This Chocolate Panna Cotta Cake is something special especially if you love panna cotta and chocolate cake! This cake is the best of both worlds with a rich dark chocolate cake sandwiched with a thick layer of chocolate panna cotta in the centre. Chocolate shards complete the look of the striking chocolate cake that is perfect for any occasion including Father's Day coming up! I called her Eulalia.
I'd hazard a guess to say that a lot of dads like chocolate. I say this with confidence only because most people love chocolate so it's a safe bet that you'll hit the mark if you want to make this chocolate cake for Father's Day. This chocolate panna cotta cake is really two desserts in one but they're simple. The chocolate cake is one of my favourite cakes because it doesn't require any special equipment apart from a bowl and whisk (it also happens to be eggless and vegan). And the panna cotta is so easy to make as it just requires heating up cream with chocolate and sugar and then mixing in gelatine. Working with gelatine does require a slight leap of faith that it will set which always makes me nervous but if you follow the directions you'll end up with a deliciously rich chocolate panna cotta layer. This cake is best made a day or 2 ahead of time because any time you need gelatine to set it's best to do it ahead of time so that you can set and forget it.
(Even if you aren't in the mood to make a chocolate cake then please try the chocolate panna cotta. It's like a delicious version of a chocolate pudding except made with real dark chocolate.)
I'll make this chocolate panna cotta again and again it's so good and especially combined with the texture of the chocolate cake. The panna cotta is light and wobbly while the cake is rich and intense. And I am one of those strange people that while I love chocolate, I don't really love chocolate flavoured things. I'll always choose a vanilla ice cream over chocolate or a vanilla cookie over a chocolate cookie. So while I don't usually like chocolate flavoured things as much as I love chocolate, holy heavens this panna cotta is good (and that's because I use a lot of good quality dark chocolate in it, I'm no fool haha).
I also happen tp love chocolate dogs and I have to share some news about my little baby Milo. He had his first scare on the weekend. I was at home trying to wrangle a beef brisket pie having almost completely forgotten about Father's Day in the wake of coming back from overseas. Mr NQN took them to Sydney Park for their usual run.
Milo is still very much a puppy and for a lot of adult dogs (Teddy included) puppy energy can be exhausting. All Milo wants to do is play or go for a run so he will come up to every dog at the park and make a "bork bork" noise and then try to get them to play with him. Other puppies respond well, they all want the same thing but adult dogs usually ignore him.
There was one blue heeler that didn't. The dog picked Milo up and had him in his mouth. It all happened quickly and Mr NQN quickly pushed the dog away and he released Milo from his jaws. There was thankfully no blood or punctures and little Milo was understandably shaken up after that and needed a cuddle.
The owner of the other dog was apparently beside herself and very apologetic. She said that she had sensed something was a bit different about her dog's mood that day. For the rest of the night Milo was quiet. We checked him out thoroughly just in case there were any scratches and he spent the night curled up against us. In the morning he was back to his peppy puppy self and he borked (not barked) at more dogs on the following days walk...
So tell me Dear Reader, do you like chocolate? And do you like chocolate flavoured things or is your love reserved for just chocolate?
Chocolate Panna Cotta Cake
An Original Recipe by Lorraine Elliott
Preparation time: 60 minutes plus setting time
Cooking time: 45 minutes
Serves: 8-10 people
Note: This cake is best made 1-2 days ahead of time
- 330g/11.6ozs cake flour
- 500g/1.1lbs brown sugar
- 6 tablespoons cocoa powder, sifted
- 2 teaspoon bi carb
- 375ml/13flozs water
- 1 teaspoons instant coffee powder
- 185ml/6.5flozs oil
- 4 tablespoons white vinegar
- 1 teaspoons vanilla bean paste
- 150g/5ozs dark chocolate, grated
For Chocolate Panna Cotta Layer
- 750ml/26flozs cream
- 250g/8.8ozs dark chocolate, chopped
- 60g/2ozs caster or superfine sugar
- 1.5 tablespoons water
- 3 teaspoons/10.5g/0.4oz gelatine powder (1.5 packets of Knox gelatine powder)
- 1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste
For Chocolate Shard Decorations
- 150g/5ozs dark chocolate
- Angled spatula
- 2 large sheets parchment (40x30cms or 16x12inches)
- 1 teaspoon cocoa powder
Step 1 - Preheat oven to 160C/320F fan forced and line the base and sides of 2x20cm/8inch round (not springform) tins. Whisk the cake flour, brown sugar, cocoa powder and bicarb together in a large bowl. In a jug mix the water and coffee powder together to dissolve. Add in the oil, vinegar and vanilla and whisk. Gradually add the wet mixture to the dry one whisking in gradually so that there are no lumps. Stir in the chocolate chips and divide the batter equally between both tins. Allow to rest on the counter for 10 minutes then bake for 30-35 minutes or until the centre springs back when gently pressed. The cakes are best made the day before. Cool completely in the tin. Remove both cakes from the tins and wrap and freeze one cake.
Step 2 - To make the panna cotta heat the cream and sugar on medium heat and dissolve the sugar. Add the chocolate and stir it in to dissolve the chocolate. In a small bowl place the water and sprinkle over with gelatine powder. Allow to swell and then heat in the microwave for 10 seconds until liquid. Stir to dissolve all of the grains of gelatin and then mix into the panna cotta mixture with the vanilla bean paste making sure to whisk well. Cover the surface with cling film to prevent a skin forming and allow to cool for an hour at room temperature.
Step 3 - Place parchment in the base of one of the baking tins. I also put in some folded over foil strips to help lift the cake out. Place the frozen cake in it. It should fit snugly and tightly in the cake tin. Pour over the panna cotta mixture and place in the fridge to set, preferably overnight. Place the other cake on top. Then slide a knife around the edge of the cake to loosen the panna cotta and then upturn onto a serving plate. Don't worry that the panna cotta has dripped down the side a bit.
Smoothing out chocolate with a ruler
Step 4 - To make the chocolate shards melt the chocolate until liquid. Spread out on a sheet of parchment with the angled spatula. Then lay another sheet of parchment on top of the chocolate. Use the rules to smooth out the chocolate until thin, around 2mm/0.08inches. Roll up from the shorter end to make baton around 1 inch in diameter. Place in the freezer for 15 minutes to set completely. Unroll the paper and allow the chocolate to break up into shards. Press around the edge of the cake leaving the smallest ones to sit on top. Sift cocoa powder on top and decorate with the smaller shards.