Big Cakes: Chocolate Celebration Cake


Preparation info

  • Serves


    • Difficulty


Appears in

Bake and Decorate

Bake and Decorate

By Fiona Cairns

Published 2011

  • About

This is a really dark chocolate cake, perfect for a big occasion. It’s also moist enough to serve as a dessert with crème fraîche and berries. This is a large amount of cake but, for a smaller party, use exactly half the recipe to fill a 23cm diameter, 7.5cm deep, round tin and bake for just 25-35 minutes.


For the Cake

  • 300 g unsalted butter, cubed, plus more for the tin
  • 4 tsp instant coffee
  • 400 g 70% cocoa solids chocolate, broken into pieces
  • 280 g golden caster sugar
  • 120 g self-raising flour, sifted
  • 10 eggs, separated
  • ½ tsp salt


    Lightly butter a 30cm diameter, 7.5cm deep, round springform tin and line the base with baking parchment. Preheat the oven to 170°C/fan 160°C/340°F/gas mark 3½.

    Set a large heatproof bowl over a saucepan of very gently simmering water, making sure the base of the bowl does not touch the water. Dissolve the coffee in 4 tbsp hot water. Add the coffee, chocolate, sugar and butter to the bowl and melt together. Cool a little, then add the flour and mix well until smooth. Tip in the egg yolks, 1 at a time, mixing between each addition.

    Whisk the egg whites with the salt to stiff peaks. Using a large spoon or spatula, fold a big spoonful of egg whites into the chocolate mixture. Once combined, fold in the rest. Tip into the tin, smooth the top and bake for 40-45 minutes, or until firm to the touch and a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean. The sides will just be beginning to shrink from the tin.

    Remove from the oven, leave in the tin for about 5 minutes, then turn out on to a wire rack to cool completely.

    For the ganache, melt the chocolate, cream and butter in a bowl set over very gently simmering water, again ensuring the base of the bowl does not touch the water. Stir until smooth, then cool a little to thicken before pouring over the cake. Allow to set for at least 2 hours.