For cake layers:
• 3/4 cup boiling water
• 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
• 1 teaspoon instant-espresso powder
• 1/2 cup whole milk
• 1 teaspoon vanilla
• 2 cups plain flour
• 1 1/4 teaspoons baking soda
• One pinch of salt
• 2 sticks unsalted butter, softened
• 2 cups packed dark brown sugar
• 4 large eggs
For ganache filling and glaze:
• 2 1/2 cups heavy cream
• 20 ounces fine-quality bittersweet chocolate (not unsweetened), finely chopped
1. Preheat your oven to 180°C/ gas mark 4
2. Grease three (7 or 8-inch) round cake tins and line bottoms with greased parchment paper. Dust your tins with flour.
3. Whisk together water, cocoa, and espresso powder until smooth, then whisk in milk and vanilla.
4. Sift together flour, baking soda, and salt.
5. Beat together the butter and brown sugar in a large bowl until fluffy, then add eggs 1 at a time, beating well after each. Add flour mixture and cocoa mixture in batches, beginning and ending with flour and mixing at low speed until combined.
6. Divide your mix among the tins and smooth the tops. Bake in the centre of the oven for around 30 to 35 minutes for 7-inch pans or 20 to 25 minutes for 8-inch.
7. Cool in pans, then invert onto racks, remove paper, and cool completely.
As your cakes bake, prepare the ganache:
1. Bring cream to a simmer in a saucepan and remove from heat
2. Whisk in chocolate until smooth
3. Transfer ganache to a bowl, cover and chill for around four hours - stirring occasionally, until thickened and spreadable.
1. Layer the cakes on top of one another, with around 2/3 cup of ganache between each layer (spread evenly). *Chill the ganache if necessary to keep at a spreadable consistency.
2. Chill cake until ganache filling is firm - this should take around one hour)
3. Spread a thin layer of your ganache over the top and sides of your cake and then chill for 30 minutes
4. Spread the remaining ganache evenly over the top and sides of your cake
5. Share your photo on Facebook or Twitter and include the hashtag #LetsLandC
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For cake layers: