Decadent death-by-chocolate cake

This deep, dark temptation reminds us of the mouthwatering chocolate cake as told in Roald Dahl’s well-loved book, Matilda. Naturally, we couldn't resist.

1 hour

Makes 1 large
double-layer cake

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Ingredients:

  • 1¾ cups (430ml) hot water
  • ¼ cup (60ml) espresso
  • 1 cup (125g) cocoa powder
  • 8 large eggs, separated
  • 2 cups (500g) sugar
  • 1 cup (250ml) cooking oil
  • 2 tsp (10ml) vanilla essence
  • 1¼ cups (200g) cake flour, sifted
  • 2 Tbsp (30ml) baking powder, sifted
  • ½ tsp (3ml) salt
  • 2 slabs (80g each) dark chocolate, melted
Icing:
  • ½ cup (60g) cocoa powder, sifted
  • 2 cups (260g) icing sugar, sifted
  • 1 cup (250g) butter, softened
  • 1 packet (200g) chocolate malt balls
  • Fresh berries (like raspberries and blueberries), for serving (optional)

Method:

  1. Preheat oven to 180°C.
  2. Line 2 x 20cm loose-bottomed cake tins with baking paper and spray with nonstick spray.
  3. Pour water and coffee into a bowl and stir in cocoa powder. Set aside to cool.
  4. Cream yolks and sugar together for about 5 minutes or until light and fluffy with an electric whisk.
  5. Add oil and vanilla essence and mix well.
  6. Add coffee-cocoa mixture to egg mixture. Mix well.
  7. Combine flour, baking powder and salt.
  8. Fold wet mixture into flour mixture, then add melted chocolate and mix well.
  9. Whisk egg whites until stiff peaks form and fold into batter.
  10. Divide between prepared cake tins.
  11. Bake for 30-45 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the centre of cakes comes out clean.
  12. Cool in tins for 5 minutes, then turn out onto a wire rack and cool completely.
  13. For icing, whisk cocoa powder, icing sugar and butter together until smooth.
  14. Spread cake with icing and decorate with chocolate balls and berries (if using).
  15. Slice and serve.

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