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Harrods’ head pastry chef’s perfect chocolate fudge cake

Nothing says Christmas quite like an indulgent dessert, and who better to show us how to perfect patisserie than Harrod’s top Pastry Chef? Philip Khoury will be whipping up the ultimate crowd pleaser - his vegan Chocolate Fudge Cake, from his new cookbook ‘A New Way To Bake’.

Perfect chocolate fudge cake

Makes a two- or four-layer cake


For the fudge cake batter: 480g water10g vanilla extract 10g apple cider vinegar75g extra virgin olive oil 420g muscovado sugar80g cocoa (unsweetened chocolate) powder 336g plain (all-purpose) flour8g baking powder 8g bicarbonate of soda (baking soda) 4g fine salt 

For the chocolate fudge ganache: 380g plant-based milk (1)150g muscovado sugar 600g dark chocolate with at least 70% cocoa solids, chopped 380g chilled plant-based milk (2) 


1. To make the cake, preheat the oven to 180℃, Gas 4, and line the bases of two 20cm tins with baking parchment. 

2. In one large jug or bowl, add the water, vanilla extract, vinegar, olive oil and sugar. In another large bowl, gently combine the cocoa powder, flour, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda and salt, using a whisk. 

3. Add the liquids to the dry ingredients and use the whisk to stir gently until everything is combined and there are no lumps, taking care not to overmix.

4. Pour 600g of the batter into each lined tin. If you have baking strips, soak them in water and wrap them around the tin. Alternatively, use a length of paper towel that will fit around the cake and fold them to fit the bottom half of the tin. Wet with water, and press against the sides. Wrap the base with kitchen foil that folds up the sides, to insulate and help the cake rise evenly. 

5. Bake each cake for 35 minutes, or until domed nicely. The cake should have a springy consistency and a skewer inserted into the centre of the cake should come out clean. 

6. Leave the cake to cool completely in the tins. Once cool, run a sharp knife against the edges of the tin to release the sides. Place both cakes on a baking sheet or plate in the fridge. 

7. To make the ganache, in a medium saucepan, bring the plant-based milk (1) and sugar to a simmer, then pour the mix over the chocolate in a heatproof jug or bowl. Blend with a stick blender until it is nice and silky. 

8. Add the remaining chilled plant-based milk (2) to the jug or bowl and blend again until the mixture is glossy and shiny. 

9. Pour the ganache into a wide shallow dish, cover the surface with cling film and leave to chill in the fridge for 1 hour. Then remove from the fridge and leave it at room temperature for another hour until set. 

10. To assemble, use a long serrated knife to trim off the domed top of each chilled sponge. (If you want to make a four-layer cake, at this point cut each cake layer in half). 

11. Place one of the rounds on a flat serving dish, and spread a third (or one-fifth, for a four-layer cake) of the ganache over the top with a palette knife. 

12. Place the second disc cut-side down (so that crumbs don’t come loose when you spread the ganache) onto your first cake. Spread another third (or fifth) of the ganache on the top of the sponge, and the rest of the ganache over the sides to cover all the cake. Smooth the ganache with a palette knife. (For a four-layer cake, repeat the process until each layer is iced). 

13. Leave the cake to set in the fridge to set for 30 minutes, and then serve at room temperature. 

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