Chocolate and espresso cake

Chocolate and espresso cake


The secret to this cake is to use good-quality cocoa and nice strong espresso. With weaker coffee, the temptation is to keep adding more to get the right depth of coffee flavour, but this will unbalance the recipe.


Quantity Ingredient
50ml strong espresso coffee
75ml hot water
90g cocoa powder
275g butter, softened, plus extra for greasing
375ml sour cream
275g dark brown soft sugar
4 eggs
1 tablespoon vanilla bean paste
300g plain flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt


  1. Preheat the oven to 180C° and grease and line a 23cm deep-sided, loose-bottomed cake tin.
  2. Place the coffee and hot water in bowl then sift the cocoa over the top and whisk together to form a smooth paste. Stir in the sour cream and whisk once more.
  3. Beat the butter and sugar together in a food mixer, or in a bowl with an electric whisk, for at least 5 minutes until lightened and fluffy. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating between each addition. Beat in the vanilla paste and sour-cream mixture – the mixture will curdle slightly but do not worry. Sift the flour, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda and salt into the mixture, then fold in to combine.
  4. Pour into the prepared cake tin and bake for 45-60 minutes until risen and slightly firm to the touch. A skewer inserted into the centre of the cake should come out clean – if it doesn’t, return the cake to the oven for a further 5 minutes.
  5. Remove from the oven and cool in the tin before turning out. Serve on its own or with a dollop of clotted cream.
James Martin
Saturday Kitchen
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