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Chocolate cake: 10 easy recipes


Chocolate cake is one of the most popular desserts in the world. It is easy to make, and it can be prepared in lots of different ways. The first recipes appear to date from the 18th century. Before that, chocolate was only consumed as a beverage. 

From birthdays to afternoon tea and dinner, every occasion is a good chance to make a chocolate cake. This article gives you 10 easy chocolate cake recipes. They are made with Valrhona’s pastry-making chocolate and ingredients chosen by chefs.  

Our Valrhona chocolate cake recipes 

Easy chocolate cake: cakes & marble cakes 

Cakes, both plain chocolate and marbled, are simple recipes the whole family can follow. They have the advantage of being easy to carry and storing well. Give them a try! 

Dark chocolate cake

delicious recipe by the chefs at L’École Gourmet Valrhona. 

You will need:  

A glaze made with Equatoriale noir 55% couverture chocolate adds an extra-special something to your dessert. For this step, the chefs recommend you ice your cake after it has been in the freezer. 

Gluten-free dark chocolate cake:  

If you are gluten intolerant, don't panic! We also have a Valrhona chocolate cake recipe for you. 

Here, wheat flour is replaced with a mixture of rice flour and potato starch.  
The couverture chocolate used is Valrhona Millot 74% organic dark chocolate. This pastry-making chocolate comes from a single plantation in Madagascar. The recipe also includes Valrhona cocoa powder

This easy chocolate cake can be served with crème anglaise or ice cream. These accompaniments are a lovely way to tie everything together on the palate. 

Quick and easy marble cake:  

Nothing transports us back into childhood like marble cake. What a pleasure it is to observe the unpredictable way shapes form when the cake is baked!

Make 2 cake mixes:  

The chefs at L’École Gourmet Valrhona advise you to use a fairly deep cake tin (7cm) for this cake. This way, you will get beautiful patterns in every slice. 

Chocolate cake: mini formats for snack time 

Here are three chocolate cake recipes suitable for small formats. They are ideal for teatime, with coffee or as a snack. 

Chocolate & tonka bean financiers:

A nut flour financier recipe with a twist. Here, the tonka bean's aromas combine with Valrhona’s Caraïbe 66% dark chocolate couverture. This dark chocolate is available in a 250g or 1kg bag of fèves.  

It's ideal for giving traditional financiers a modern makeover. 

If you want to make this recipe, you can watch the step-by-step video. This recipe from L’École Valrhona’s chefs gives you the chance to cook like a professional using their selected ingredients. 

Gluten-free mini chocolate cakes:

We’ve shown you the gluten-free Millot cake recipe, but we’d like to give you a couple of ideas to take it a step further. 

Here the cake is molded into small cubes before two preparations are added: 

  • A glaze made with Millot 74% dark chocolate couverture and chopped almonds. 
  • Whipped ganache, also made with Millot 74%

Chocolate and praliné cupcakes:

For a birthday snack or teatime, here is the number-one indulgent chocolate-flavored recipe that everyone can love. 

This recipe is made with Valrhona’s Oriado 60% organic dark chocolate couverture. 

Are you familiar with Oriado? It’s a blend of Valrhona Grand Crus from the Dominican Republic and Peru. This dark chocolate has balanced ripe and tangy fruit flavors. Oriado is an organic chocolate, made from beans grown on a certified Fairtrade Max Havelaar plantation. 

The cupcake topping is a blend of Oriado chocolate and Fruity 50% Almond & Hazelnut Praliné. The whole thing is whipped with a blender and loaded with chopped hazelnuts. 
And for the decoration, consider Crunchy Pearls

Chocolate cake: the most indulgent recipes (brownie & melt-in-the-middle cake) 

Guanaja & Caramel Brownie:

Brownie is a much-loved dessert that needs no introduction among chocolate connoisseurs.

Here, the chefs at L’École Gourmet Valrhona suggest you add salted-butter caramel flavored with Norohy vanilla. The caramel slips between two layers of brownie. 

And the chefs’ top tip for the caramel? They recommend you cook the caramel to 226°F (108°C) (or for 5 minutes for an equivalent effect), stirring all the while, to make sure it has the right consistency. The resulting caramel will be neither too thick nor too liquid. 

This brownie is made with Guanaja 70% couverture, Valrhona’s iconic dark chocolate. 

Brownie Cube

An elaborate brownie in a cube shape for an elegant, tasty dessert. 

This recipe’s final touch is its Dulcey whipped ganache. Sosa Cantonese cocoa nibs also add a subtle crunchiness. 

Chocolate Melt-in-the-Middle Cake 

Is it possible to make an article about chocolate cakes without talking about chocolate melt-in-the-middle puddings? Unthinkable! 

This quick, easy chocolate cake recipe will melt your guests’ hearts. 

The secret to its success is the Guanaja melting hearts that go in the center of your soft cake. 

Do you feel ready to tackle some more complicated projects? Visit the Recipes page to discover recipes for chocolate pies or desserts. 

Ingredients for a successful chocolate cake 

We suggest quality ingredients for your chocolate cake. 

Quality pastry-making chocolate 

All the recipes in this article are made from dark chocolate. However, other pastry-making chocolates can be used in your cake recipes. You can use milk or white chocolate.  

Why choose Valrhona chocolate for your recipes? 

  • Valrhona offers professional quality chocolate which is accessible to avid pastry-making amateurs. The best pastry chefs in the world use these chocolates! And you too can have access to these quality ingredients as an amateur pastry chef. 

  • Valrhona is a certified B Corp®. Valrhona has joined this movement for a more sustainable, fairer cocoa industry. The company's strategy therefore has to take into account major environmental and social issues. 

  • 100% of its cocoa beans are traced back to 17,215 partner producers worldwide. It’s important to know where our cocoa beans come from. Who harvested the cocoa? What were the conditions like? First of all, this guarantees the cocoa beans’ quality. But it also enables us to take action against deforestation and improves cocoa producers’ working and living conditions. 

  • Valrhona fèves or chocolate drops are simple to use. Their shape makes them easy to measure. They melt faster and allow you to work with chocolate with greater precision. 

Praliné adds a nutty touch

Why add praliné to your chocolate cake recipes? To make them even more indulgent! What’s more, the combination of nuts and chocolate works every time. 

What is praliné? We’ll recap everything you need to know if you aren’t familiar with this product yet. 

Praliné is made from almonds, hazelnuts and sugar. The nuts are roasted, caramelized and ground. The result is a delicious batter with warm, rounded notes. 

One of the secrets behind Valrhona’s Fruity 50% Almond & Hazelnut Praliné is the quality of its nuts. As with our cocoa beans, only the best ingredients are selected. Almonds come from Spain and hazelnuts from Italy. 

For more information, see the article: Praliné: everything you need to know about this essential treat. 

Delicious decorations  

  • Caramelized nuts 

We recommend Sosa caramelized nuts. They include pecan nuts, almonds, chopped hazelnuts, sesame seeds and cocoa nibs. Use them as decoration but also as an added ingredient in your recipes. 

  • Crispy fruit chips: Sosa Fruit Crispies 

These fruity nuggets will amaze your guests with their texture and taste. 

There is no such thing as too much chocolate in a recipe, especially when it comes to Valrhona chocolate. You will love using these chocolate balls to decorate your desserts and cakes. 

How to store a chocolate cake 

How long should you keep a chocolate cake? 

If you have prepared a chocolate cake and want to store it, you can keep it in the refrigerator. The temperature must be between 32 and 41°F (0 and 5°C).  

If it's kept this way, your cake can be enjoyed 2 to 5 days after it's made. 

But don’t forget to take it out one hour before serving it. By doing this, you let it gradually rise to room temperature. 

Can you freeze a chocolate cake? 

You can also freeze chocolate cake. For example, you might want to do this if you have prepared it in advance for a special occasion. You can keep it in the freezer in an airtight container. 

How do I defrost my chocolate cake? 

If you have frozen your cake, leave it to thaw in the refrigerator.  

Then take it out one hour before you serve it. 

Can you keep a chocolate cake in the oven? 

We don’t recommend this option. 

There is a risk it will dry out if you leave your cake in the oven while it's still hot. It will lose all its soft, melting qualities! Plus, it's best to keep your cake in the fridge so it lasts longer. 

How to store a melt-in-the-middle chocolate cake 

Storing a melt-in-the-middle chocolate cake is all about moisture. 

It is recommended you keep it in an airtight container so that it doesn’t dry out. If you put it in a drier environment, the water in your cake will leak out. Your cake will lose moisture and its melting qualities with it. 

This is also why we don't recommend keeping your cake in the oven, even when it is turned off. 

Now you are ready to make some easy but delicious cakes. Enjoy!