum! Thankyou for this lovely recipe.

  14. Rebecca Varidel
    Rebecca Varidel says:
    September 5, 2010 at 6:47 pm

    Thanks Maria for sharing your story. Nothing better than cooking for our loved ones. Cooking from the heart! I’m sure your husband appreciated it x

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