Ingredients for the cake:
1 cup (250ml) water
125g butter, chopped
1/3 cup (35g) cocoa, sifted
2 cups (300g) plain (all-purpose) flour, sifted
1 teaspoon bicarbonate of (baking) soda, sifted
2 cups (440g) caster (superfine) sugar
1/2 cup (125ml) buttermilk (can be selfmade by mixing ½ cup of milk and 1 tsp of lemon or lime juice and leave it for 10-15 mins)
1 teaspoon 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
Preheat oven to 160ºC (325ºF). Place the water, butter and cocoa in a saucepan over medium heat and stir until the butter has melted.
Place the flour, bicarbonate of soda and sugar in a bowl, add the cocoa mixture and whisk to combine.
Add the 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 the cake is baking, make the cream cheese frosting.
Place the butter and cheese in the bowl of an electric mixer and beat for 6–8 minutes or until pale and creamy.
Add the icing sugar and cocoa and beat for a further 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, particularly some of the high frosted ones, 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. For even slices, mark the icing gently with the knife before cutting all the way through.)
Repeat with remaining layers and frosting.
P.S. In a warm day, this recipe can be modified to make cupcakes with 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 23 cupcakes or 1 large cake.