This Dream Tin Can cake is a gorgeous, layered chocolate cake that has to be tasted to be believed! There's a bottom layer of chocolate syrup cake, dark chocolate ganache, a layer of the richest chocolate custard, a crisp chocolate "crack" shell layer and a blanket of cocoa! All baked in a "tin can" or lidded cake tin. This is a sumptuous, rich and chocolatey cake and it is also a pushy recipe! I called her Althea.
This tin can or Dream Cake is a cake that was invented in the Phillippines by Le Sucre Lab and it went viral as people fell in love with its rich, chocolatey flavour. Le Sucre Lab's Dream Cakes are baked and sold in a gold cake tin so that it is easy to transport. Le Sucre Lab's Marvin Bagube says that he finished the cake in different stages with the cake recipe being perfected years ago while the ganache only two years ago. Now he can't keep up with demand an has a team of pastry chefs to keep up with the round a clock orders. There are now several stores that sell the chocolate Dream cake in the Phillippines and some enterprising home cooks on facebook sell it here in Sydney. A friend Kath put me onto them and I became immediately intrigued when I saw a video of the chocolate cracking.
This isn't an exact replica as I haven't tried the original one (and with the COVID situation in Sydney being less than ideal at the moment I don't know when I'll ever get to travel to the Philippines). This is my version of it that starts with a moist chocolate cake, chocolate syrup, chocolate ganache, an intensely rich milk and dark chocolate custard and a chocolate crack layer and cocoa so 6 parts. I actually made 4 versions of this cake trying to get this juuuust right so my nearest and dearest got a box of this cake. It's so delicious that I happily kept big "taster" slices of each one.
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Tips for making a Dream Cake:
Rated 5.0 out of 5 by 6 readers
1 - Use the best quality chocolate you can find. The flavour really comes through in this.
2 - The cake layer for this cake is actually quite simple and you can use your food processor or Thermomix for this.
3 - Please note that the cake tin size for this recipe is 18cm/7inches diameter and 5cms/2 inches high. You want the cake to reach the top of the tin.
4 - Use milk and dark as specified as they give different flavours and textures. Dark chocolate also produces a better crack when you're cracking open the cake which is one of the most satisfying parts!
5 - The chocolate custard is an absolute dream. It's so rich, creamy and chocolatey, I hope you'll give this a go, even to eat by itself!
Make a quick version of this dream cake: Use your favourite store bought chocolate mud cake on the base!
What if I don't have a cake tin with a lid? No problems at all! This bakes up perfectly in a regular cake tin (please note smaller size of 18cms/7inches). The lid comes in helpful when it comes to storing or transporting the cake but you don't bake it with the lid on.
Flavour ideas: add candied oranges or raspberries to this cake to help cut the richness. Add a couple of tablespoons of Kahlua or Baileys to the custard or syrup. Add toasted, slivered almonds to the chocolate crack layer!
The multiple versions that I made of this cake trying to get it juuust right really came in handy. I mentioned last week how we had gone to see a movie. It was on the long weekend and we went to see it at the Bondi Junction Westfield shopping centre. By now if you live in NSW you may know where this story is headed. Within a couple of days afterwards there were rumblings about a COVID-19 case visiting the same shopping centre and within a week Sydney was in the midst of a COVID spike dubbed the Eastern Suburbs spike which is where we live.
We watched the news with bated breath. As locations popped up we checked them against where we had been. We were lucky, we had missed the locations by a day, sometimes an hour. We both have been vaccinated but not fully as we only had the first vaccine a week prior so we weren't sure what our immunity status was. And then on the Tuesday we read that anyone that had been to the shopping centre including the car park during that week had to get tested. We went straight away as the lines can get very long the later you leave it. This was my third COVID test and honestly it isn't even painful anymore as I know what to expect. Our results were negative but then of course everything rapidly escalated and this past weekend the whole of Greater Sydney, The Blue Mountains, Wollongong and the Central Coast were locked down.
Everyone was understandably upset. Although I tried to stay positive, that becomes exhausting after a while (especially when your neighbours have a party just before the lockdown time) so I needed this cake to work. I was all prepared for this to not work because the other two were good but the crack wasn't quite right. I tapped the chocolate with the base of the spoon and I heard the most perfect crack.
Sometimes chocolate cake helps when it all gets too much.
So tell me Dear Reader, have you had any close calls with COVID-19? Have you experienced a lockdown? And have you ever tried the Dream Cake?
Tin Can Dream Chocolate Cake
An Original Recipe by Lorraine Elliott
Preparation time: 45 minutes plus cooling time of around 2-3 hours
Cooking time: 1 hour 15 minutes
For the cake layer:
- 100g/3.5ozs cake flour
- 1/4 teaspoon bi carb of soda
- 25g/1oz. cocoa powder
- 140g/5ozs. caster or superfine sugar
- 90g/3ozs. butter, cubed, softened
- 1 egg, room temperature
- 40ml/1.6ozs sour cream or yogurt
- 65ml/2.2flozs. hot coffee
- 75g/2.7ozs. dark chocolate chips
- 60ml/2flozs water
- 60g/2ozs. sugar
- 15g/0.5oz. dark chocolate
- 1/2 teaspoon cocoa powder
For Chocolate Ganache
- 1 cup/170g/6ozs dark chocolate chips
- 1/2 cup/125ml/4flozs cream
For Chocolate Custard aka Goo
- 150ml/5flozs. milk
- 150ml/5flozs. cream
- 3 egg yolks
- 75g/2.7ozs. caster or superfine sugar
- 2 tablespoons cornflour/fine cornstarch
- 1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste
- 125g/4ozs. milk chocolate
- 40g/1.4ozs. dark chocolate
- 2 teaspoons gelatine powder
- 1.5 tablespoons water
For Chocolate Shell
- 100g/3.5ozs dark chocolate
- 2 tablespoons cocoa powder
Step 1 - Preheat oven to 160C/320F and line a 18cm/7inch cake tin on the base with parchment and spray the sides with an oil spray. Place the flour, bicarb, cocoa and sugar in a food processor or Thermomix and pulse to mix and remove any lumps (Thermomix: 10 seconds, speed #4). Add the butter, egg, sour cream or yogurt and coffee and pulse again until you get a batter (Thermomix: 15 seconds, speed #4). Stir in the chocolate chips and scoop batter into the tin (it won't be very high) and bake for 40 minutes until the centre springs back when touched. The cake should reach just above halfway in the tin.
Step 2 - While the cake is baking make the syrup. Boil the water, sugar, cocoa and dark chocolate until you get a reduced syrup that is still pourable (it should take about 2-3 minutes). When the cake comes out of the oven, use a skewer to poke holes in it and pour the syrup over it allowing it to absorb. Allow to cool.
Step 3 - Make the ganache. Heat the cream until almost boiling and then add the chocolate to a bowl. Pour the cream over the chocolate and allow to sit, covered for 5 minutes. Then stir the chocolate and cream together until smooth and pour over the top of the cake (the cake can still be warm when you do this).
Step 4 - Make the custard. Heat the milk and cream in a saucepan. While it is heating whisk the egg yolks, sugar and cornflour together in a bowl. When the milk mixture is hot and starting to bubble at the sides of the pan, pour a quarter of it into the egg mixture to temper the eggs and whisk gently to combine. Then pour the egg mixture into the saucepan with the rest of the milk and stir slowly to create a custard. Thermomix: place all ingredients except for gelatine powder and 3 tablespoons water in the Thermomix bowl and set to 7 minutes 90C and speed 4.
Step 5 - When the custard starts to thicken add the chocolate and stir to melt. In a bowl sprinkle gelatine powder over the water and microwave for 10-20 seconds until it becomes translucent. Pour the gelatine liquid into the custard mixture and mix well. Pour over the cooled cake and allow to cool and then refrigerate until a wobbly set.
Step 6 - Melt the chocolate in the microwave or in a double boiler and spread over the cake. As the custard is cooled, it should set quickly. Sift cocoa powder over the cake.