Friday, February 09, 2018


Four layers of rich chocolate cake, and three layers of gorgeous white chocolate ganache, as simple as that. To me, the most important part about cakes is that the layers cannot be dry, and the filling cannot be a solid block. And this cake is just the way it is supposed to be – fudgy, soft, and deliciously rich.
Chocolate ganache is one of the first fillings I encountered when I started to learn about baking, many years ago, and it has stayed one of my favourites. But, since white chocolate ganache is not as sturdy as its chocolate counterpart, I opt for adding in some butter, just to make it firmer.
All in all, a delicious little cake, perfect for small celebrations and gatherings. And this was actually the first cake I have ever made, and I love it dearly. Over the years, the recipe has changed, but the simple deliciousness and the appeal of soft cake layers and smooth filling has remained.

For the cake
350 grams plain flour
250 grams granulated sugar
50 grams unsweetened cocoa powder
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
350 grams vanilla yoghurt
250 ml cold water
100 grams butter
50 millilitres vegetable oil
2 teaspoons vanilla
100 grams dark chocolate
For the filling and frosting
600 grams real white chocolate
200 ml double cream
150 grams butter
1 teaspoon vanilla
For the decoration
100 grams dark chocolate

For the filling, take a large, heavy-bottomed saucepan, and place it over medium heat. Add in the diced butter, chopped up chocolate, and the double cream. Melt everything together slowly, stirring gently, and being very careful not to let the mixture burn. If necessary, lower the temperature, and keep stirring. It can take up to 15 minutes for everything to melt together and become smooth. When melted, remove it from the heat, and let it cool down to room temperature, then cover the top with the cling film, and place it in the refrigerator for an hour.
To make the cake layers, start by sifting together the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, and baking soda at least two times. Sift them into a large bowl, add in the sugar, and whisk really well, then set aside. Melt the butter, and let it cool down just slightly. Coarsely grate the dark chocolate, add it to the dry ingredients, and whisk. Pour in the yoghurt and cold water, followed by the melted butter, vegetable oil, and vanilla. Whisk gently until everything is combined, but do not overmix it, because the cake will be tough and rubbery. Grease and flour four small round cake tins (15 cm), pour in the batter, and bake in a preheated oven, at 180°C (350°F), for 15-20 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean. Let the cakes cool down for about 10 minutes in the pans, then remove them, and let them cool completely on wire racks.
When the filling has firmed up, remove it from the fridge, add in vanilla, and beat with an electric mixer on high, until smooth, lighter in colour, and airy. Level the cooled cake layers if needed, and divide the filling in half. Set one half aside, and place the first layer on the serving platter. Frost the first layer with a portion of the filling, then continue filling and stacking the cake, making sure you leave a bit of the filling to do a crumb coat on the cake. Crumb coating is basically spreading a thin layer of frosting all over the cake, just to trap in any loose crumbs from the cake layers, and prevent them from showing up in the final frosting layer. After crumb coating the cake, place it in the refrigerator for an hour, or in the freezer for 30 minutes, so it can firm up.
Add the cocoa powder to the reserved filling, blend it well, then frost the entire chilled cake, and place it back into the refrigerator. To decorate it further, melt the dark chocolate, and evenly spread on top of the cake, letting it drip down the sides. Place the decorated cake into the refrigerator for at least 8 hours. Yields 12 servings.