Who doesn’t love chocolate cake?  Well, to be honest me.  At least I didn’t use to.  I’ve historically preferred savory to sweet.  When I think back to the sheet cakes and birthday cakes of my youth, they were always dry.  Then there were the ubiquitous flourless chocolate cake….no longer dry but often fudgy and too rich for my taste.

A friend gave me this recipe more than 20 years ago.  I’m not sure of the original source.  I think this cake is a perfect compromise….moist but not cloying.  Even better it’s simple to prepare and will serve at least 12.

Chocolate cake

1/4 lb butter, room temperature

1 cup sugar

4 eggs, beaten

1 teaspoon vanilla

16 ounces chocolate syrup ( Hershey’s works fine)

1 cup flour



10 ounces semisweet chocolate, roughly chopped

¾ cup heavy cream

1 tablespoon espresso or strong dark coffee


To complete

white decorative icing

Fruit such as raspberries


1.     Preheat oven to 350F.

2.    Butter an 8" cake pan with a removable bottom, such as a cheesecake pan.

3.    Cut out an 8" circle of parchment paper, place on bottom of pan, butter the parchment.

4.    Cream the butter and sugar together until soft.

5.    Stir in the eggs and mix.

6.    Add vanilla and syrup and mix.

7.    Add flour and stir until just combined.

8.    Pour into cake ban, bake in middle of oven until toothpick inserted in middle of cake comes out clean.  Note - you don't want it to be fully dry in the middle, just not wet.  This is a very moist cake.  It usually takes 30 - 40 minutes.

9.    Remove, set on rack and cook.

10.  When cool, remove from pan, remove parchment and place on plate for icing.

11.   For the ganache, place chopped chocolate in a large bowl.

12.  Bring cream just to the boil and pour over the chocolate, stirring until smooth and shiny;  add the espresso.

13.  Let the ganache cool to a spreadable consistency and ice the cake.

14.  To decorate, take small tube of decorator's icing and starting in the middle of cake, slowly pipe a white spiral until you get to the outside of the cake.

15.  Take a paring knife, and starting at the center of the cake, drag it gently through the icing from center to edge to create a decorative effect.  Repeat around the cake.

16.  Garnish with fruit and serve.