A chocoholic chocolate - pic supplied

Hirsch’s Chief Operations Executive, Margaret Hirsch says: “This recipe is dark, moist, sublime, and delicious, with a crunch. It offers everything you have ever wanted in a chocolate cake. It rises a little on the top during cooking; after turning it out, invert the cake, in order to frost a level surface.”


250 ml boiling water

50 g cocoa powder

125 ml sunflower oil

100 g dark chocolate

125 g butter

3 large eggs

30 g castor sugar

300 g cake flour

5 ml bicarbonate of soda

5 ml baking powder

Pinch salt

125 ml buttermilk

To decorate:

Ice with Chocolate Ganache and 8 – 10 Romany Cream Biscuits


Preheat oven to 160 to 180 degrees Celsius. Grease and line base of 1 x 26cm or 2 x 20cm spring-form cake pan/s with baking paper. Grease the paper a second time.

Place boiling water, cocoa powder and sun flower oil into a jug; stir to mix well; set aside to cool. Melt chocolate and butter together on 100% power in the microwave oven, for 2 – 3 minutes. Set aside to cool.

Beat eggs and castor sugar together in an electric food mixer, until light and fluffy. Sift the cake flour, bicarbonate of soda, baking powder, and salt.

Blend the cooled cocoa-powder mixture with the melted chocolate mixture. Add in the buttermilk.

Add the sifted flour mixture alternately with the liquid mixture, into the egg mixture. Take care to mix gently together; do not overbeat.

Pour mixture into prepared pan/s. Bake for 25 – 30 minutes for two pans, or 40 – 45 minutes for one pan, until firm in the centre and a cake tester comes out clean. Cool in the pans for 10 – 15 minutes, before turning out.

Allow to cool completely on a cake-cooling rack.

Place one layer onto a plate, top with chocolate ganache. Roughly break up or blitz in a food chopper 4 – 5 Romany Cream biscuits; scatter over the ganache. Place another layer on top. If using one layer, cut the layer in half, and proceed as for the two-layer cake.

Frost top layer with more chocolate ganache icing, so that it drizzles slightly down the sides of the cake; scatter the remaining broken Romany Cream biscuits evenly over the top.

To decorate, ice with Chocolate Ganache; 8 – 10 Romany Cream Biscuits.