Classic dark chocolate cake

i am a chef - chocolate cake

I admit it; I’m a cake lover. Luckily, I’m not a pâtissière, because I would eat a whole cake everyday! But not those made out of “mousse”. I’m quite traditional when it comes to the cakes. At this point, I don’t even care if there is any frosting or cream on it, I just love the taste of a real fluffy and spongy cake. I grew up eating olive oil cakes. I know, it sounds bizarre but believe me it’s delicious! In another post I’ll give my mother’s olive oil cake recipe but today it’s all about a classic chocolate cake, because I really was craving this since weeks.

A few weeks ago, my husband slipped and broke his leg when he was walking on an icy street. Since I have a very small family in Montreal (only my husband and my daughter), he is my biggest help and support in everything I do (as a chef restaurateur of two restaurants you can imagine how much support I can use everyday, especially in my personal life). When the accident happened, it felt like my life turned upside down, my priorities had to change. I knew it was temporary but still, it was quite difficult to process all these changes for someone like me who lives and works around the clock. Thanks to the devoted and hardworking team members of both my restaurants, I was able to spend time at home to take care of my husband. Then, two weeks later, my daughter had to go through a catheter ablation for her tachycardia (WPW syndrome, to be more specific). Even though the doctors were saying that it was a safe procedure, waiting for your child in front of a surgery room for 3 hours can be the longest time of your life! After a few days of her operation, she started to feel better and I needed a big, dark chocolate-y, comforting, indulging cake. And, I needed to make it myself and eat the half of it by myself! Here is the recipe of this lovely, tasty and comforting cake.

I even made my daughter work for the photo shooting! Photo © Su Tarhan

i am a chef - chocolate cake sliced

Classic dark chocolate cake

Yield: 12 servings


    for the cake
  • 3 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 3/4 cups (170 gr) unsalted butter, at room temperature, plus for the pan
  • 2 1/4 cups (295 gr) cake flour, not self rising
  • 3/4 cup (75 gr) 100% cacao powder
  • 2 1/4 cups (450 gr) sugar
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 cup plain yogurt or light sour cream
  • for the ganache
  • 1 lb (500 gr) semisweet dark chocolate (75% cacao), finely chopped
  • 2 cups (500 ml) heavy cream
  • 1/2 cup (120 ml) simple syrup


  1. Preheat the oven to 350F (180C).
  2. Lightly butter an 8 in (20 cm) round cake pan. Dust inside with flour and tap out the excess.
  3. Sift the cake flour and cacao together and put into a medium bowl. Add baking soda, baking powder and salt.
  4. Beat the butter in another bowl with an electric mixer on medium high speed until it's smooth. Gradually add the sugar and continue mixing, scraping down the sides often, until pale in color and light in texture. Beat in the eggs, adding one at a time. Lower the mixer speed and add the flour mixture in thirds, alternating with two equal addition of yogurt (or sour cream). Pour evenly in the prepared cake pan.
  5. Bake the cake until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, about 35-40 minutes. Let cool the cake in the pan for 10 minutes and then, unmold onto the rack and let cool completely.
  6. Meantime, make the ganache; bring the cream to a simmer in a medium sauce pan, don't let it to boil over. Put the chocolate in a large bowl and pour the hot cream over the chocolate, whisk until smooth. Place the bowl in the fridge and let cool the chocolate completely about 1 hour.
  7. When the cake is cooled, cut it in half with long serrated knife and trim the top and edges to make 2 even disks.
  8. Place one cake layer on a flat plate or a cake display. Brush with half of the simple syrup. Spread half of the ganache with a spatula. Top with the second cake layer and brush with remaining syrup. Spread the ganache on top and around the cake. Don't worry about perfect frosting.
  9. Refrigerate the cake at least 1 hour before serving.
  10. Make slices using a sharp knife dipped into hot water.


You can use your favorite berries in and on top of the cake if you like.

Bon appétit!

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