Hot Chocolate Cake

Eve 27/09/14

Your favourite autumn/ winter drink in cake form! Rich, deep and dark chocolate cake with mini marshmallows baked on top and topped with a dreamy Chantilly cream.

Hot chocolate is one of THE best drinks in the world with without coffee. Rich, chocolaty yet refreshing is my idea of  the perfect chocolate. No cream and no marshmallows in my hot chocolates, I like mine the French way! 

This cake is inspired by a traditional cafe hot chocolate; milky hot chocolate, sweet marshmallows and fluffy cream. However, I have made this cake gourmet with some simple twists and ideas. 

What sets this cake apart from your average "chocolat chaud" is, well, basically everything! When the cakes are baking, you scatter marshmallows on top and return the cakes back into the oven. After 5 minutes, the mallows puff up and get a slightly toasted and golden appearance, adding flavour and texture.  

The cream adorning the cake is an easy Chantilly cream. Chantilly cream is just whipped cream with the addition of icing sugar and the seeds of half a vanilla pod. This lifts  plain regular whipped cream into something restaurant worthy. The speckles of vanilla makes the cake look even prettier.

↑ Look how moist this cake is ↑

See that? This cake is so good! 
Instead of using a butter cake with the addition of cocoa powder and a cupcake batter with the addition of melted chocolate, I made a devil's food cake with cocoa powder and boiling water. 

Wait, boiling water?

Yep, the boiling water does three great things to the cake. First of all, it tenderises the cake by heating the flour to break the gluten down slightly. Next, it lets the cocoa powder "bloom", letting the cocoa release all of its flavour. Last of all, it makes the cake unbelievably fudge yet light at the same time.

It is a good job that it is the weekend, this is a seriously decadence cake! Extremely chocolaty and delicious, this cake is pretty amazing and beautiful.

So, lets make the cake! First, you dissolve your light brown sugar and cocoa powder in the boiling water to make a sweet chocolate water. This step is important, if you don't dissolve the ingredients properly, the sugar and cocoa will not impart their vital and tempting flavours. 

Next, beat your eggs with some caster sugar until fluffy and slowly add the oil in a steady stream. Fold in the dry ingredient followed by the cocoa concoction and bake!

For the fat in this cake, I used sunflower oil. I actually love using oil in a richly flavoured cake, such as a chocolate cake or carrot cake as it gives a more soft finish than butter. However, if you melt butter, that then gives the same result as oil, but with a "buttery" flavour and colour. I didn't use soft butter or melted butter as you wouldn't be able to taste the flavour and it adds unwanted saturated fat. This cake batter is 100% focused on the chocolate, nothing more and certainly nothing less!

I would use melted butter in a vanilla, lemon or any other light flavoured cake as it gives a lovely flavour. 

You should make this cake. If you love hot chocolates and cream and marshmallows, this one is for you. Decadence, moist, fudgy and pretty darn amazing, this is just heaven!

Hot Chocolate Cake
Posted by Eve
Makes one 2 layer 20cm cake / serves 10 - 12

  • 50g cocoa powder
  • 75g light brown sugar
  • 225ml boiling water
  • 100g caster sugar
  • 2 eggs, at room temperature
  • 125ml oil, like sunflower or rapeseed
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 200g plain flour
  • 1 1/2 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp. baking powder
  • 100g mini marshmallows
For the filling and topping

  • 3/4 tsp. powdered gelatin
  • 2 tbsp. boiling water
  • 150ml whipping or double cream
  • 25g icing sugar
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract or seeds from 1/2 vanilla pod

  1. Preheat the oven to 180c/ 160c fan/ gas mark 4 and line and grease 2 x 20cm round cake tins.
  2. Put the cocoa powder, brown sugar and boiling water into a bowl and stir to dissolve. set aside while you make the rest of the cake batter.
  3. Whisk the sugar and eggs together in a large bowl until light and moussy. Gradually pour in the oil while whisking until all of the oil is added. Sieve in the flour, baking soda and baking powder and fold in until nearly combined.
  4. Pour in the hot cocoa mixture and the vanilla. Mix until smooth and divide equally between the two tins evenly. 
  5. Bake for 25 minutes and them scatter the mini marshmallows evenly over the tops of the cakes. Place back into the oven a bake fore 5 -10 more minutes until well risen and when a skewer is inserted, it comes out clean. Let the cakes cool in their tins for 5 minutes before removing and cooling on a wire rack completely.
  6. Next, make the filling and topping. Put the gelatin and boiling water into a saucepan and leave for 5 minutes. Heat on a gentle heat until liquid and transparent. Pour the mix into a bowl and leave to cool but make sure it stays in liquid form.
  7. Whisk the cream, sugar and vanilla together until it just starts to thicken. Add the cooled gelatin and whisk again until fluffy and smooth. 
  8. To assemble the cake, place one cake, marshmallow side up on a serving plate and cover the top with half of the cream. Spread the cream evenly over the top of the cake and top with the second cake, marshmallow side down. Top the cake with the remaining cream how you want. Decorate with cocoa powder, marshmallows and/ or chocolate.


This cake should be stored in the fridge and eaten within 4 days of baking. 

Hot chocolate cake
1 slice, with the marshmallows baked in and filled and topped with the cream (1/10 of recipe)


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