If you are looking to make an easy, chocolaty cake, look no further. This recipe is extremely easy to make and is really hard to mess up. It is moist and just slightly dense with a smooth ganache covering the cake. I made this cake when my sister and her chocolate loving husband were in town and it was approved by both of them. Keep in mind that it is a fudge cake and has a rich flavor, so a glass of milk or coffee might be needed to accompany this cake. It's not dense and creamy like fudge, but it is rich and delicious.
The cake tastes best on the first day, but will still be good on day 2. I stored my cake in an airtight container overnight, but on the second night I put it in the fridge since I didn't want to leave the ganache topping on the counter too long. I suggest lining the bottom of your springform with parchment paper so your cake will come out of the form easily without breaking or leaving behind a layer. The ganache recipe will make more than you need, so you can scale it back or keep the extra for topping ice cream or using it for dunking fruit.
Recipe from Fine Cooking
For the cake:
1 cup (4 1/2 ounces) all purpose flour
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons (1 ounce) unsweetened natural cocoa powder (not Dutch-processed)
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup (4 ounces) unsalted butter, melted and warm
1 1/4 cups packed light brown sugar
1 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/2 cup hot water
1 cup warm ganache (recipe follows)
Preheat your oven to 350ºF/175ºC, with the oven rack positioned in the lower third of the oven. Grease an 8"x2" or 9"x2" springform. Line the bottom with parchment paper and grease the parchment paper.
In a small bowl, whisk together the four, cocoa, baking soda, and salt. Using a large bowl, combing the melted butter and brown sugar, mixing with a wooden spoon or rubber spatula. Mix in the eggs and vanilla until well combined. Add the flour mixture all at once and stir until just combined. Pour the hot water over the batter and stir to until it is incorporated and smooth. Pour the batter into the prepared pan. Bake until an inserted toothpick comes out clean. For a 9" form, about 25 to 30 minutes. For an 8" form, about 35 to 40 minutes. Allow cake to cool.
Once cool, remove from form, carefully running a knife along the edge if necessary. Remove the parchment paper, if using. Allow the cake to cool completely on a cooling rack. Place the rack over a baking sheet lined with foil (this makes a mess, so place it over something to make cleanup easier). Pour the warm ganache over the cake, spreading with a frosting knife to cover the top and sides. Let the cake set for a hour before serving.
For the ganache:
8 ounces bittersweet or semisweet chocolate, finely chopped
1 cup heavy cream (plus more if needed)
Place the chocolate in a medium heatproof bowl. In a saucepan over medium heat, warm the cream until it boil. Pour cream over chocolate and whisk until smooth and chocolate has melted. If you want your ganache sweeter, add a couple teaspoons of sugar with the hot milk. If you ganache seems too thick, add a litte more hot milk.