The Dreamiest Chocolate & Caramel Poke Cake

If you’ve never baked a poke cake before, you’ve been missing out. As it’s name might suggest, a poke cake is essentially a cake in which you poke holes after baking, before proceeding to pour in a liquid or filling to elevate the cake with a colourful riot of flavours and textures!

The possible fillings are of course endless, running the gamut from puréed fruit to even condensed milk. Here the terrifically-talented Le Cordon Bleu-trained pastry chef Bianca Manik (founder of Blanchette patisserie) combines the classic combination of chocolate and caramel to bake one ridiculously-lustworthy (and Pinterest-friendly!) poke cake. And before you ask, yes this is an eggless recipe!


For the Cake

Ingredients:

  • 1½ cups all-purpose flour
  • ¼ cup cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ cup caster sugar
  • ½ cup brown sugar
  • 1 cup water or milk (milk makes for a richer cake!)
  • ⅓ cup oil/melted butter
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • ½ teaspoon salt

Method:

  • Preheat oven at 170°C. Grease and line a 9 inch baking tray with parchment paper.
  • Mix together the lemon juice with the milk/ water. Set aside.
  • Mix together all the dry ingredients (baking soda, salt, flour, cocoa powder) until well combined. 
  • Add both sugars into the dry ingredients and whisk until combined. Pour in the oil as well as the water-milk-lemon juice mixture and whisk until the batter is well combined; but be careful not to over-mix!
  • Pour the batter into the baking tray, bake for 15-20 mins or until knife comes out clean. Allow to cool.


For the Chocolate Ganache

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1½ cup heavy cream
  • 1¼ cup good quality chocolate (chopped)
  •  10ml strong brewed coffee/liquor of your choice (optional)

Method:

  • Warm the cream in a saucepan. Add chocolate in the cream, mix until combined.
  • Add 10ml of coffee (optional). Allow to cool.

For the Caramel

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup sugar
  • ¼ cup water
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 5 tablespoons butter
  • ¾ cup heavy cream (warmed)

Method:

  • Add sugar, salt and water in a saucepan. Cook on low heat. Allow the mixture to cook until it turns amber in colour (keep an eye on it, you don’t want your caramel to burn!).
  • Once amber, add the warmed cream into the saucepan. Stir well, then add the butter. Allow the caramel to cool.

To Assemble

Ingredients:

  • ¼ cup melted chocolate
  • Roasted nuts & sea salt (optional; as a topping)

Method:

  • Place the cake on parchment paper, in its baking tray. 
  • Using the handle of a spoon, poke holes into the cake.
  • Pour the ganache on top of the cake, making sure to fill all the holes.
  • Allow to set for 20 minutes. Pour caramel on top of the cake and drizzle with some melted chocolate. You could also add roasted nuts and sea salt on top of the cake for an extra kick!
  • Allow to set in the refrigerator for 20 minutes and serve!

ABOUT BIANCA MANIK

Bianca Manik is a pastry chef trained at Le Cordon Bleu in London and School for European Pastry in Mumbai. She believes in baking cakes that should be eaten under your covers, just so that you don’t have to share any of it! She currently runs Blanchette, a patisserie based in the heart of Mumbai.

Instagram @BlanchetteIndia @ChefBiancaManik

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