myFresha-licious: Intense Bitter - Dark Chocolate Cake

Intense Bitter – Dark Chocolate Cake

I love chocolates. Chocolate truffles, pralines, chocolate drinks, chocolate cakes, chocolate ice creams, chocolate muffins, chocolate quick breads, chocolate filled breads or pastries,  except for chocolate breads.

So when I decided to learn how to bake a cake, I started with developing / formulating my own chocolate cake mix. I don’t like a cake called chocolate because it is brown and sweet.  I also don’t like a so called chocolate cake just because it has a dark brown color and has a plain bitter taste.  I want my chocolate cake to have a rich and intense bitter chocolate flavor.  Bitter chocolate and not just bitter.  A cake can be bitter by just adding coffee but the flavor resulting from it will be different as compared to using purely cocoa powder or chocolate.  I want my chocolate cake to taste like chocolate and not vanilla or something else.  I also want it to be moist but not oily because of too much oil nor saggy because of excess water.  And I also don’t want it to be too sweet as I am trying to avoid sugary food.

I came up with two chocolate cake recipes; one is a dark intense bitter chocolate cake and another is a rich chocolate cake but is not as bitter and as intense as the other one.  Both recipes produce cakes that are moist, and have smooth, not-crumbly textures.  The cakes I baked stayed moist for 4 days. They are not as dense as a butter-cake but not as fluffy as a chiffon nor a sponge.   And both recipes produce cakes that  possess a rich chocolate flavor and are not too cloying sweet.

It actually took me two trials and  two kinds of cocoa powder (dutch processed cocoa and unsweetened natural cocoa) to come up with the first chocolate cake recipe.  And as per my husband and friends, both of my cakes are delicious  and taste chocolaty. From my two chocolate cake recipes, I can make two dry cake premixes out of them, and store them for future use.  Just add water, vegetable oil, and eggs anytime I want to bake. It’s more convenient and easy to use.  With it, my husband can bake me a chocolate cake if I’m not in the mood for cooking 🙂

With my current chocolate cakes, I usually use the regular granulated sugar.  That’s the reason why I stopped baking for the meantime as I am on a diet and I’m trying to reduce my sugar intake.  May be in the future,  I will try to come up with a chocolate cake recipe using sugar substitutes and other non-wheat flour. May be just may be.

One important matter also is that I need to improve on cake decorating.  When it comes to that, my skill is very elementary.  My cake decoration attempts are so plain and unrefined hehehe.  I’m proud though with my shining shimmering glossy dark chocolate ganache.  As per what I’ve learned so far, a beautiful ganache frosting, no matter how plain and simple it is, should be smooth, velvety, shiny and glossy.  It should not have any sugar nor fat blooms.

Here’s the recipe for my intense Bitter – Dark chocolate Cake, the recipe for the ganache follows.  I decided to translate the measurements in my recipe into cups and spoon instead of grams / kilograms.  I just hope that you’d  be able to get the same result as I did.

By the way,  thanks to Kristine Bernardino for the tips.  If you want to learn how to bake you can check baking textbooks that teaches not just recipes but the basic fundamentals of baking.  check some of the textbooks we’ve been reading under our RECOMMENDED BOOKS section .




Cake flour (unsifted) – 1 cup
Natural Unsweetened Cocoa Powder – 3/4 c + 1 tbsp
Baking Powder – 1/2 tbsp
Baking Soda – 1/2 tsp
Vanilla Powder – 3/4 tsp
Salt – 1 1/4 tsp
Granulate Sugar –  1 cup + 1 tbsp

Eggs – 2 large
Full Cream Milk (at room temperature) – 1/2 cup + 2 tbsp
Vegetable Oil, Canola, sunflower oil (except olive oi) – 1 cup + 1 tbsp

You can also use water.  Use only 1/2 cup and 2 tsp of water at room temperature
Cooking Procedure

1.  Make sure that all the liquids are at room temperature, including the eggs.
2.  Heat the Oven at 200 degrees Celsius.  reduce the temperature to 180 degrees Celsius when you start baking
3. Mix well all the dry ingredients together
4.  Add the eggs, water, and oil, in no particular order.  Beat using a hand mixer, a stand mixer, or a wire whisk until the batter is homogenous with no lumps. 
5.  Transfer the batter in a greased pan (8″x8″x2″ or *’ round pan)
5. Bake the cake at 180 degrees Celsius for 20 to 25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean with no wet crumbs.

Cool the cake before frosting it with the ganache.



Dark Chocolate couverture (minimum of 70% Cocoa mass) – 350 g.
Dark chocolate couverture  (minimum of 100% Cocoa mass) – 150 g.
Heavy Cream – 400 g.

  1. Bring the heavy cream and chocolates to room temperature.  Just take them out of the refrigerator and use them after at least an hour or so.
  2. Chop the chocolates if you are using the block type or if you are using the chips or coin type, leave it as is.
  3. Heat the heavy cream in a bain-marie or for a speedier process, heat the cream in a microwave for 30 sec.  Check if it is hot but not bubbling.  If it is not, heat again for another 10 seconds.
  4. If the cream is hot, add the chocolate gradually, stir continuously allowing the chocolates to melt.
  5. For those using the microwave, if the temperature cannot melt the chocolate, heat the chocolate mixture again for 20 seconds then continue to stir. Heat again if needed.
  6. Stir with a spatula not a wire whisk and do not whisk the ganache so as not to allow bubbles to form
  7. Let it cool down for a few minutes before pouring it on a cake.  
  8. Put the cake in a chiller to set the chocolate ganache frosting before serving
  9. Decorate it with roasted sliced almonds 


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 © Fresha-licious (23March2012)