Ingredients for the cake:

1 cup (250ml)     Water

125g                       Butter, chopped

1/3 cup (35g)      Cocoa powder, sifted

2 cups (300g)      Plain flour, sifted

1 tsp                      Bicarbonate of soda, sifted

2 cups (440g)      Caster sugar

2                              Eggs

1/2 cup (125ml) Buttermilk (can be self-made by mixing ½ cup of milk with 1 tsp of lemon juice and leave it for 10 mins or until the milk curdles)

1 tsp                      Vanilla extract

Ingredients for chocolate cream cheese frosting:

50g                         Butter, softened

250g                       Cream cheese

1 cups (160g)      Icing sugar, sifted

1/4 (25g) cup      Cocoa, sifted

How to:
Preheat oven to 160ºC (325ºF). Place water, butter and cocoa in a saucepan over medium heat and stir until the butter has melted.
Place flour, bicarbonate of soda and sugar in a bowl, add the cocoa mixture and whisk to combine.
Add eggs, buttermilk and vanilla and whisk to combine.
Divide mixture between 2 lightly greased 18cm round cake tins lined with non-stick baking paper. Bake for 40–45 minutes or until cooked when tested with a skewer.
Allow to cool in the tins for 10 minutes. Turn out onto wire racks to cool completely.
While waiting for the cake to cool down, make the cream cheese frosting.
Place butter and cream cheese in the bowl of an electric mixer and beat for 6–8 minutes or until pale and creamy.
Add icing sugar and cocoa and beat for 6–8 minutes or until light and fluffy.
To assemble, slice the cakes in half horizontally. Place one cake layer on a plate and spread with one quarter of the frosting. (When cutting a cake, it’s best to do so with a hot knife. Dip the knife in hot water and dry with a tea towel between each cut.)
Repeat with remaining layers and frosting.

In the picture, I covered the top of the cake with cocoa powder and tiny chocolate balls and wrapped the side with chocolate lace.

Notes: This recipe can be modified to make cupcakes with chocolate ganache filling.
To make ganache filling, just heat half a cup of single cream (not boil) in a microwave or stove then pour it over approx 300g chopped chocolate and stir until the chocolate melts and all well blended.

This recipe makes 24 standard sized cupcakes or 1 large cake.

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