Friday, February 01, 2019


There is a belief that simple, everyday cakes have to be plain, usually lightly flavoured, and prepared incredibly quickly. Now, they are quick to make, but that most certainly does not have to mean they are plain or that they lack the depth of flavour.
Ever since I have delved into the world of baking and sweet treats, snack cakes have been the epitome of everyday desserts to me. Usually made with ingredients that are already in cupboards, they are so very delicious, yet simple to prepare.
When a situation calls for a snack cake, chocolate cake works best, as it is the classic, and loved by most, if not all. Moist, flavourful chocolate cake, soaked with chocolate syrup, and then adorned with chocolate whipped cream. Disaronno adds slightly bitter notes that deepen the chocolate flavour, making this sweet treat perfect alongside a cup of tea or coffee.

For the cake
120 grams plain flour
100 grams granulated sugar
3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
1 teaspoon baking powder
200 grams vanilla yoghurt
50 ml vegetable oil
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 teaspoon almond extract
1 tablespoon Disaronno liqueur
For the chocolate syrup
90 ml cold water
60 grams granulated sugar
1 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder
2 tablespoons Disaronno liqueur
For the decoration
200 ml double cream
1 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder

Take a large mixing bowl, and sift in the plain flour and the cocoa powder. Give them a quick whisk to blend, then tip in the granulated sugar and the baking powder, and whisk again. In a separate bowl, mix together the yoghurt, oil, vanilla, almond extract, and Disaronno. When thoroughly whisked, pour this over the dry ingredients, and mix until combined. Do not overmix, because there isn’t a lot of the cake batter, and the finished cake will be tough. Pour the batter into a lined square cake tin (20x20 cm), and bake it in a preheated oven, at 200°C (400°F), for 12-15 minutes. It has to spring back when lightly touched.
While the cake is baking, make the chocolate syrup. Place the sugar into a heavy-bottomed saucepan, and sift in the cocoa powder to get rid of any possible lumps that are there. Mix well with the sugar, and pour in the water, then mix to combine. Place the saucepan over medium high heat and let it come to a boil without stirring. Once it starts to boil, start whisking the sauce, because it can easily burn. Continue cooking and whisking until the sugar fully dissolves, for about 5 minutes. Remove it from the heat, add Disaronno, and stir well, then reserve.
Once the cake is baked, remove it from the oven, and very carefully and gradually soak it with the chocolate Disaronno syrup. Pour the syrup slowly, by spoonful, waiting until the cake absorbs the amount you poured before adding more syrup. Once all the syrup has been used up, set the cake aside until it cools down to room temperature, then place it in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours, preferably longer. Just before serving, whip up the cream with the sifted cocoa powder until soft peaks form, spread it over the cooled cake, slice it into four big slices, and serve. Yields 4 servings.

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