Dark chocolate & coffee decadence

Life’s guilty little pleasures…I cannot imagine a nicer guilty treat than a home-baked decadent dark chocolate cake, 4 tiers, filled with caramel and topped with walnuts. Moist yet spongy, sweet yet slightly bitter with an end note of espresso. Absolute bliss!! Use the cake as a base and decorate with your choice of icing & any kind of decoration. Or bake the cake and get the kids to decorate!! The options really are endless…

Ingredients
2C Flour
1 3/4 C Castor sugar
3/4C Cocoa powder
1/4 C Dark chocolate pieces
2 Tsp Baking powder
1 1/2 Tsp Baking soda
1Tsp Salt
2 Eggs
3Tsp Vanilla Essence
1C Milk
1/2C Canola oil
120ml Espresso (I use Nespresso)
130ml Boiled water
1 Tin caramel spread
225g Dark chocolate pieces
250ml Cream
2C Walnuts, if using

How to do it
Preheat oven to 180 degrees. Line two cake tins with parchment paper and spray with non-stick. Set aside.
Sift together the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt & cocoa powder. Combine the eggs & milk and mix through the dry ingredients, using a handheld mixer. Add the vanilla essence & canola oil and beat for 1 minute. Lightly fold in the chocolate pieces. Mix the coffee with the boiled water and pour into the batter. Mix well taking care not to over-mix the batter.
Pour the batter in equal parts into the cake tins and place into the oven. Bake for 40 minutes. Insert a skewer into the cake after 40 minutes. If it comes out clean, the cake is ready. Alternatively, bake for a few more minutes. Meanwhile, bring the cream to a gentle simmer taking care not to overheat the cream. The cream must be warm, not scalding hot. Pour the warm cream over the chocolate pieces and mix well. Leave to stand for 10 minutes before placing into the fridge to set.
To decorate
Once the cakes have cooled down completely, carefully slice each cake in half using a serrated knife. Spread 3 halves with the caramel spread. Place halves on top of one another and place the last half on top.
Once the chocolate ganache have set, using your handheld mixer, mix until lighter in colour and fluffy.
Using a spatula, decorate the cake on the top and sides. Chop the walnuts and cover the top of the cake.

From my kitchen to yours, with love x

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