The best types of homemade chocolates cakes are ones that are made with love! With a super fudgy, chocolatey, walnut, yet light texture, this chocolate cake recipe will soon become your favorite. The recipe for my homemade chocolate cake is inspired by a Serbian recipe, Srneca Ledja – which actually originated from the Austrian and German areas of Europe. It is traditionally made in a specific cake mold. However this chocolate cake is my adapted version of this chocolate goodness which my mother baked for us on a regular basis. This chocolate cake makes for a stunning cake to serve up to your friends and family.
EASY CHOCOLATE CAKE – SRNECA LEDJA – SADDLE OF VENISON CAKE
This is the cake that brings back many memories of my childhood! In Serbia, this is a “must have” cake on the menus of all city pastry shops, cafes and restaurants. Besides ‘Srneca Ledja’, there are also many other traditional sweets from vastly diverse Serbian cuisine such as krempita (cream pie), tulumba, baklava, bajdera and strudels to name a few. These are known as basic sweets in any cake shop around the Balkans.
The origin of the cake is Austrian/German and its traditional name is Rehrücken. The name of the cake comes from the mold it is baked in. It is a long, half cylinder shaped mold that resembles the roast saddle of venison. The original cake is a flour-less chocolate almond cake with chocolate glazing. The sponge is made with cake crumbs and almonds. However the way we make this cake in Serbia is with a walnut cake base, and a rich, buttery, chocolatey filling.
My take on the cake – is a chocolatey, walnut-y base, covered in a rich, buttery, chocolate filling.
If you are a chocolate lover, this easy homemade chocolate cake is for you!
THE WALNUT BASE
The base of this cake is very similar to how cakes in Serbia are usually prepared. You start off by whisking all of the wet ingredients and then adding in the dry ingredients. It is best to fold in the grounded walnuts and egg whites with a spatula until it combines well with the other ingredients.
I love any cake base which has grounded walnuts. I am not a fan of plain, thick, spongy cakes. For me there just has to be the crunchy taste of walnuts in there.
THE CHOCOLATE FILLING
The chocolate filling is a typical Serbian way of making a cake filling. In fact, this is the way I have seen my mother make this delicious chocolate filling for years, and I have adapted the same technique myself.
You will need to set up a double boiler, to which you add the egg yolks and sugar. Stir the egg yolks and sugar continually and once this is well combined, add the milk chocolate. Stir until all of the chocolate has melted and combined with the eggs and sugar.
The chocolate filling needs to rest for at least ten minutes prior to adding the unsalted butter (the butter needs to be at room temperature). Whisk the butter with the chocolate filling until you end up with a rich, smooth, chocolate filling.
FOR THE BASE
- 100 g milk chocolate melted
- 50 g unsalted butter
- 3 egg yolks
- 3 egg whites
- 75 g caster sugar
- 60 ml milk
- 50 g all purpose flour
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 100 g ground walnuts
FOR THE CHOCOLATE FILLING
- 5 egg yolks
- 100 g sugar
- 100 g milk chocolate
- 130 g unsalted butter
- Preheat the oven to 180 degrees & line a baking pan (26 x 16) with baking paper.
- FOR THE BASE
- In a small bowl, melt the milk chocolate and butter together. Set aside.
- In a larger bowl, using an electric mixer on high speed, beat the egg whites until stiff. This takes roughly three minutes of mixing. Also set aside.
- In a separate, large bowl, mix the egg yolks with sugar until the egg whites become lighter in colour.
- Add in the milk to the egg yolks and mix.
- To this – add the previously melted chocolate, butter, flour, baking powder. Mix until well combined.
- Using a spatula, fold in the previously mixed egg whites and combine.
- Again, using a spatula, fold in the grounded walnuts and mix well.
- Place the mixture a baking dish and bake in the oven on 180 for 15 minutes. You will know your base is ready if you poke a sharp knife through it and it comes out clean.
- Once the base is done, remove from the oven and leave to cool completely.
FOR THE CHOCOLATE FILLING
- In the mean time, set up a double boiler.
- When your glass bowl has warmed up, add the egg yolks and stir them continually with a whisk while adding the sugar. Do not stop stirring as you can end up with scrambled eggs.
- Once the sugar and egg yolks have combined, add the chocolate and continue stirring until the chocolate has melted.
- When the chocolate has melted remove the glass bowl off the stove and set aside to cool for 10 minutes.
- To the chocolate mixture, add in the cold unsalted butter and combine with an electric mixer. You are looking for a smooth, creamy consistency.
- Leave the chocolate filling to cool in the fridge for at least 2 hours. *This is an important step because when you put the cake together the chocolate filling needs to be firm enough so that it does not fall apart.
PUTTING THE CAKE TOGETHER
- Cut the base in half, this will form the bottom and top layer.
- Place the bottom layer on a serving plate, and spread with chocolate filling.
- Then add the second layer on top of the chocolate filling and spread another layer of the chocolate filling. Spread the remaining chocolate filling from the top of the cake and then to the sides.
- Let the cake set in the fridge for an hour or overnight.
- Decorating the cake – You can really do just about anything with this cake! One of the easiest ways is to melt some chocolate and drizzle it on top. If you have edible flowers handy, you can use them as well. Or my other preferred way of decorating this cake would be by spreading some grounded walnuts on top.
- Serving the chocolate cake – Refrigerate the cake for at least two hours before serving. Alternatively, this cake tastes best once it has had time to set in the fridge overnight.
- Storing the cake – This chocolate cake can sit in the fridge for up to five days. This chocolate cake recipe freezes beautifully and I’ll typically make it a few days in advance when preparing for it for a special occasion. Just wrap the cooled cake well in plastic wrap before placing them into freezer bags.
This is one of my most favourite Chocolate Cake recipes of all time! I am yet to make a recipe that tops this cake. I love the nutty taste of the base, and the rich and decadent taste of this rich chocolate cake.
DID YOU MAKE THIS RECIPE?
I hope this Chocolate Cake recipe finds its way to your kitchen and onto your dessert plate. If you do make this recipe, comment your thoughts below, and be sure to share and tag me over on Instagram.