I found ‘Achmat’s Chocolate Cake’ on the last page of an old recipe book that my friend discovered when he moved into his new place. The book, called The Cape Cookbook, was compiled by Myrna Robins, a food writer for a well known Cape Town newspaper at the time. It’s a collection of heritage recipes. I thought I’d try out the yoghurt chocolate cake for my sister’s birthday.
I mixed all the ingredients BY HAND. Yes, it was a labour of love but my friend didn’t have a mixing machine! I had all the time in the world to ponder what life was like in a kitchen a few hundred years ago as I squelched the butter and sugar (and just about everything) through my fingers on a cold Winter’s day. I decided I was glad I wasn’t born a few hundred years ago.
‘This is not going to rise, no way!’ I said to my friend. ‘Ha, ha, well, we’ll just have to settle for chocolate brownies in that case.’ But amazingly enough, it did rise. I finished the cake with caramelised condensed milk (in the centre and on top) and then grated a slab of Lindt’s Pear Chocolate over the top for a simple finish.
The texture and taste were a hit – the cake has a moist (but not overly moist) texture and an ever so slight sour undertone (from the yoghurt).
- Measure out your ingredients
- Gather two bowls/mixing equipment/wire rack etc
- Grease two cake tins (2 cm x 20cm diameter – I used one large cake tin and later cut it through the middle)
- Pre-heat your oven to 180 degrees celsius
- For the cake batter: 3 eggs/500 ml Bulgarian yoghurt/250 g butter/500 ml sugar/250 ml cocoa powder/10 ml bicarbonate of soda/500 ml cake flour
- For the centre: caramalised condensed milk
- Icing: 100 g soft butter/500 g icing sugar/180 ml cocoa/filter coffee or espresso OR grated chocolate
FOR THE CAKE:
Mix the following ingredients in a bowl (Bowl One):
- Beat 250 g butter until it is soft
- Gradually beat in 500 ml (2 cups) of sugar into your butter
- Stir in 250 ml (1 cup) of cocoa powder – mix well
In a separate bowl (Bowl Two):
- Whisk 3 eggs until light
- Stir in 500 ml (2 cups) of Bulgarian yoghurt
Add the egg/yoghurt mix in Bowl Two to Bowl One
- Stir in 10 ml (2 level teaspoons) of bicarbonate of soda
- Gradually add 500 ml (2 cups) of cake flour – fold in well after each addition
Spoon the mixture into your greased cake tins
- Bake for 45 – 55 minutes (use a tester to check readiness – it should come out clean)
- Allow the tins to cool before removing the cakes
- Allow to cool completely on a wire rack
FOR THE FINISHING:
- Prepare your icing by beating 100 g soft butter until it is light and fluffy. Mix in 500 g icing sugar and 180 ml (3/4 cup) cocoa. Add enough liquid filter coffee/espresso to make a spreading consistency
- Spread the caramel onto one of the cakes and sandwich it with the other
- Ice the top and sides of the cake with your icing
- OR skip the icing and finish with grated chocolate on top (in which case you could spread caramel on top of the cake as a base for the chocolate)