This has to be one of my favourite chocolate cake recipes, not just because it contains two of my greatest loves – chocolate and beer – but because it is so easy to make and yet it is incredibly tasty and moist. It is based on an American cola cake that a family friend once made for me when I was a kid so I adapted it to make it quirkier and it came out so well. It also works extremely well with French cider or a good ale. I think you will be truly surprised at just how great this cake is. Patisserie at Home by Will Torrent (photography by Jonathan Gregson) is published by Ryland Peters & Small at £19.99 and is available from http://www.rylandpeters.com
The opéra, named after the Paris Grand Opéra of the 1900s, comprises neat layers of sponge, buttercream and ganache, all enticingly flavoured with coffee. From Patisserie at Home by Will Torrent, published by Ryland Peters & Small, £19.99, available from http://www.rylandpeters.com (photography by Jonathan Gregson)
A delicious recipe by Arnaud Normand, the chocolate chef involved in research and development at Marou in Vietnam.
From Chantal Coady's Mastering the Art of Chocolate. This method of candying makes the peel almost transparent and particularly creamy with a gentle and elegant flavour. Use the stock syrup as a base for cordials and cocktails, or drizzle it over cake.
This recipe by David Kelly wowed the judges of the Great Chocolate Cake Off 2012 at Chocolate Unwrapped. A stone mason by trade, David has spent the last two years teaching himself to bake.
Chocolate and chilli is an absolutely delicious combination that originated in Mexico during the time of the Aztecs and Maya. In savoury dishes such as chilli con carne the chocolate is used to give richness and flavour, whereas in this cake recipe, the chilli is used to enhance the taste of the chocolate. This recipe is courtesy of Le Creuset. It might surprise you, but their casserole pots aren’t just great for slow cooking casseroles. In fact, cakes and pastries bake to perfection thanks to cast iron’s excellent heat distribution and retention properties. A clean round casserole also doubles as a handy storage container.
If you’re looking for something a bit different, try this luxurious beetroot and chocolate cake from lovebeetroot.co.uk. The beetroot works beautifully in this recipe, making the cake incredibly moist – as well as providing a healthy boost!
Moist and sticky with crunchy cocoa nibs and an aromatic sweet-spiced syrup, these cakes are the perfect dessert served warm with real vanilla ice cream or cold with rooibos or Earl Grey tea.
This is a classic to rival even Lindy’s world-famous cheesecakes in New York, in my opinion. A dark chocolate crumb base topped with a rich and creamy white chocolate filling. The orange and lemon zests, along with the slight saltiness of the cream cheese give a real tang to avoid any cloying.
This has the easiest and best of all treats – three kinds of chocolate, melted with cream plus wonderful fruit and cake for dipping.