Thirty Years of Love + A Dark Chocolate Cake
Thirty years ago, on a blissful Spring day, my parents were married in the garden of a quaint bed and breakfast in Santa Barbara. Theirs is a quiet sort of love; real and enduring, built over a lifetime together. The kind of love the Honey and I are just at the beginning of.
We’ve made a life together here in the South, and I’ve been afforded many blessings, for which I am grateful, but there are still moments when I wish I didn’t live so far from home. I think Santa Barbara will always be home, especially on days like today, when I’m feeling particularly sentimental, celebrating life’s big moments from afar.
The sun is shining warm and lovely here today, a kind reminder of the sweet, Spring days so often taken for granted growing up in my hometown by the sea. I felt compelled to make a cake; a rich, dark chocolate cake, with an equally luscious dark chocolate ganache glaze. Just something simple and sweet to celebrate a lasting love.
A delicious, rich dark chocolate cake with a chocolate ganache glaze.
For the Cake:
- 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1/2 tsp sea salt
- 10 oz bittersweet dark chocolate, chopped into small bits
- 1–1/2 sticks unsalted butter, at room temperature and cut into pieces
- 1–1/4 cups white sugar
- 3oz fresh espresso or coffee
- 2 tsp pure vanilla extract
- 4 large eggs, at room temperature
For the Chocolate Ganache Glaze
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 8 oz bittersweet dark chocolate
- 2 tbsp unsalted butter, at room temperature and cut into pieces
- Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Generously butter a 9-inch spring-form cake pan and set aside.
- Sift together the flour, cocoa and salt until well-combined. Set aside.
- Using a double-boiler, melt 8oz of the chocolate with the butter, 1/2 cup of the sugar, the espresso and the vanilla. Stir constantly until fully combined. The chocolate should be very smooth and shiny. Remove from the heat and set aside.
- In a stand-up mixer with the paddle-attachment, beat together the eggs and the remaining sugar for two minutes on high-speed until light and fluffy. With the mixer still running, carefully pour the melted chocolate mixture into the eggs until combined. Turn the mixer off and gently stir in the flour mixture and the remaining chocolate pieces until just mixed.
- Pour the batter into the cake-pan and bake for 40-45 minutes until the top has just set and begins to crackle. The cake will still be slightly gooey with melted chocolate in the center when a cake-tester is inserted into the middle. Remove from the oven and let cool on a baking rack.
- While the cake is cooling, make the ganache. In a sauce-pan, bring the cream just to a boil over medium heat. Add the chocolate and whisk continuously until fully melted. Add the butter and gently stir until just combined. Avoid over-mixing the glaze to ensure a glossy finish. Remove from the heat and let sit for a minute or two to thicken.
- When the cake is room-temperature, remove it from the pan and gently pour the ganache glaze over the cake, allowing it to spill down the sides. Top with fresh berries, and serve immediately.
As this cake is devoted to chocolate, use the best-quality chocolate and cocoa that you can afford.