Chocolate cake

Khashifah Ismail’s decadent chocolate cake

Khashifah Ismail of Capsicum Culinary Studio (Durban Campus alumnus) runs his own cake-making business called Pastry by Hatice. She shared her delicious recipe for a decadent and sweet chocolate cake.


  • 250g soft margarine
  • One and a half cups of powdered sugar
  • four eggs
  • Four teaspoons of baking powder
  • Four tablespoons of cocoa powder
  • Two and a half cups of all-purpose flour
  • A teaspoon of vanilla essence
  • 400g dark chocolate, chopped
  • 400ml whipped cream
  • Two tablespoons of butter


  • Preheat the oven to 180°C and place a rack in the middle. Line two 20cm x 20cm square molds with parchment paper. Place the margarine and sugar in a bowl and using a hand mixer with a paddle attachment, beat until light and fluffy.
  • Add the eggs, one at a time, and continue beating between each egg. Add the vanilla essence and mix until all the ingredients are well combined. In a large bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder and cocoa powder and mix well.
  • Add the dry ingredients to the wet mixture, mixing slowly until well combined and free of lumps. Pour half the batter into each cake pan (I always weigh the batter to get the exact amount in each pan) and bake for 35 minutes.
  • Insert a cake pick in the middle and if it comes out clean, the cakes are done. Leave to cool for 10 to 15 minutes then unmold.
  • Next, prepare the sugar syrup by heating half a cup of sugar and half a cup of water until the sugar dissolves. Once cooled, use a pastry brush to apply the syrup to both cakes as this will keep them moist and allow the chocolate ganache to stick to the cake more effectively.
  • For the chocolate ganache, heat the cream until it begins to boil then remove from the heat and pour it over the broken chocolate, stirring all the time so that the chocolate melts. Add the butter and mix well so that the ganache is glossy. Leave to cool overnight.
  • To assemble: Cut cakes in half to have four layers. Whip the ganache until it has a piping consistency, place it in a piping bag and pipe it until it coats the entire cake. Place in the fridge until firm then slice, serve and eat!

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