Chocolate cake is the most baked cake in Norway. The reason might be that it’s easy to put together, using ingredients everyone most likely have in their cabinet already. Recipes vary, and there are countless versions with different fillings or ingredients, like chopped chocolate, nuts, jam etc. Some choose to glaze their cake, while others just keep it simple and eat it plain, almost like a mix between a cake and a cookie. A lot of times Norwegians choose to bake their cake in a 13X9 inch pan, called a “langpanne” in Norwegian – and the cake is cut into squares, and sometimes topped with a chocolate glaze and coconut flakes (one of my favorites!). This is also easier when baking for kids, as it’s easier to hold on to and less messy.
Regardless of what recipe you choose to do, it is hard to go wrong when deciding to serve a chocolate cake to your guests. Most everyone I know, light up when they see chocolate, and the dark chocolate in this cake also has some health benefits (ok, that’s a long stretch, I know – but who needs excuses to sink your teeth into this one??)
What makes this cake just a tad more delicious than the average chocolate cake, is the addition of the typical Norwegian vanilla sugar; a vanilla flavored, powdery confectioners sugar that just makes all baked goods so much tastier than when using the more artificially tasting vanilla extract. The second ingredient in this cake is the slight touch of cinnamon which I think go really well with the dark chocolate. If you are not crazy about cinnamon (like us Norwegians), you can of course choose to leave this out of your batter.
I personally find that the glaze is what completes the cake, and while it doesn’t have to be super decadent, it has to be smooth and at the right consistency. This one is incredibly easy to work with. Play around with different versions – and try my vegan version below that produces a rich, juicy cake, you will be amazed that the recipe does not contain any dairy or eggs! :)
JUICY CHOCOLATE CAKE
2 cup all purpose flour
1 cup granulated sugar
3/4 cup cocoa powder
2 tsp vanilla sugar (or vanilla extract)
1 tsp ground cinnamon
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
2 tablespoons freshly brewed, strong, black coffee
2 tbsp brown sugar
1 1/2 cups hot water
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1 cup dark chocolate chips
1 stick vegan butter (about 100 grams)
2 tbsp freshly brewed, black , strong coffee
1 tbsp soy milk (optional)
about 2 1/4 cups confectioners sugar
Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Grease a springform or 13 x 9 inch baking pan with a little oil and coat with a little flour. Set aside.
In a large bowl, sift together the flour, sugar, cocoa powder, vanilla sugar, salt, cinnamon, baking powder and baking soda. Combine well and set aside.
In a small bowl, combine the coffee, brown sugar, water and oil. Pour the wet mixture into the dry ingredients and whisk quickly until a smooth batter forms. Pour batter into prepared cake pan and bake in middle of oven for 25-30 minutes until a cake tester comes out clear.
Cool the cake on a wire rack while you prepare the glaze.
In a double boiler, melt the chocolate and butter.
Add in the optional soy milk if needed, and whisk in the confectioners sugar until a smooth glaze forms. Spread the glaze evenly over the top and sides of the chilled cake.
Keep chilled or in a cool spot until ready to serve.
Optional: You can divide the cake in two and double the glaze recipe and add in chocolate creme in the middle too for an extra, decadent cake!